PRESS RELEASE:

EDMONTON – There is no place in Alberta for acts of vandalism that demonstrate hate directed against LGBTQ2S+ people or communities. So says the Green Party of Alberta who reacted in the aftermath of three recent incidents of hate vandalism in Airdrie.

Heather Morigeau, GPA Shadow Cabinet Diversity and Human Rights Critic, says the latest incident, in which a shed wall, situated near an official Welcome to Airdrie sign, was defaced to read ‘LGBT Virus’ demonstrates “We have come a long way, yet there is a long way to go before the LGBTQ2S+ community in Alberta can walk free from hatred and diminishment. I have written to the City of Airdrie calling on them to increase funding support for LGBTQAI+, Indigenous queer and Two Spirit support groups and initiatives which can strengthen their resilience to hateful acts like these.”

The latest act follows two other recent incidents in the city of approximately 68,000. Just last month, the city’s rainbow crosswalk was tarred and feathered while previously anti-gay slurs were painted on the same sidewalk.

“When incidents of this nature occur, it is obvious that we have failed to educate those individuals who enact hate crimes such as these. We must have an education system that seeks to celebrate diversity of gender, sexuality and acceptance of all of us. We can not allow ignorance to carry the day,” says Morigeau, who is also the Green Party of Alberta Candidate of Record in Calgary-Buffalo.

The Greens are especially concerned that a sense of complacency sets in once an incident comes to light. The Green Party of Alberta supports robust legal protection for the human rights of all Albertans. The Party would ensure that the Alberta Human Rights Commission functions effectively to promote respect for human rights in the province.

“I am a member of the LGBTQAI+, Indigenous Queer and Two Spirit community, and I understand that acts of hatred towards our community can have dire consequences to youth who may be closeted or questioning their identity.  A concerted effort must be made to improve grassroots support for them, their peers and their families. The Green Party values of Social Justice and Respect for Diversity is enacted upon by encouraging those who stand against hatred and intolerance to speak up condemning these acts and the person(s) who committed them. As elected official MP Blake Richards, MLA Angela Pitt and MLA Peter Guthrie have a responsibility to protect the citizens of Airdrie from hate crimes. I personally urge them to publicly condemn this act of vandalism as a hate crime and make the necessary steps to protect the humans rights .” says Morigeau.

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For more information, please contact:

Heather Morigeau
Green Party of Alberta Diversity and Human Rights Critic and Candidate of Record for Calgary-Buffalo
Phone: 403-605-0107
Email: diversity.critic@greenpartyofalberta.ca

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