For immediate release (Ottawa, February 21, 2022)
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is steadfast in condemning hate crimes in Canada, so it is doubling the amount offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons who defaced an art installation in Toronto with anti-Ukrainian, anti-Canadian, pro-Russian hate speech.
Sometime between the 7th and 8th of February, vandals spray-painted hateful messages on a Ukrainian-themed mural covering the façade of Future Bakery in Etobicoke, west of Toronto, owned by a prominent Canadian of Ukrainian background. The profane messages, including ‘Russia is power,’ ‘#LOSERS,’ and ‘F*ck Ukraine and Canada,’ defaced a decades-old mural – irreversible damage to art and property.
Bakery owner Borys Wrzesnewskyj, a former Member of Parliament in Canada, has already offered $5,000 for information leading to a conviction. Today, the UCCLA is doubling the amount to $10,000, with the aim of bringing the criminals before a Canadian judge to answer for their crimes.
UCCLA has printed thousands of postcards announcing the additional reward, which have already been mailed to all parliamentarians as well as to media, relevant police authorities, leaders in civil society and others.
“The war-mongering, imperialist, Kremlin-inspired messages spray-painted by persons unknown on a Toronto small business have no place in Canada, a country of tolerance and diversity,” said Roman Zakaluzny, UCCLA chairman. “We are more than happy to add to the reward to help find the perpetrators who benefit from living in a country of laws, while at the same time defying those very laws and destroying art and private property.”
The defacement of the bakery mural was denounced by Canadians, united against the idea of old-world hatreds coming to this country, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
For decades, UCCLA has been at the forefront in Canada warning of the dangers of Soviet and Kremlin acts of hatred and propaganda here and abroad, including locating and exposing “former” KGB agents in Canada and calling for their removal, as per Canadian law.