RCMP investigating after two more Chilliwack businesses report racist emails

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Chilliwack

A further two Chilliwack businesses have reported receiving anonymous racist emails after a restaurant owner contacted police over a message received Feb. 28. Les Bazso/PNG

CHILLIWACK— Mounties are investigating what they say are racist emails sent to three Chilliwack businesses.

Police say the first incident was reported on Feb. 28 by the owner of an Indian restaurant after eggs were thrown at his house and animal bones were left at his door.

The owners of a taxi company and second Indian restaurant stepped forward on Sunday and Monday after learning about the first email in media reports including the Sunday Province, and said they too had received similar emails.

All three emails were sent from the same anonymous address.

RCMP Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said that after the first incident was reported an investigator responded to the email and received an anonymous apology.

She said the sender said he or she was having a bad day and dealing with mental health issues.

“We want to speak to the person who wrote these emails and want them to come forward.

“It’s easy enough just to send an apology to somebody, but without a name or a person behind it, it really doesn’t mean much,” Hollingsworth said.

She said police have not discounted that the incidents might be motivated by hate.

“We are certainly looking at all aspects of the investigation in order to better determine what the motivation is.”

The B.C. Hate Crimes Unit is also investigating.

“This isn’t something that our community wants to be known for and it’s certainly not a reflection of what we see in Chilliwack on a regular basis,” Hollingsworth said.

The letter sent to the first restaurant owner said his “people” should clear out because Chilliwack doesn’t “need folk from India and Surrey to pollute this city,” the Sunday Province reported.

“Your people come from a third-world India living in mud houses and drinking cow piss and bathing in milk,” the letter added.

“I speak on behalf of citizens of Chilliwack,” the writer says. “Your business is never going to succeed. Tell your people this is not a good place for them.”

Under the Criminal Code of Canada if a judge finds a crime, such as an assault, intimidation, harassment or uttering threats, was motivated by hatred against a person or group because of who they are, tougher sentences can be applied.

Chilliwack, with a population of 92,300 has a much higher majority of white, English mother-tongue speakers than B.C.’s average, according to the 2011 census.

— With a file by Sam Cooper, The Province

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