TORONTO – Residents in Brampton say they are fed up with the flyers being circulated in their neighbourhoods expressing anti-immigration sentiments that immigrants and immigration is bad for Canada and Canadians.
“When you put a line through someone’s face and you are identifying a gentleman with a turban on that is not appropriate and offensive to just about anyone,” Tim Schevalier told Global News.
Schevalier has lived in Brampton for 14 years, and says this is a community that includes not excludes. He recalls during Khalsa Day, the largest Sikh festival, the celebrations were fun, colourful, and a time for everyone regardless of ethnicity, to celebrate.
“My experience as they are trying to identify Sikhs in this flyer, is they have their festivities and I remember the folks at work hosted a banquet for everybody and they went out of their way, my friends did to make me feel welcome, and included in everything,” Schevalier said.
In just over four months two sets of anti-immigration flyers have circulated in the neighbourhood. People are now coming together in solidarity to say the flyers do not reflect the sentiment of Brampton and this type of racist literature will not be tolerated.
The group Rally Against Racism, along with dozens of supporters from other groups, gathered outside Brampton City Hall in protest and express their support for the community.
“This kind of belief that immigrants are negative to Brampton has no place here in Brampton and we are here to show that the community as a whole is coming together to say we stand together against racism,” Gurratan Singh, the organizer of the rally, told Global News.
An investigation is underway by Peel Regional Police regarding the most recent flyer.
An investigation was conducted regarding the previous flyer that was circulated in April. Police have said in that case there was no evidence to deem it as a hate related offence.
In the meantime the community says it will continue to rally against racism regardless of how many flyers pollute the streets.