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December 16, 2017
June 15, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cyber warfare and online hate

Written by Jeff Samsonow

We’re going to use the defence minister’s visit to CFB Edmonton as our jumping off point for some more talk about hate and hate crimes today.

The armed forces base, already one of the largest in the country, is expected to see its ranks grow as the federal government ramps up military spending. Along with more military might, the armed forces are expected to create a new cyber-warfare division to battle hacking, propaganda and recruitment to militant groups. Let’s hope they target all those online groups that are radicalizing our most persistent and violent threat, angry white men.

Speaking of that very real and, most likely, most dangerous threat to wider public safety, Vice Canada has a must-read investigation of a right-wing militia here in Alberta which is preparing for war on Muslims. As writer Mack Lamoureux points out in the story, some of the very public actions taken by the group would probably receive different reactions from policing organizations if members weren’t white men.

This story comes out as we hear that Alberta is the place seeing the biggest increase in hate crimes in Canada, following a 2015 where conservative politicians whipped up anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Following on word that Edmonton Police charged a local man with hate crimes because of what he was writing about and posting to his websites, there’s a new investigation into political flyers distributed in north Edmonton that promoted hate against LGBTQ2S communities.

If you witness a hate crime, call the police. If you see a hate incident, it’s still worth reporting to the police but also log it on the Stop Hate AB website which is trying to track this around the province. (The difference between hate crime and incident is that something becomes a “crime” when the hate includes a criminal act, like violence.)


Around the city

Just like police are going to need new tools and regulations for determining if a person driving is under the influence of marijuana (or other drugs), many workplaces are going to have to update their rules. Postmedia Edmonton’s got a story that includes some good information about what legalization of marijuana is going to mean for a lot of employers (even if may not be a perfect example of the challenges).

A new urology and prostate clinic is combining resources from multiple hospitals and clinics in Edmonton, which will make it easier for patients in need of such care.

MacEwan Univeristy’s expansion downtown is often in the news, but just a few blocks away, Norquest College is also looking forward to a new building downtown. The smaller college is also looking for some corporate donors to help out with the build. Maybe some of those other revitalized downtown neighbours will step up…

Basically, female elk learn better than males that getting shot is a bad thing.


Public engagement

The City’s public engagement drop-in sessions pick back up tonight, at the Lymburn Community League Hall, 5 – 8 p.m.

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