Cassie Aylward, Globe and Mail, April 24, 2014
Peel Regional Police are investigating anti-immigration flyers that have been distributed in Brampton to see whether their publication breaks any laws.
Police were told about the flyers by Mayor Susan Fennell, who called them disgusting.
The flyers gained attention on social media Thursday, with Twitter users expressing outrage.
They show a black and white photo of an all-white group of people with the caption “From this …” Underneath it is a photo of a group of Sikh people at what appears to be a protest with the caption “To this …” Underneath the photos is the caption “Is This Really What You Want?”
The flyers say that, according to the 2001 Census, 59.6 per cent of Brampton’s population was made up of “mainstream Canadians,” with that number dropping to 32.9 per cent by 2011.
“What will the Census findings be in 5, 10, or even 15 years from now,” they read.
The group behind the flyers, Immigration Watch Canada, is a group of activists trying to get the country to “dramatically reduce immigration levels,” according to its website.
Ms. Fennell said she has always said Brampton is a place for people to live, work, play and pray in peace.
“In Brampton, we take immense pride in the rich culture, heritage, and diversity of all our residents,” she said in an e-mail. “These disgraceful flyers do not reflect the true generosity of the people of Brampton.”
Twitter users called the flyers disgusting, loathsome and xenophobic after Demi Caruso of Toronto posted a photo of one. She tweeted that a friend got it in Brampton, but she is unaware of how he did.
This is not the first time that Brampton’s Sikh community has been the target of racism. In 2012, a Sikh elementary school was vandalized with references to the Ku Klux Klan and swastikas spray-painted on the side of the school building.