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Winnipeg kosher restaurant vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2019-02-03 CBC/Radio-Canada
a close up of a box covered in snow: BerMax Caffe and Bistro was vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti at some point late last week. Winnipeg police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime. © Sarah Petz/CBC BerMax Caffe and Bistro was vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti at some point late last week. Winnipeg police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Police are investigating vandalism at a Winnipeg restaurant as a hate crime.

The word "Jew" was spray-painted on the windows and in the parking lot of BerMax Caffe and Bistro, which serves Italian and Middle Eastern kosher meals out of its Corydon Avenue location.

a sign on the side of a building: BerMax Caffe and Bistro on Corydon Avenue serves kosher food. © Sarah Petz/CBC BerMax Caffe and Bistro on Corydon Avenue serves kosher food.

Const. Jay Murray, a spokesman for Winnipeg police, said police received a report of graffiti at the restaurant Friday morning.

The incident is now being investigated by hate crimes investigators within the Major Crimes Unit, Murray said.

CBC reached out to the restaurant's owners and are awaiting a response. 

Laurel Malkin, president of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, said it is sad to see incidents like this continue to happen in the city.

"I like to think that Winnipeg is such a diverse community and that we're welcoming of so many people from so many countries and religions. And it saddens me that we're still seeing these anti-Semitic acts," she said, pointing out that Canada has seen a rise in anti-Semitic crimes nationally.

Last November, Statistics Canada released a report that showed that police-reported hate crime in Canada rose sharply in 2017, up 47% over the previous year, which was largely the result of an increase in hate-related property crimes, such as graffiti and vandalism.

Incidents targeting the Muslim, Jewish, and black populations accounted for most of the national increase.

For the year, police reported 2,073 hate crimes, 664 more than in 2016, the report said.

However, the report also showed that the amount of total hate crimes reported to police stayed the same in Manitoba, with 36 reported in 2016 and 2017.

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