A 72-year-old Calgary man has been charged with public incitement of hatred.
Police say they received more than a dozen complaints after two men went into Chinatown carrying offensive signs.
Police say the signs targeted two people as well as the wider community.
"When it's based on race then really that affects the whole community because we have a very diverse, vibrant community here in Calgary," said Const. Eric Levesque.
"And when you have these types of crimes it has the potential to tear at the social fabric of that community."
He says charges are laid when the message goes beyond offensive and could lead to an altercation.
The man charged, Milan Papez, was a mayoral candidate in the last election.
Charges against a second man are pending.
Anyone with information about this case, or any hate-motivated crime or incidents, can call police at 403-266-1234.