A Calgary woman running to become a school board trustee says she's been the victim of racist death threats on Facebook that reference the killing of an anti-fascist protester in the U.S.
"I'm still in shock, for many reasons," said Nimra Amjad, who is running in the upcoming municipal election to become a school trustee in Ward 3 and 4.
"You don't expect this kind of thing to happen in Calgary. For it to be so violent and imply death is just something you don't expect, and I'm still processing that," she said. "It's very terrifying."
- Calgary police say it would be 'naive' to think Charlottesville violence couldn't happen here
- Calgarians vow to challenge fascism after deadly Charlottesville rally
'Beware,' warns post
There were two threatening comments left on Amjad's Facebook campaign page, and a private message was sent to her personal account.
The comments were made in a post where people were discussing the CBE cutting bus services for kids in some specialist programs in Calgary.
In the first comment, Amjad was called a racial slur and asked what right she has to run for office in Canada.
The post threatened that the neo-Nazi Aryan Guard group, which has been active in Calgary in the past, would find out where she lives, telling her to "beware."
Another post read: "you will be lying dead on the street like Heather Heyer." Heyer is the 32-year-old protester killed after a car plowed through a crowd in Charlottesville, Va. where white supremacist groups and counter-protesters violently clashed.
- Education advocates spark backlash with tweets linking Charlottesville attack to alternative schools
The protests and the political climate south of the border have raised questions over white supremacist groups and sentiment in Canada and whether what's happening in the U.S. could be influencing behaviour here.
Earlier this week, Calgary police said it would be "naive" to think Charlottesville violence couldn't happen in Calgary.
Recently in Calgary, a rally by members of Calgary's Street Church turned violent when they clashed with anti-fascist protesters in front of City Hall.
"I've been hearing that some elements are feeling more emboldened," said Amjad, who thinks that could be a factor in the threats she received.
Police investigate threats
The link between events in the U.S. and the knock-on impact in Canada isn't lost on Kelly Sundberg, associate professor at Mount Royal University's department of economics, justice and policy studies.
"It's unfortunate that in so few days after the reprehensible events in the United States, we see some idiot in Calgary perpetuating this in our country," said Sundberg. "I hope there's an example set where this individual is held to account."
"We have freedom of expression in Canada as guaranteed under the charter but we don't have the right to threaten other people, invoke hatred," he said.
"Some research shows we've seen a rise in hate crime and these types of groups. Some how they confuse Canada with the United States," added Sundberg.
Sundberg cites the recent Canada Creep voyeurism case as an example of police catching up with people who commit crimes online, and says Calgary police have the tools and technology to identify people, including the person in this case.
Amjad says she is working with Calgary police, who are investigating the threats.
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Video shows swarming attack in downtown Calgary
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | 'You get caught, you pay the price': Derek Fildebrandt's constituents speak out on his scandals