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Calgary

New text and online reporting tool to track rising incidents of hate speech and racism towards Asians

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2 minute read

May 5, 2020

Calgary-AB

Act2endracism launches a new text and online reporting tool to gather information on microaggressions, hate speech and racism directed towards Asians due to Covid-19.

The tool is the latest resource to be developed in Canada to gather information on incidents, which often go unreported.

The texting and online reporting tool is a virtual helper named, ​‘Mei’​, ​which takes a victim through a series of questions to document an incident. Mei was developed by Linda Chan, the founder of BIGSBPS technology solutions in Calgary. The technology was created for the financial and mortgage industry initially but with escalating violence and aggression towards Asians due to the pandemic, Chan adapted it as a mechanism to report hateful incidents.

Former Alberta MLA Teresa Woo-Paw, of Action, Chinese Canadians Together (ACCT) Foundation, stated, “May is Asian Heritage Month and we thought it was the perfect name for the new multilingual, national text line. Racism is ugly and we wanted to make reporting easier and more supportive. It’s quick and easy to use. We encourage people to share their experiences to build community.”

ACT2endracism was created in just two weeks as a coordinated response between thousands of concerned Canadians worried about escalating anti-Asian sentiment. The network pressed the Conservative Party to expel one of its MPs for racist remarks directed at Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam. The inaction from our leaders normalizes hateful behaviour.

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

“We encourage everyone to add this number, 587-507-3838 to their contact list. We offer support to victims and it allows bystanders to file a report if they witness an attack. If you are injured and in immediate danger you should call 911.”

The reporting tool offers an option to those who may be uncomfortable with reporting incidents to police. The network is collaborating with other community organizations, which are also collecting data.

Data will be used to help develop education and anti racism initiatives. The network will refer people to community supports and track trends.

Todayville is an independently-owned digital media company. We specialize in helping community groups, local businesses and organizations tell their story. Our team has years of media and video production experience. Talk to us about advertising, brand journalism stories, opinion pieces, event promotion, or other ideas you have to make our product better. We also own and operate Todayville Red Deer and Todayville Calgary.

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Alberta

Holiday Mental Health – It’s Okay if it’s not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The stores are stocking up on red and green everything, the shelves are lined with ornaments and dancing reindeer and you can’t ignore it even if you want to – the holiday season is nearly here. 

For many, Christmas means celebrations, decorations, rum and eggnog and time with family. From sledding and snow days to hanging the lights and putting up the tree, there are lots of things to love about the holiday season.
However, for others, there are lots of reasons why it might not be the most wonderful time of the year, and that’s okay too. 

While the claim that suicide rates spike during the holiday season has been repeatedly misused and ultimately disproven as the “holiday suicide myth” (1), the holiday blues are a very real phenomenon. In the midst of the celebratory season, feelings of anxiety, isolation, depression and grief can be overwhelming, particularly when combined with additional stressors such as strained personal relationships and financial uncertainty. Not everyone is looking forward to Christmas, and in the midst of the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many people without employment and unable to travel, the emotional toll of this holiday season promises to be increasingly complex. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Division released a statement regarding coping with the holidays during these unusual and uncertain times. 

“The pandemic has disrupted many yearly holiday traditions and has increased collective anxieties and social isolation. As we look for alternative ways to spread joy and take part in new ways of celebrating the holidays, Albertans must focus on their mental health during an already busy and often overwhelming season.”

According to the CMHA, these are some simple but useful ways to maintain your mental health during the holidays. 

Focus on what you can control. Like the food you eat, the time you have a shower or the media you consume.  

Anxiety is normal. During times of crisis it is normal to feel increased anxiety. Acknowledge those feelings are valid. 

Limit your consumption of media. Allow yourself time to focus on activities you enjoy instead. Reading, listening to music or meditating are all great ways to de-stress when you are unable to attend regular holiday festivities. 

Remain connected to your body. Exercising regularly, getting outside, eating well and resting will support positive mental health. 

Be open with your support system. Identify supportive people you can connect with if you begin to feel overwhelmed or lonely. 

Reach out for help. If you or a loved one needs help, call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642. 

As the holidays arrive amid the fog of the ongoing global pandemic, remember – it’s okay to feel confused, frightened, and uncertain of the future. You are not alone, and there are always resources available to help you and your loved ones through these complicated times. Be gentle with yourself and others, ask for help if you need it, and above all, be kind. 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Alberta

RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigate suspicious death – Adam Pearson still wanted

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RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigate suspicious death – Adam Pearson still wanted

Grande Prairie, Alta. – The RCMP Major Crimes Unit are continuing to seek public assistance in locating Adam Pearson (26) who is wanted for the First Degree Murder of Cody Michaloski.

In October 2019, the Major Crimes Unit launched an investigation in the death of Cody Michaloski. The investigation led to first degree murder charges against Benjamin Pearson (25) who was arrested in Kelowna, and Adam Pearson, who has still not been located.

Adam Pearson

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes are asking the public’s assistance in locating Adam Pearson. It is believed that he may have tried to alter his appearance, including dying his hair. Pearson is known to have ties to the Toronto area, and throughout B.C. and Alberta.  Information provided to date is that he uses Air B & Bs and hotel/motels, and might go by the nickname “Red”.

Please do not approach Pearson, but contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or your local police, if you see him or know his whereabouts. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Background:

May 28, 2020

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes RCMP investigate suspicious death – Update #2

Kelowna, B.C. – Following a lengthy homicide investigation into the death of Cody Michaloski in October 2019, in Grande Prairie, Alta., Alberta RCMP Major Crimes executed two search warrants and an arrest warrant on May 27, 2020, in Kelowna, BC.

Benjamin Pearson (25) of Kelowna was arrested on May 27, 2020, in Kelowna. He is charged with the First Degree Murder of Cody Michaloski. Pearson’s arrest was made possible with the work of the South East District, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia (CFSEU-B.C.), and the assistance of, South East District RCMP Emergency Response Team and the Kelowna RCMP Forensic Identification Section.

Benjamin Pearson is awaiting his return to Alberta for a bail hearing into this matter before the Edmonton Provincial Courts at a date yet to be determined.

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes have also obtained an arrest warrant for Adam Pearson (26), whose whereabouts are unknown, for the First Degree Murder of Cody Michaloski.

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes are asking the public’s assistance in locating Adam Pearson. Please do not approach Adam Pearson, but contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or your local police.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.”

Further updates will be provide when additional information is available.

October 15, 2019

Grande Prairie RCMP investigate suspicious death – Update #1

Grande Prairie, Alta. – The adult male victim has been identified as Cody Michaloski (28) of Grande Prairie. Michaloski’s family has been notified. The Edmonton medical examiner completed an autopsy and determined the death to be a homicide.

Edmonton Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate this incident.

No further information is available at this time.

 

Oct. 13, 2019

Grande Prairie RCMP investigate suspicious death

Grande Prairie, Alta. – In the early morning hours of October 13, 2019 Grande Prairie RCMP responded to a residence in an apartment building on Poplar Drive.

On arrival the RCMP discovered the body of an adult male. RCMP Major Crimes has taken carriage of the investigation. The scene is secure and there is no concern for public safety.

Next of kin notification has been completed. No further details will be released at this time. The investigation is ongoing and an update will be provided once new information becomes available.

Anyone with information regarding this matter is asked to contact the Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700 or call your local police detachment. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com ( http://www.p3tips.com/ ) or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

 

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