racist posters whitby

Racist posters in Whitby spark police investigation

Several communities in the Greater Toronto Area are being targeted with racist, hateful public messages, saddening residents and prompting authorities to launch a formal investigation.

Durham Regional Police announced last week that posters "with discriminatory messages toward immigrants" had been found outside at least three public locations in Whitby, Ontario — a library, a school and a residential community mailbox.

The posters, which harshly warn that "European Canadians" are being replaced by immigrants, have also been spotted around Port Perry, Newcastle and Scugog in recent months.

"The great replacement of European Canadians is not a 'conspiracy theory,'" reads a copy of the poster shared with durhamregion.com. "It is an undeniable fact supported by statistic that are provided by the Government of Canada."

That poster, found on several Canada Post mailboxes by a Whitby resident on Feb. 5, goes on to suggest that the number of Canadians with European roots (read: white people) was 98 per cent in 1867, 96 per cent in 1971 and 72 per cent today.

Future projections listed on the poster claim that Canadians of European origin will make up roughly 50 per cent of the country's populace in 2036, and 20 per cent of it by 2100.

Statistics Canada denounced the posters on Saturday, telling local news outlets that they "strongly condemn any attempt to mislead and divide Canadians."

"We collect data and provide information and insights that contribute to the strength of our people, our communities and our country," said the federal data agency. "We trust Canadians will use this data responsibly."

Whitby mayor Don Mitchell similarly denounced the poster and vowed to have all copies removed.

"All racism is dangerous rubbish," he said. "Canada is increasingly diverse and that will continue."

The posters found last week have been taken down, but Durham Regional Police are still looking for information regarding who posted them in the first place, and why.

"Police are investigating more reports of posters being placed around Durham Region with discriminatory messages toward immigrants," reads a media release from the force published Thursday.

"The posters look similar, with a white background and black text, and had a similar discriminatory message directed towards immigrants... Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed someone placing discriminatory posters to call police."

Durham Region isn't alone in being forced to deal with xenophobic posters in public spaces.

Signs reading "it's okay to be white" famously popped up around the University of Toronto, among other places, in November of 2017 as part of an alt-right prank staged largely through 4Chan.

Similar posters reading "sovereign nations have borders" were glued to dozens of signposts around Toronto's Leaside neighbourhood in August of 2019.

Posters that similarly railed against "the demographic replacement of European Canadians" were spotted in and around Toronto's High Park last spring, as were dozens of other white nationalist posters in Richmond Hill and Newmarket.

The latter stunts were linked by some to former journalist and current alt-right political leader Faith Goldy.

"Someone posts *government issued statistics* about Canada’s ongoing demographic replacement and now racism and hate crime experts are involved," wrote Goldy, who has been described by the New York Times as a white nationalist, on Sunday in response to the new Durham Region posters.

"My guess? StatsCan is going to start concealing the real numbers because facts are racist."

Lead photo by

Keith Richards/durhamregion.com

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