'Make Canada great again' flyers with anti-Muslim, anti-gay imagery alarm McGill University community
'Somebody is making a very, very distasteful attempt at humour,' student says
Flyers posted around McGill University featuring anti-Muslim and anti-homosexual imagery, along with a call to "make Canada great again," are raising concern among students and faculty.
The posters, playing on Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan, feature a maple leaf in the background and crossed-out symbols that represent Islam, communism and homosexuality.
Michelle Li, a fourth-year student and a member of the Queer McGill student group, said her first reaction when she saw a poster was that "somebody is making a very, very distasteful attempt at humour."
"I think it's just confirming what we all sort of know in the back of our heads, which is that there are people who don't agree that I want to live my life like this," she told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
"It's scary that they feel comfortable enough to be able to put it out there."
'We need to pay attention'
Andrew Potter, head of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, who tweeted a photo of one of the posters, told Daybreak he believes they are part of a larger shift in the political conversation.
"I think what Trump has done, in America in particular, is give permission and licence to a lot of views that used to be something that across the board were censored and not condoned," he said.
"Because of the porousness of the borders and the internet and the media space we all live in, it's easily transferrable here, and I think that's the key problem that I'm focused on …, which is the extent to which Canada is not immune from this."
Potter added that "even if this is a joke, the posters, I think we need to pay attention to them and not just shake our heads and move on."
He said he's worried that it's a trial balloon by someone who wants to see what they can get away with.
"I think that's why it's worth talking about, because ultimately sunshine is the only real disinfectant for these sort of things. So that's why I think it's worth at least keeping a vigilant eye out without getting hysterical."
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A spokesperson for McGill University told Daybreak the university was not aware of the posters.
Oh look what someone put up on campus. <a href="https://t.co/7RJB7xRbgM">pic.twitter.com/7RJB7xRbgM</a>—@jandrewpotter
with files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak