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Albertans condemn anti-Muslim hate crimes in Edmonton

“The actions of this individual have traumatized these three women and created a significant level of fear in our community,” said EPS Sgt. Gary Willits

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Following a string of anti-Muslim attacks to begin the year, the EPS Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit (HCVEU) arrested and charged 44-year-old Shane Edward Tremblay in connection with three recent hate-motivated incidents involving women.

The first incident occurred at approximately 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, February 3, at the University of Alberta Transit Centre, involving a 19-year-old woman wearing a hijab waiting inside the Transit Centre.

The suspect allegedly became more aggressive towards the female, posturing he was about to assault her after a series of racially-charged comments.

The accused fled the scene after an ETS Transit employee became involved.

The second incident occurred 30 minutes later, at approximately 12:45 p.m., between 100 Street and 82 Avenue, involving a 27-year-old black female wearing a burka walking on the sidewalk alone.

The suspect ran across the road, stopping in front of the female and blocking her path, allegedly swearing and yelling insults at the female. 

The suspect then left, crossing the street. 

The female thought the suspect was gone and continued walking eastbound, crossing 99 Street. The suspect returned, coming up behind the female, then pushed her while threatening to kill her and tear off her Burka. 

The suspect then left the area.

The 44-year-old accused male is also facing charges connected to a third hate-motivated incident at approximately 2:10 p.m. on Thursday, January 18.

The same suspect allegedly uttered racially motivated threats at a 43-year-old black woman outside of a convenience store near 91 Street and 82 Avenue. The male allegedly followed the female complainant back inside the store, where he proceeded to assault the woman. 

The accused fled the scene on foot before the arrival of police. The complainant did not require medical attention.

“The actions of this individual have traumatized these three women and created a significant level of fear in our community,” said EPS Sgt. Gary Willits of the EPS Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit. 

“I’m grateful to our partners, including ETS Transit officials, the University of Alberta Protective Services, businesses along Whyte Avenue and the convenience store staff, all of whom played an instrumental role in identifying our suspect, who is well known to police and ETS for multiple related incidents over the last few years.”

Tremblay, of no fixed address, is charged with three counts of uttering threats and assault.

The Western Standard reached out to members from Alberta’s ethnic communities, who commented on the unfolding situation, and similar incidents reported from December.

Jojo Ruba, the Youth Coordinator to Faith Builder International Church, was deeply saddened to hear Albertans faced discrimination.

“As Filipino-Canadians, we are so glad to have been welcomed by Canadians. We can’t imagine how hard it must be for new Canadians, including our friends in the Muslim community, who don’t have that kind of support,” said Ruba.

“We hope the provincial government will be able to enforce the laws that prevent harm against fellow Albertans who are targeted just because of their race or religion.” 

Raj Sidhu, Director of Operations for Calgary’s Dashmesh Culture Centre, was disappointed and heartbroken with the hate crimes committed against Muslim women in Edmonton recently. 

“There is no place for that violence in our society. No one should be scared to walk the streets of Alberta,” he said.

“We live in a great province and country where the majority care for one another, but unfortunately, these issues still happen today.” 

Sidhu calls for more dialogue and education about racism and how it can stop it, starting at the grassroots level. 

“We need to be teaching this at our schools, community centers and places of worship, make investments in an open dialogue with the public, as this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

“As Albertans, we love and care for everyone regardless of their skin colour and religious beliefs. 

Sheikh Fayaz Tilley, of Calgary’s Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre, concurred with the sentiment, as people have an obligation to educate, which he hopes will curb, curtail and mitigate before-mentioned behaviours and attitudes.

“As humans, we need to equate all forms of racism, prejudice and bigotry as they stem from the same tree of ignorance and hate. We call upon everyone and every level of government to come together and condemn hate,” he said.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley said that she’s glad the individual connected with these vicious, hate-motivated attacks was arrested.

“These victims deserve justice,” she said.

“We have to heal as a community. We also have to press ahead with real action to combat racism in Edmonton and right across Alberta.”

Premier Jason Kenney also commented, stating: “Hate and violence have absolutely no place in Alberta. Those responsible for these cowardly acts should face the full force of the law.”

Dhaliwal is a Western Standard reporter based in Edmonton

News

Trudeau’s beach denier demoted

Trudeau was photographed twice on a beach in Tofino after deciding to skip the first day of a holiday he created — the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.

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The Justin Trudeau spokesman who told reporters the prime minister “wasn’t on a beach” when he was, has been demoted, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Trudeau was photographed twice on a beach in Tofino after deciding to skip the first day of a holiday he created — the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.

Trudeau had promised to “set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government.”

Alex Wellstead will be “taking on new challenges” as press secretary to the industry minister, the Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday.  

Wellstead. Courtesy Twitter

Wellstead in a statement called it “a very difficult decision to make.” He had worked as Trudeau’s official spokesman for 20 months.

Wellstead on September 30 issued misleading statements to conceal the fact Trudeau spent the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at a beach resort in Tofino, B.C.

“He wasn’t on a beach,” Wellstead told The Canadian Press at the time. Global News and the weekly Chilliwack Progress photographed Trudeau strolling on the beach and enjoying a glass of beer on a beachfront patio.

The Prime Minister’s Office claimed Trudeau was in private meetings in Ottawa. Staff flew an Indian Residential School “survivors’ flag” and issued a solemn statement in Trudeau’s name.

“We remember the children who never made it home,” it said.

Wellstead did not explain his conduct.

“You as a communicator need to understand everything,” Wellstead said in a March 30 interview with public relations students at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont.

The prime minister in 2015 Ministerial Mandate letters said officials must be truthful and transparent.

“Members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, indeed all journalists in Canada and abroad, are professionals who by asking necessary questions contribute in an important way to the democratic process,” wrote Trudeau.

“Your professionalism and engagement with them is essential.

“We have committed to set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government. It is time to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it serves.

“Government and its information should be open by default. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians.

“It is important that we acknowledge mistakes when we make them. Canadians do not expect us to be perfect. They expect us to be honest, open and sincere in our efforts to serve the public interest.”

Trudeau on October 6 apologized for the Tofino holiday.

“Traveling on September 30 was a mistake and I regret it,” the prime minister told reporters.

“What made you decide to take a personal trip on a day your government set aside to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools?” asked a reporter.

“Like I said, it was a mistake,” replied Trudeau.

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Feds threaten regulated businesses with COVID fines

The labour department in a statement said it would rewrite the Canada Labour Code to mandate vaccination for some 955,000 private sector employees in federally regulated sectors like air transportation, banking, broadcasting, grain milling, marine shipping, railways and interprovincial trucking.

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If they don’t mandate vaccination of workers, the Labour department is threatening to levy cash fines against airports, banks, radio stations and other federally-regulated employers, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

But the Liberals stopped short of repeating an earlier threat to strip workers of legal rights to challenge vaccine orders.

“It is time to move on,” said Government House Leader Mark Holland.

“Get vaccinated. That’s what Canadians expect to have happen.

“I think the country understands we have now 90% of Canadians who have had their first injection, over 86% with their second. All workplaces across the country” should promote vaccinations, he added.

The labour department in a statement said it would rewrite the Canada Labour Code to mandate vaccination for some 955,000 private sector employees in federally regulated sectors like air transportation, banking, broadcasting, grain milling, marine shipping, railways and interprovincial trucking.

First Nations businesses will be exempt.

“Employers who do not comply with their obligations under the Canada Labour Code may be subject to compliance and enforcement measures including administrative monetary penalties,” the notice said.

“The government will consult with key stakeholders, including representatives of small and medium-sized employers, as it works expeditiously to finalize the new regulations which would come into force in early 2022. The government will also develop resources to help federally regulated workplaces implement the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.”

The notice made no reference to a liability shield proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the election campaign. Trudeau on September 1 said a re-elected Liberal cabinet would shield employers from any legal challenge of vaccination orders.

“We’ll stand firm on our commitment,” said Trudeau, adding: “We’ll protect businesses that mandate vaccinations from unjustified lawsuits.”

Canadians who declined a COVID-19 shot were “more than just wrong, because everyone’s entitled to their opinion, they are putting at risk their own kids and they’re putting at risk our kids as well,” said Trudeau.

“What about my choice to keep my kids safe? What about our choices to make sure we’re getting through this pandemic as quickly as we can?”

The Liberal Party in its September 1 campaign platform stated: “A re-elected Liberal government will table legislation to ensure every business and organization that decides to require proof of vaccination from employees and customers can do so without fear of a legal challenge.”

Compulsory vaccination breaches federal law, according to a May 19 statement by Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien and 1996 National Immunization Report by the Department of Health.

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Firearms lobby group shoots down Liberal move to decriminalize gun laws

The Liberal government is moving again to eliminate the mandatory minimum prison (MMPs) times handed to people convicted of some gun crimes.

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The Liberal’s move to decriminalize numerous firearms laws show they are only interested in punishing legal gun owners, says the executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

“It must seem obvious to anyone that the Liberal’s real agenda is to persecute and punish lawful firearms owners — by definition, the people that don’t break the law. Every time a new Liberal gun control measure is announced, it is directed at the law-abiding while the punishments for real criminals are lessened,” Tony Bernardo told the Western Standard.

The Liberal government is moving again to eliminate the mandatory minimum prison (MMPs) times handed to people convicted of some gun crimes.

A proposed Liberal bill would affect 14 Criminal Code sections and six drug-related offences.

The gun offences that would see MMPs dropped include possessing a restricted firearm with ammunition, weapons trafficking, discharging a firearm while committing an offence, reckless discharge of a firearm, and extortion and robbery with a firearm.

It follows a similar bill the party introduced in February that died without being passed when the election was called in August.

It would remove MMPs from 13 firearms offences and one for a tobacco offence.

MMPs would remain for murder, treason, impaired driving and sexual offences, as well as a some firearms offences.

“The Liberal’s C-5 has nothing to do with helping marginalized Canadians and everything to do with protecting the predators of our society,” said Bernardo.

“Yet, they are willing to spend billions to take competition rifles from sportspersons under the guise of making us safer. Where are the promised protections to the urban Canadians that have their neighbourhoods ravaged every week by drugs, gangs, and violence?

“Why has this government forsaken the people in rural areas that have their hard-earned property stolen with impunity? Where are the safe streets these political carpetbaggers sell every election? Where is the outrage from Canadians as the Liberals lie their way through another mandate?”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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