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New provincial hate crimes unit looks to protect Alberta communities: Madu

Last Updated Jun 10, 2021 at 7:23 pm MDT

Minister of Justice Kaycee Madu speaks after a peaceful anti-racism rally in Red Deer turned violent. (PHOTO: Courtney Theriault, CityNews)

EDMONTON — A new hate crimes unit being set up in Alberta will look to help monitor and protect Alberta communities being targeted.

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu announced on Thursday that the government is taking action after a Muslim family was murdered in London, Ont.

The province says this unit will look at strengthening the approach to successfully prosecuting people charged with hate-motivated crimes.

The Alberta government also says a new community liaison will connect directly with ethnic and religious groups, as well as sexual minority communities most targeted by hate-motivated crimes.

“Hate-motivated crimes and racism are unacceptable,” said Madu in a statement. “We’re taking action to help support and empower the communities and groups most affected by this deplorable behaviour. In light of the recent attacks on Canadians simply because of their chosen faith, I hope the new community liaison and Hate Crimes Coordination Unit show Albertans our province is fully committed to protecting those being targeted.”

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“Alberta’s government is committed to the safety and security of all communities that have been impacted by these despicable hate-motivated crimes,” said Leela Aheer, the Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women. “From Black Muslim women in Edmonton and Calgary attacked for wearing hijab to the recent rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Asian hate, these incidents have had a significant impact on Albertans from diverse backgrounds. The new community liaison and Hate Crimes Coordination Unit is a critical step in addressing racism in our province and is the result of strong government leadership and community advocacy.”

The government says that both the hate crimes unit and new liaison position are in early stages and more details will be shared in the coming weeks.