One of Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy’s election signs has been vandalized with blackface.
The incumbent for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge saw the sign at the roundabout on Airport Way, near the Golden Ears Bridge, when coming back from a rally on Tuesday night.
“I never expected to see this here. This is disheartening,” said Ruimy. “For me, it makes me a lot stronger to stand up against racism.”
The Liberal campaign was rocked by a storm of criticism last week, after images of leader Justin Trudeau wearing blackface and dressed in ethnic costumes as a young man surfaced.
The NDP candidate in the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge echoed common sentiments about the pictures: “I thought it was unfortunate to see our leader looking like that,” said John Mogk.
“And I stand with my leader Jagmeet (Singh) to say racism is not something we want to tolerate in this country.”
Ruimy made comments defending Trudeau last week, saying his policies as prime minister show he is not racist, and that he offered an apology and “owned” his past mistakes.
He said such public racism – like putting blackface on his signs – is not socially productive.
“It’s not who we are. It hurts everybody, and makes everybody look bad.”
He acknowledged that publicizing the vandalism could make the problem worse, but wanted to call out the perpetrators.
“This is unacceptable. I will not let them win.”
Ruimy said the Liberal campaign has also had about six signs cut, knocked down or demolished.
The riding’s Conservative candidate Marc Dalton said he “condemns this disgusting act of vandalism.
“What happened is totally inappropriate.”
He did, however, also condemn Trudeau’s “various blackface activities.”
“They are made worse by him labelling his opponents bigots, racists and white supremacists,” said Dalton. “The hypocrisy of it all is a big disturbing.”
Daldon said his campaign has also had a problem with stolen and vandalized signs.