The Alberta Hate Crimes Committee drove home the importance of reporting hate crimes at city hall yesterday.
Mayor Stephen Mandel proclaimed May 10 as Hate Crime Awareness Day in support of Alberta’s Annual Crime Prevention Week and the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee’s goal to make Alberta a hate-free province.
According to Stephan Camp, co-chair of the Alberta Hate Crime Committee, hate crimes are defined as a criminal offence committed against a person or property “which was motivated by a suspect’s hate bias or prejudice towards the identifiable group.”
Identifiable groups are those based on race, nationality, origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, and sexual orientation.
“The city itself needs to understand that we are multicultural, multiracial, and have (many) sexual orientations as well,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel.
“So we all need to work together to make this a better place, and we have developed an Office of Diversity, which has done a great job.
“I think this is something that all citizens have to be aware of and not take a back seat to this and say ‘Well, that’s just an OK joke’ or ‘That’s OK to say’ — it’s unacceptable.”
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