Poilievre criticized over using 'racist' thin blue line in commemoration for Edmonton officers

Poilievre criticized over using 'racist' thin blue line in commemoration for Edmonton officers
Poilievre criticized over using 'racist' thin blue line in commemoration for Edmonton officers

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: السبت 18 مارس 2023 04:29 مساءً

Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre is facing some criticism on social media after posting a commemoration for two officers killed in Edmonton this week. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is facing criticism after sharing a social media post, meant to commemorate a pair of Edmonton officers who were killed this week.

Many people on Twitter were startled to see the Canadian politician include a grey image of the Edmonton police crest, which included a thin blue line on top of it, along with his message of condolence. Some users even felt it was a dog whistle signalling to a fascist movement.

The thin blue line is a symbol that's been associated white supremacy, and in Canada, it's often featured atop of a grey or black and white Canadian flag. It is said to show police solidarity or to commemorate a fallen officer. However, since the start of the Black Lives Matters movement, many argue the thin blue line symbolizes an "us vs. them" mentality.

Several forces across the country have had to deal with the controversy of the symbol in recent years. In January, the Vancouver Police Board confirmed that officers were forbidden to wear patches or pins with the thin blue line. A similar move was made by Victoria police in 2020.

Last year, the RCMP in Nova Scotia reminded its officers that the unauthorized patches are not allowed to be worn in uniform.

The Calgary Police Service has also ordered their officers not to wear patches with a thin blue line on their uniform. However, they are permitted to wear a pin with a thin blue line.

Earlier this week, an Ottawa councillor denounced the city's police officers for wearing the pin on a hockey jersey at a charity event.

On Twitter, users called out Poilievre for politicizing the tragedy in Edmonton, while promoting what many consider to be a symbol associated with racism.

Poilievre has not addressed the controversy.

Edmonton police Const. Travis Jordan, 35, and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, were killed Thursday by a 16-year-old who then took his own life, according to officials. Police also said the teenager shot and wounded his mother.

"I can't tell you how devastated we are with their loss," Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee told the Associated Press.

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