Vernon-Monashee candidate Harwinder Sandhu has campaign sign vandalized with vulgar, racist graffiti

Racist election vandalism

A Vernon-Monashee provincial election candidate has had one of her campaign signs vandalized with racist and vulgar graffiti.

A large sign promoting BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu was found defaced Friday morning along 27th Avenue in Vernon, across from Laing Roofing.

The sign was vandalized with a swastika and the 'C word' scrawled beside her image. Her face was also obscured with scribbling.

Contacted by phone, Sandhu had yet to see the damage, but was heading there with her husband to remove the sign.

She was calm in response, and says this is not the first time she has faced racism.

"We've been fixing a lot of signs," she said. "We can clearly see that they have been knocked down, several along Highway 6, while other candidates' signs were still standing.

"We let it go, and just put them back up," she continued.

"To be honest, this not the first time ... I've seen some terrible targeting about my ethnicity, people openly asking if I was born in Canada. I always try to respond calmly, I have a thick skin. I have faced racism half my life."

Sandhu said, as a nurse, when patients have made inappropriate remarks, it has been her co-workers who always are supportive.

"It hurts me, yes, but somebody's skin colour doesn't make them more or less Canadian ... I have a lot of gratitude for Canada and am proud to call this my home."

She said she has also seen "wonderful people" thanking all health-care staff during the pandemic, banging pots and praising them.

"I'm just doing my job," she said, "and making sure my patients and community are safe."

Sandhu encourages anyone who questions her ability as a politician to "please come and talk to me ... I'm happy to to share what I stand for."

As far as the vandalism goes, Sandhu said: "I like to channel my energy to the positive. We are all Canadian, period."

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