White supremacists recruiting in Calgary

Residents were appalled to see racist posters targeting immigrants Friday. (Lyle Aspinall, QMI...

Residents were appalled to see racist posters targeting immigrants Friday. (Lyle Aspinall, QMI Agency)

MICHAEL WOOD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:06 AM ET

CALGARY - Emotions are running high in Forest Lawn where a group with ties to known white supremacists seems intent on recruiting like-minded people through a poster campaign.

The black-and-white posters, with statements like "Immigration costs Canadian taxpayers $23 billion annually" coupled with statistics purporting to reflect Canadian immigration and unemployment, have been glued to bus stations, light standards and telephone poles throughout the southeast neighbourhood.

At the bottom, the words "Does this seem right to you?" are followed by "If not, contact."

A phone number and e-mail address are printed, along with the website to the international white supremacist group known as Blood and Honour.

"I think it's disgusting that people have the audacity," said Donna Clarke, a teacher with the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society that operates a stone's throw from where several posters were spotted on Friday.

The campaign is a concern for staff at the society, where some 300 new immigrants, many of whom live in Forest Lawn, are learning English.

Clarke said she and other teachers will likely raise the issue with students when classes resume next week.

"A lot of them don't know the warning signs, who to watch out for or that there's even racism in Canada," she said.

"They think Canada doesn't have racism."

Forest Lawn resident Regina John was at first outraged by the sight. Then she cried.

"It's just not right," she said. "We won't stand for this."

Others, like William Baker, feel the same way.

He's already ripped one down from a bus stop.

"It's just hateful and it's just creating more problems," Baker said.

It's not the first time such posters have been plastered throughout Forest Lawn. Just last year, residents awoke to dozens plastered throughout their community.

"They're doing the same thing they've been doing for several years," said Const. Brian Denison of the police hate crimes unit.

Denison said the posters are not illegal and do not contain anything for which their writers would be prosecuted under current hate-crime legislation.

That doesn't mean residents have to leave them up.

"I would not leave that up on a street post in front of my house," Denison said.


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