11/24/2017 05:27 EST | Updated 11/24/2017 05:41 EST

Jewish group, residents of Ontario town urge new name for Swastika Trail

PUSLINCH, Ont. — A major Jewish advocacy group in Canada is demanding that a municipality in southwestern Ontario rename a street called Swastika Trail.

B'nai Brith Canada started a petition Thursday after residents in Puslinch Township, about 75 kilometres west of Toronto, approached the organization for help.

The group says it will present the petition at a township council meeting Dec. 21, where politicians and community members will discuss renaming the street.

B'nai Brith Canada says residents of Swastika Trail, which was named in the 1920s, are embarrassed by the street name, especially when forced to use it on driver's licences or other government documents.

The organization says despite the swastika's ancient origins, it is inappropriate today for a Canadian street to bear its name because it is still used as a symbol for hate and racism.

In an online statement, B'nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn says maintaining the street name would also be an insult to Holocaust survivors and a "gross disservice" to veterans.

"Tens of thousands of Canadian servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice to combat Nazi tyranny," Mostyn says. "Millions more were victimized by the evil depravity symbolized today by the swastika."