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Calgary

Asian Canadians demand Derek Sloan be kicked out of the Conservative party for racist remarks

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Calgary, AB- Asian Canadians demand Conservative leadership candidate be kicked out of the party for racist remarks.

A new national network, ACT2endracism, calls on political leaders to unequivocally denounce racist attacks by Conservative MP, Derek Sloan, against Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam.

The racist online attack against Dr. Tam is the latest example of growing anti-Asian sentiment and violence due to Covid-19. The incidents mobilized Asian communities across Canada to form the new national network, Asian Canadians Together To End Racism (ACT2endracism). Former Alberta MLA Teresa Woo-Paw, of Action, Chinese Canadians Together Foundation:

“Dr. Theresa Tam’s steady guidance through this pandemic has reassured Canadians during this unprecedented crisis. Her professional integrity and personal loyalty to our country has been attacked because of her ethnicity.”

Human Rights lawyer Walter Chi-yan Tom, of the Chinois progressistes du Québec, agrees:

“This is race-baiting at its lowest. We cannot allow those who lead, or aspire to lead a national political party, to fan the flames of hate in our country. It’s racist to think Dr. Tam is less Canadian because she is Chinese.”

The group is calling on Members of Parliament, Senators, and political leaders, to publicly condemn anti-Asian racism. They want Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer to send a message and expel Conservative MP, Sloan from caucus. They say the ‘turn the other cheek’ attitude from political parties perpetuates ongoing oppressions of visible minorities.

We must not forget our painful history where Japanese Canadians faced Internment Camps, along with the 62 years of legislated racism with the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act.

Judy Hanazawa, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association President, added the following:

“During the 1940’s Japanese Canadians, like my parents, endured internment and horrible injustices. Sadly, Derek Sloan’s repugnant and xenophobic accusations show how the stereotype of Asian Canadians as the perpetual untrustworthy, foreigner persists today.”

The network will work with community groups across Canada to collect data, share, develop support and resources to combat racism and hate crime.

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Alberta

Protecting the right to vote for Canadian citizens: Minister McIver

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Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver issued the following statement in response to Calgary City Council’s vote to extend the right to vote to permanent residents:

“Yesterday, Calgary city council passed a motion advocating for permanent residents to be extended the right to vote in civic elections. Alberta’s government has been clear since the beginning: only Canadian citizens are able to vote in civic elections. That will not be changing.

“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affirms the right of every Canadian citizen to vote and to run as a candidate. This right extends to voters in municipal, provincial and federal elections.

“Protecting our democracy is of the utmost importance. Our provincial election legislation, like the Local Authorities Elections Act, has also been clear since its inception that voting is a right of Canadian citizens.

“Alberta’s government is also ensuring that voting is accessible for more Albertans. The Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act proposes to enable special ballot access for any voter who requests it, without having to provide any specific reason such as physical disability, absence from the municipality or working for the municipal election. The ministries of Seniors, Community and Social Services and Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction are also making it easier for individuals to obtain the identification Albertans need for a variety of services, including the ability to cast a ballot.

“Our government will continue to protect the integrity of our elections and make sure voting is accessible for all Albertans who are Canadian citizens.”

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Alberta

Three Calgary massage parlours linked to human trafficking investigation

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News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

ALERT’s Human Trafficking unit has searched and closed three Calgary massage parlours. A year-long investigation has linked the businesses and its owner to suspected human trafficking.

ALERT arrested Hai (Anna) Yan Ye on April 16, 2024 and charged the 48-year-old with advertising sexual services, drug offences and firearms offences. The investigation remains ongoing and further charges are being contemplated.

Ye was linked to three commercial properties and two homes that were allegedly being used for illegal sexual activities and services. The massage parlours were closed following search warrant executions carried out by ALERT, the Calgary Police Service, and the RCMP:

  • Seagull Massage at 1034 8 Avenue SW;
  • 128 Massage at 1935 37 Street SW; and
  • The One Massage Centre at 1919 31 Street SE.
  • 1100-block of Hidden Valley Drive; and
  • 3100-block of 12 Avenue SW.

As result of the search warrants, ALERT also seized:

  • $15,000 in suspected proceeds of crime;
  • Shotgun with ammunition; and
  • Various amounts of drugs.

“We believe that these were immigrants being exploited into the sex trade. This has been a common trend that takes advantage of their unfamiliarity and vulnerability,” said Staff Sergeant Gord MacDonald, ALERT Human Trafficking.

Four suspected victims were identified and provided resources by ALERT’s Safety Network Coordinators.

ALERT’s investigation dates back to February 2023 when a tip was received about suspicious activity taking place at the since-closed Moonlight Massage. That location was closed during the investigation, in December 2023, when the landlord identified illegal suites on the premises.

The investigation involved the close cooperation with City of Calgary Emergency Management and Community Safety, Alberta’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) team, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the RCMP.

Ye was released from custody on a number of court-imposed conditions.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or any case involving suspected human trafficking offences, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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