Racist description of Halifax-area town leads to police investigation of transit app

Halifax Regional Police

Halifax police are investigating a possible hate crime after receiving complaints about a smartphone app that used a racial slur to describe a predominantly Black community east of the city.

The Israel-based owners of the public transit app Moovit, used by 50 million transit riders in 112 countries, issued an apology Wednesday and removed the offensive description of North Preston, saying the use of the N-word was highly inappropriate and racist.

The company says the description came from an external database that uses crowdsourced or user-generated data for addresses and points of interest.

Moovit says it does not tolerate racism and says it plans to do a better job of filtering and removing unacceptable content.

Keith Colwell, the provincial politician who represents North Preston, says his constituents are outraged by an incident he described as on the "edges of a hate crime.''

Colwell says he's hoping Halifax Regional Police will find the person responsible for posting the ugly slight.