Just a week into campaigning and the B.C. election has already taken an ugly turn.
At least two campaign signs of candidates in North Vancouver-Lonsdale were defaced with swastikas this week.
Veteran MLA Naomi Yamamoto, who is running for a third term, as well as B.C. NDP challenger Bowinn Ma, posted photos to social media of the hateful symbol on their signs.
— Bowinn Ma, P.Eng (@BowinnMa) April 17, 2017
"My team and I are not going to allow this to distract us from communicating positively with people of North Vancouver," Yamamoto said in an email to The Huffington Post Canada.
Yamamoto, the incumbent in the riding and the provincial minister of state for emergency preparedness is the first Japanese-Canadian to be elected to the B.C. legislature.
Politicians from other parties condemned the graffiti.
@naomiyamamoto not my BC either. So sorry to see this Naomi. Racism has no place in our democracy.— S Chandra Herbert (@SChandraHerbert) April 17, 2017
"I don’t have anything to add today, except that I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support from across party lines in response to what took place," Yamamoto added.
Last week, 34 of the Liberal's campaign signs had been smashed or stolen, but none of those included graffiti.
The provincial election, scheduled for May 9, saw its first controversy last week when BC Green candidate Mark Neufeld appropriated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I've Been To The Mountaintop" speech.
Neufeld has since apologized, and his party leader says he stands by the Saanich South candidate.