Hate is everywhere, Montreal included. After a Nazi flag appeared in the window of a local apartment, the SPVM intervened to get it down. The incident attracted significant attention on social media.
Montreal Gazette reporter Christopher Curtis shared a photo of the flag hanging in the window of a dwelling on rue Adam in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough on Sunday, June 14.
The photo shows the red and white flag with the swastika at its centre hanging alongside the flag of the United States.
Neighbourhood residents began expressing their fear on social networks.
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) intervened in the early afternoon following a complaint from a neighbour.
Police spokesperson Véronique Comtois told Narcity Québec that the person in charge of the premises took the flag down at officers' request.
Comtois pointed out, however, that the person met by the police may not have been the one who put up the flag.
"A report has been written and there will be an investigation to find out who put the flag up and the intentions behind the display of this symbol," she explained.
Sent this pic to my buddy @titocurtis. 2 hrs and over a 100 RTs later, it’s taken down. Way to go mtL twitter https://t.co/UuKFNGhNzs— Shaparty (@Shaparty) 1592161435.0
The spokeswoman could not say whether the mere display of the Nazi flag constituted a criminal offence, saying that several factors would be taken into account in the investigation.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, a person may be convicted of an indictable offence if they, "by communicating statements in a public place, [incite] hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace."
Le drapeau nazi dans la résidence d'un citoyen d'Hochelaga-Maisonneuve a été retiré. Le racisme n'a pas sa place da… https://t.co/bDYL75Esao— Pierre Lessard-Blais (@Pierre Lessard-Blais) 1592166112.0
Such an act is "punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, or of a summary conviction offence."
The borough mayor of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Pierre Lessard-Blais, took to Twitter to share his reaction to the incident.
"Racism has no place in our community," he said.
"We are all Montrealers."
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.