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B.C. Green Party candidate says election signs vandalized with racist and sexist graffiti

B.C. Green Party candidate Amanda Poon, who is running for election in the riding of Kelowna-Mission, says some of her election signs were recently vandalized, including the one above. The vandalism in this photo has been blurred. Submitted

A Green Party candidate in the Okanagan says some of her campaign signs were recently vandalized, calling the graffiti racist and sexist.

Amanda Poon is running for office in the riding of Kelowna-Mission.

In a press release, Poon said several of her signs were defaced while others were completely destroyed.

Read more: B.C. election 2020 — Kelowna-Mission

She sent a photo of one vandalized sign, which saw a dash and four letters stencilled in white paint behind her last name. Combine the two words and they become a vulgar sexual reference.

“I, along with the BC Green Party, condemn this act and bigotry in all its forms,” said Poon.

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A destroyed campaign sign for Green Party candidate Amanda Poon. Submitted

“And while this is deeply unfortunate, it comes as no surprise. As a Chinese-Canadian, I’ve faced similar attacks on my name, my gender and my race all my life – starting in the playground and, now, following me into the political realm.

“But this is bigger than me. We’ve seen numerous attacks like this elsewhere in our community, across party lines.”

Click to play video 'Calling out racism and sexism in B.C. election campaign' Calling out racism and sexism in B.C. election campaign
Calling out racism and sexism in B.C. election campaign – Oct 18, 2020

Contacted by Global News on Monday, Poon said campaign volunteers were in the process of counting how many signs were vandalized. Poon said she didn’t know the total.

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Last week, Vernon-Monashee NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu had her campaign signs vandalized.

“In my own neighbourhood, a BC Liberal candidate’s signs were also destroyed,” Poon said in the release. “While the vandalism was not racist in nature, this, too, is unacceptable.

“To those who have been subjected to intolerance in our community, know that I and others see you, and we will stand up for you.

“To those who have reached out in support, thank you. You represent the caring, compassionate community I know we are.”

Click to play video 'B.C. election scandals and what to expect in closing week of campaign' B.C. election scandals and what to expect in closing week of campaign
B.C. election scandals and what to expect in closing week of campaign – Oct 16, 2020

Global News has reached out to BC Liberal candidate Renee Merrifield to confirm that her signs were, indeed, vandalized.

Poon says seeing her signs defaced has made her more resolute “in the belief that Kelowna needs new, more diverse representation in public and political life.”

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She says regardless of Saturday’s election outcome, her “hope is that this experience will result in a deeper conversation so that together, we can work towards making the Okanagan more just and inclusive. Only then can we reach our fullest potential.”