Shortly after being taken down, the pedestal that once held up a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald has become a hotspot for hate speech.
White supremacist messaging on the pedestal was discovered early Tuesday.
The graffiti reads “white lives matter” on the back, and “not guilty” on the front, just under Macdonald’s name.
Numerous organizations that monitor racism and hate speech, such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, associate the words “white lives matter” with white supremacism.
It appears that a second person got wind of the tagging, and decided to take matters into their own hands.
On the back, they blacked out the “white” part of the original message, and followed it up underneath with “Indigenous, trans, Black, Asian lives matter.”
As for the front, the person blacked out the “not” part of the graffiti, and circled “guilty.”
Public works is aware of the situation, and was at the scene around 8 a.m., assessing the damage.
The city says this isn’t the first time the pedestal has been hit with hate speech since the statue’s removal. One employee told Global News that at some point Sunday night, someone arranged gravel in front of the pedestal to read “white power.”
“Staff are aware of the graffiti that is on the pedestal in City Park and are currently assessing the graffiti with an intent to remove it. The city is committed to working with the community to pursue a path forward,” said a city statement provided to Global News Tuesday afternoon.
This is a developing story, and Global News will update as more information becomes available.