Swastika, anti-Semitic message left in fresh Winnipeg snow, former MLA says

A former Manitoba MLA is wiping out hate speech after seeing a swastika in the snow.

Chris Melnick says the swastika and a hate-filled message were scrawled in the snow in St. Vital last week

Chris Melnick says she saw a swastika in the snow in St. Vital. B'nai Brith says swastikas were also recently scrawled on the hoods of multiple vehicles, like the one pictured, in a Montreal borough. (B’nai Brith/Submitted)

A former Manitoba MLA literally wiped out hate speech after seeing a swastika in the snow last week.

Former NDP MLA and cabinet minister Chris Melnick was walking her dogs in St. Vital last Thursday when she saw the symbol carved into the snow.

"I looked in the snow — and it was freshly fallen snow — there was a perfectly shaped swastika," she said.

Underneath the symbol were the words "F-- k Jews," she said.

"I was just so shocked by it and offended by it. I just stopped and stared for a moment or two to make sure I was really seeing this in our neighbourhood," she said.

Melnick said the corner is busy because it's near a school and a bus stop. She didn't want anyone else to have to see the hurtful message so she rubbed it out of the snow with her boot.

"You don't have to be Jewish to understand this is wrong. This is hate and hate has no place in our community," she said.

At the beginning of January a rock painted with anti-Semitic slurs was left on the front steps of a house in the Wolseley neighbourhood.

B'nai Brith Canada, a Jewish organization, said swastikas have also been scrawled into the snow on windshields of at least four cars in the Montreal borough of Outremont in recent days.

"Too often, we get calls about incidents such as these," said Amanda Hohmann, national director of B'nai Brith's League for Human Rights in a press release.

"As much as I hate to say this, anti-Semitism has become commonplace in Canada. There's been significant underreporting of anti-Semitism in the past several years, but that's changing now because discussion of racism against minorities has been trending in recent months."

With files from Erin Brohman