This graffiti was found outside the Elgin Street courthouse in Ottawa

Graffiti at the Ottawa courthouse, Nov. 15, 2021. (Credit: B'nai Brith Canada).

Ottawa’s Jewish community was shocked to wake up and learn that homophobic and antisemitic graffiti had been spray painted at the courthouse on Elgin Street on Nov. 15.

A swastika was painted on the sign outside the courthouse. Homophobic graffiti was also painted on the side of the building.

Ottawa Police Service said they were called to the scene at 8:20 a.m. The Hate and Bias Crime Unit is investigating the incident.

Jewish groups were quick to condemn the hateful messages.

“The swastika is a symbol of the murder of millions of Jews, and the terrorization of millions more. This hateful graffiti represents hostility toward Canada’s democratic values,” said Andrea Freeman, Ottawa Federation CEO. “This is an attack on a core Canadian institution with imagery used to both intimidate Jews and to cynically appropriate our trauma and the Jewish lived experience for totally unrelated political purposes. We abhor the continuing use of the Holocaust, Nazism, and the genocide of European Jews for propaganda purposes. It must stop.”

B’nai Brith Canada had a similar message, tweeting: “We strongly condemn the vile hate graffiti vandalizing the Ottawa court house today. We are painfully reminded that antisemitism is a serious issue in our country. We hope and expect that the Ottawa Police will identify the vandals and they will face full legal consequences. “