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Calgary police release photos of church arsonist, vandals

Police on Wednesday released a set of three grainy photos of suspects captured by CCTV cameras.

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Calgary police are looking for the public’s help to try and solve a series of church attacks in the city that including setting one on fire and other acts of vandalism.

Police on Wednesday released a set of three grainy photos of suspects captured by CCTV cameras.

“After weeks of investigating a series of church vandalisms that have left many in our city feeling unsafe, including a church fire that is believed to have been deliberately set, police are now turning to the public for help in hopes of identifying several suspects believed to be involved,” Calgary Police Service said in a release.

“We acknowledge the trauma, hurt and anger being felt by many in the community over the recent news of graves being found at former residential schools. While the vast majority of people have been peacefully expressing their responses to these events, the illegal vandalism and burning of churches across the country is dangerous and wrong.

“We remain committed to working towards peaceful reconciliation with the indigenous community while still performing our duties of upholding the law and protecting public safety.”

Police began investigating after orange and red graffiti was seen on the exterior of 11 churches during the night of Wednesday, June 30, or in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 1, 2021.

In one case, a window was smashed so paint could also be thrown inside. Handprints, the number “215” and other markings suggest the vandalism was in response to the graves recently found at former residential schools, police said.

A few days later, on Sunday, July 4, 2021, at approximately 7:20 p.m., a suspicious fire occurred at a church in Forest Heights prompting the Arson Unit to work closely with the Calgary Fire Department to investigate.

The three incidents in which photos were released are:

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, Grace Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral:

At least three suspects are believed to have targeted St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, 819 13 Ave. S.W., Grace Presbyterian Church at 1009 15 Ave. S.W., and St. Mary’s Cathedral, 219 18 Ave. S.W. No suspect descriptions are available.

St. Mary’s suspect

St. Bonaventure Catholic Church:

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, at approximately 2:40 a.m., an unknown woman was captured on CCTV using orange and red paint to apply graffiti to the St. Bonaventure Catholic Church located at 1600 Acadia Dr. S.E. She was wearing a black hooded sweater with the hood up, dark pants and a dark mask.

St. Bonaventure Catholic Church suspect

Holy Trinity Church:

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, at approximately 1:45 a.m., multiple unknown suspects were captured smearing orange paint in the shape of handprints on the doors of Holy Trinity Church, 1525 45 St. S.E., and splashing the paint on the sidewalks. The following photos are of the same suspect, who is believed to be female.  No further suspect description is available.

A police press conference is set to take place Wednesday afternoon.

Holy Trinity suspect

Police said if you’re struggling to process the emotions around any of the recent events, it is perfectly normal to need some help and support. Here are some agencies that can help:

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

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. K

    July 22, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Good! Do something right for once and get the actual criminals.

  2. Penny4YourThouhts

    July 21, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Sure is a good thing that masks are part of the norm now. Makes it easier for criminals.

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Liberal Internet censorship plans no laughing matter

Provisions of the bill “are designed to chill speech” and would impose a “censorship regime” on Canadian internet users, said the Society.

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Jokes will be banned on the Internet if the Liberals get their way, says the Canadian chapter of the Internet Society.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the group has petitioned Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department to drop his censorship bill.

“The scheme as a whole is aimed at the suppression of speech and cannot be justified in a free and democratic society,” said the Society whose members include a former federal judge.

“This is completely wrong,” the society wrote in a submission to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Cabinet said if re-elected it would introduce Bill C-36 An Act To Amend The Criminal Code that lapsed in the last Parliament.

Provisions of the bill “are designed to chill speech” and would impose a “censorship regime” on Canadian internet users, said the society.

“The censorship regime is designed to favour censorship over free speech,” it said.

Parliament in 1970 banned hate speech under the Criminal Code, but Bill C-36 would expand the ban to legal content “likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group” under threat of $70,000 fines or house arrest.

The Department of Justice June 23 said the measures “would apply to public communications by individual users on the Internet, including on social media, on personal websites and in mass e-mails,” blog posts, online news sites, “operators of websites that primarily publish their own content” and user-comment sections.

“The proposed legislative scheme is contrary to the guarantees of free speech enshrined in the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms as it applies to lawful speech,” wrote the Internet Society.

“The Charter protects not only the expressive rights of Canadians but the right of Canadians to access the expression of others.”

Society board members include Konrad von Finckenstein, a former federal judge and ex-chair of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, former CRTC commissioner Tim Denton, three corporate lawyers, a former treasurer of the Canadian Media guild and ex-director of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

The Society called Bill C-36 a “wholly unprecedented” measure.

“A certain humility is necessary when Canada attempts to take on the role of policing all harmful speech, everywhere, in the name of protecting the sensibilities of Canadians,” it wrote.

“The scheme is unworthy of consideration by Parliament. Its implementation would diminish the rights of Canadians while failing in its purpose of protecting Canadians from internet harms. The proposal should be withdrawn.”

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Allison: Official bilingualism creates a regional power imbalance

Westerners must join the elite minority of bilinguals by learning a second language or be left behind when it comes to rising the ranks of Canada’s federal institutions.

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Bilinguals make up only 18% of our population, yet they dominate our federal institutions.

The reason for this is no secret. Canada’s official bilingualism, legally enshrined in the Official Languages Act (1969), gives a distinct advantage to one class of Canadians; bilinguals, over all others. The Act requires that federal institutions provide services in both French and English. The result is that 40% of federal public service jobs are “designated bilingual.” This means that some 300,000 jobs which make up our federal bureaucracies are available only to 18% of Canadians and closed to the other 82%

What does this mean for regional representation in our federal institutions? It means overrepresentation from Quebec and underrepresentation from the West. About 45% of Quebecers are bilingual whereas only 7% of those in the prairie provinces are bilingual. Thus, the pool of qualified candidates for federal public service jobs is going to be overwhelmingly filled with Quebecers while having scarcely any Westerners. As spokesman for Canadians for Language Fairness, Gordon Miller, writes: “The Official Languages Act has allowed this group [the “Laurentian elite”] to dominate the federal government bureaucracy and further entrench the dominance of the Eastern provinces in federal affairs.”

The Laurentian elite does dominate the federal public service. A total of 67% of the federal public service is made up of Quebecers and Ontarians and only 11% are from the prairie provinces. Of course, official bilingualism is not the only cause that has explanatory power in the case of this discrepancy. The federal capital being located on the border between the two most populous provinces also plays a significant role in determining the regional makeup of the federal public service (a separate and distinct advantage that the Laurentians have over Westerners in controlling federal institutions). In fact, 42% of federal public service employees live in the National Capital Region in Ottawa-Gatineau.

But, when it comes to those who rise the ranks in Canada’s federal bureaucracy, official bilingualism provides an explanation for its overwhelmingly Quebecer makeup. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal Marc Noël, the Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson for the National Film Board of Canada Claude Joli-Coeur, the Director and CEO of the Canada Council of the Arts Simon Brault, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Stéphane Perrault, and the Director of CSIS David Vigneault are all Quebecers. The board of directors for the CBC, is also made up of 33% Quebecers with only one member hailing from the prairie provinces — Jennifer Moore Rattray from Manitoba. As Washington Post columnist, J.J. McCullough, suggests: “It is really hard to argue that by some massive coincidence the most qualified people for all of these jobs just happen to be Quebecers.”

Indeed, it is no coincidence. Since all federal institutions must provide services in both French and English, it is likely to have a bilingual in charge of these federal bureaucracies in order to ensure that these institutions run smoothly. As a result, Quebecers with their disproportionate number of bilinguals, have come to dominate the highest ranks of these bureaucracies.

Official bilingualism lays the groundwork for these regional disparities in Canada’s federal bureaucracies. Quebecers are overwhelmingly more likely to be bilingual than Westerners. As such, Westerners must join the elite minority of bilinguals by learning a second language or be left behind when it comes to rising the ranks of Canada’s federal institutions.

Andrew Allison is a PhD philosophy student at the University of Calgary
andrew.allison@ucalgary.ca

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Sask removes QR codes from vaccine passports

Residents will be able to download their proof of vaccination record on Saturday, but the QR code will not be included.

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Saskatchewan is temporarily removing QR codes from its vaccine passports after privacy breaches were found.

The government said the vaccination records of up to 19 residents have the potential to display another person’s QR code.

The province said one person’s private information has been “erroneously captured.”

That person has been notified, as has the Office of the Information and Privacy Officer of Saskatchewan.

Residents will be able to download their proof of vaccination record on Saturday, but the QR code will not be included.

“Citizens who have already printed/downloaded/captured the QR code on their COVID-19 vaccination record between September 19-24, are asked to destroy/delete any records with their COVID-19 QR code as the code will be made invalid,” the government said in a release.

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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