06/17/2015 12:02 EDT | Updated 06/17/2016 05:59 EDT

Racist graffiti prompts action from Nanaimo mayor

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay wants to tackle racism plaguing his city with a task force, following two recent incidents targeting Chinese immigrants and real estate agents.

In recent weeks, flyers began circulating in Nanaimo's north end which featured photos of Chinese language real estate ads. The flyers told readers the city was being over-run by Chinese immigration.

Then over the weekend nine bus stop ads for several Chinese real estate agents were hit by graffiti with anti-Chinese slurs and swastikas.

"Most of the community is absolutely appalled," said McKay.

"What we need right now is almost a crisis-mode task force, if you will, to look for best practices and keep the citizenry in Nanaimo engaged in the conversation."

The task force would include cultural society leaders, academics from Vancouver Island University and police, said McKay.

Nanaimo RCMP are still investigating the graffiti and whether it could be classified as a hate crime. No charges have been laid.