A social media post shared from the 55 Division Facebook page has been deleted due to “inflammatory language,” Toronto Police Service has said.
The post was about an alleged “anti-Trudeau protest” scheduled for noon Saturday, Nov. 4, at Kew Gardens and a block party that had been arranged in response by the groups East Enders Against Racism, SAFE: Solidarity Against Fascism Everywhere, and Toronto IWW General Defence Committee Local 28.
“In the ever-so-reliable social media world, the protest began being spread as a White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi & Fascist protest,” the since-deleted 55 Division post said. “In response to the protest having these dynamics, counter protests were planned by various opposition groups; Communists & Socialists etc.”
“Police have monitored the issue since we became aware of the proposed protest and continue to do so.”
According to media reports, the anti-Trudeau protest was promoted online by Kevin Goudreau, chairman of the Canadian Nationalist Front, a White nationalist organization calling for immigration reform and a “return to Canada’s original ethnic demographics.”
TPS Const. Michelle Flannery confirmed the 55 Division post had been removed.
“It (the post) was removed because of some inflammatory language,” said Flannery.
She said she “cannot speak to” whether the inflammatory language was contained in the post itself or in the comments, many of which were critical, that followed.
Flannery added that “each division is responsible for their own Facebook posts” but that there was “direction to have it replaced.”
In cases like this, direction would have come from high-ranking Toronto Police Service staff, Flannery explained.
Before its removal, a copy of the post had been shared from the Facebook account belonging to Jonathan Morrice, 55 Division’s crime prevention officer, to a local community group, drawing criticism for its wording. Facebook users shared the post dozens of times to various community and private pages.
After its deletion, a new post apologizing for using “misleading” language and offending readers has been shared from the 55 Division Facebook page.
“55 Division works closely with the community to ensure our public areas are safe for everyone and that includes everyone’s right to a peaceful and lawful protest,” the follow-up post, published around 1:30 p.m., stated.
“My previous post used language that was misleading and was a follow up to a specific previous thread. It offended some readers. I apologize for that,” the post continued. “Police will continue to do what they can to ensure a safe & secure event for everyone who attends.”
The deleted post from Toronto police said the south side of Queen Street East was going to be closed to parking from Bellefair Avenue to Lee Avenue during the event.
Const. Morrice did not respond to a call requesting comment.