The University of Manitoba says it will not tolerate “hateful propaganda,” after upwards of 70 antisemitic posters were discovered in several buildings on its Fort Garry campus in south Winnipeg on Monday.
The messages on the posters contained antisemitic language and defamatory statements against the late Israel Asper, the U of M stated on its website on Tuesday.
The posters were removed and the university continues “to patrol campus to support a safe environment,” the statement said. It also said the Winnipeg Police Service was being asked to investigate.
The university said it “calls out racism and antisemitism in all its forms and does not tolerate the distribution of hateful propaganda” on its campuses.
In an emailed statement Wednesday, U of M spokesperson Eleanor Coopsammy told CBC the posters were “clearly directed at a particular community and served to create a hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment for Jewish students and employees.”
The university put out a public statement regarding the incident this week due to the number of posters found and attention they generated on social media, said Coopsammy.
Security was first notified about the posters by students, she said. They were displayed and left in areas around Drake Centre, which is home to the university’s I.H. Asper School of Business, and across the Fort Garry campus.
Israel (Izzy) Asper, who died in 2003, was the founder of the Winnipeg-based CanWest Global Communications media empire and the driving force behind the Canadian Museum for Human Rights being built in Winnipeg. He helped establish the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Manitoba, and its faculty of business was renamed the I.H. Asper School of Business in his honour.
“We are deeply proud to have our business school named in honour of alum Israel Asper … and truly grateful for our decades-long relationship with the Asper family and the Asper Foundation,” the U of M’s Tuesday statement on its website said.
Winnipeg police confirmed to CBC that they are aware of the posters and are investigating.
The matter has been assigned to the major crime unit’s hate crime co-ordinators, but no other information is available at this point, Const. Claude Chancy said in an email.