A police investigation is underway to determine who is behind the small hate-fuelled notes scattered around Vernon on Orange Shirt Day.
Multiple reports of leaflets scattered on streets throughout the city were reported to Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Sept. 30.
Small pieces of paper were found in several locations, including elementary schools, and several members of the community took it upon themselves to pick up the slips.
Several pieces were brought to police and after examination of the content promoted, Vernon Mounties found the links led to websites promoting “extreme ideology.”
“We share the concerns of the community about the content of the material and specifically the manner in which it has been distributed,” media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said Oct. 1.
“Regardless of the outcome, we want to draw attention to the overwhelming clear and direct response by our community in light of this event,” he said. “There is no place for hatred of any form, for anyone and it will not be tolerated.”
The leaflets caused a stir online and several businesses were quick to condemn racism and acts of hatred in any form.
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said he is disheartened about the events that transpired Wednesday.
“Even more concerning is that these notes were strewn about near schools,” he said. “A place where children and families are meant to feel safe and supported.”
Cumming said now is the time to “take a step forward” and “lead through example, through compassion and through an understanding that we are all equal.
“We know greater Vernon to be a caring, open and compassionate community and we are confident these actions do not represent the majority of residents,” Cumming said. “Racism will not be tolerated in workplaces, schools, sports fields or anywhere.”
Anyone with information that may assist officers in their investigation are urged to contact the detachment at 250-6545-7171 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.