'We just want to be a vibrant community': Rally calls for lasting security in Edmonton's Chinatown
An emotional rally outside City Hall Saturday afternoon called for more permanent solutions to help keep Edmonton's Chinatown a vibrant community.
Community leaders demanded immediate action from all levels of government, the Edmonton Police Service, and social support agencies to ensure Chinatown and downtown as a whole remain safe and accessible to all.
"We want to be recognized that there are some outstanding issues," said Jackson Ho, a community spokesperson.
On May 18, two men in their 60s who worked at different businesses in the Chinatown community — Ban Phuc Hoang and Hung Trang — were beaten to death in the Chinatown neighbourhood.
A 36-year-old has since been charged with second-degree murder in both deaths.
At the rally, incense was burned, as flowers and fruit were placed beside photographs of Hoang and Trang.
"Today is really about I would say creating awareness, not just about the situation that happened last week but overall, Chinatown is a community that requires safety and support of the city and the province," Ho said.
"We just want to be a vibrant community," he added. "We want to make sure that all citizens, all guests that enter into Chinatown have that sense of safety."
People at the rally held signs reading, "we want action," "safety and protection," "protection is safety," "hug your Chinatown shop owner," and "Chinatown here to stay."
"Chinatown is a beautiful culture," Ho told CTV News Edmonton. "It's created through generations of hard-working citizens.
"Chinatown is really a part of downtown," Ho added. "(So) this is really an Edmonton effort. People of all cultures come to Chinatown to enjoy."
The rally supporting Chinatown outside Edmonton City Hall on Saturday, May 28, 2022 (CTV News Edmonton/Amanda Anderson).
'WE NEED ALIGNMENT': EPS CHIEF
Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee attended the rally and affirmed that the police service was listening and responding to the concerns of the Chinatown community.
"We lost a couple of community members," he told reporters. "We've got a community that is obviously grieving.
"They're in need of help and I think as my role as the leader of our police service and a member of our community in a position of leadership I need to be here," McFee said. "We need to find solutions and we need to find them quick, and that's my commitment to them."
Dale McFee, Chief of Police for the Edmonton Police Service, attended and spoke at the rally, affirming the service's role in ensuring Chinatown's safety (CTV News Edmonton/Amanda Anderson).
While the police service has already pulled officers from other divisions to increase its downtown presence, McFee said the city needs sustainable solutions for the long-term.
"The two underlying pinning things are that the vulnerable need to be connected to services, and we've been doing a really good job (at that)," he said. "The second part is the crime and the violence."
"There's a lot of money and a lot of services in this city, but when you map it out," he added, "we need to get alignment that has outcomes associated. It's not about moving money from one agency to the other. That's never worked. It's about having a continuum of services to get the people the right service they need at the right time."
KEEPING CHINATOWN SAFE FOR GENERATIONS
Doug Cooke, Boyle Street Community Services liaison for Chinatown, agreed with McFee, saying social agencies have a role to play.
"Social services are a big part of this because I mean we are working on the ground floor right now with that doing the best that we can do with the resources that we have," Cooke said.
More consistent funding for agencies providing support to vulnerable populations will help not only those who need it, but entire neighbourhoods, Cooke said.
"Social services are mostly funded through grants," Cooke added. "When those dry up or are pulled from us it makes things a lot harder to get the results we all want to see together."
For Kim Chow, a concerned community member at the rally, whatever actions are taken to help Chinatown, they need to start now.
"There's a lot of people who feel unsafe coming down there," Chow said.
Chow said she's already noticed the increased police presence, but hopes it isn't something that is simply in place for a few weeks after the latest incidents.
"(I want) my kids to feel safe when they go down there in the next few years as well or when they're older and be able to bring their kids down there eventually."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Newly disqualified Conservative Party leadership candidate Patrick Brown is alleging political corruption for his ousting from the race over allegations his campaign broke election financing rules.
Air Canada and Toronto's Pearson airport again claimed the top spots for flight delays on Tuesday, marking at least four days in a row where the country's biggest airline has placed No. 1 of any large carrier worldwide.
Canada's immigration department is restarting all Express Entry draws for immigration applications Wednesday, after pausing the program 18 months ago during the pandemic.
An emergency room physician is urging governments to address the country’s shortfall of health-care workers in light of the recent temporary shutdowns of emergency departments and the staffing downsizing at others.
The family of a woman who was set on fire while on a Toronto bus in a random attack last month has released a short statement following her death.
A high school friend of B.C. teen Amanda Todd has testified he took action when he saw what he described as a 'pornographic' picture of her on Facebook in November 2011.
Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, the parents of a two-year-old boy, were among seven people killed in the Chicago-area mass shooting on July 4.
'We're all really shaken up': Father recounts reuniting with missing daughter as U.S. man is charged
The father of the Edmonton girl who was missing for nine days said he was getting ready to post another update on Facebook last Saturday when police knocked on his door.
Australian authorities have charged 12 members of a religious group with the alleged murder of an 8-year-old girl, police said in a statement Tuesday.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the Stampede Parade route Friday morning but how will they get there and where should they watch from?
Members of Calgary city council have passed a controversial climate strategy that outlines how the city will reach net-zero by 2050.
Calgary's mayor is asking members of the public and her fellow councillors to no longer refer to her as 'your worship.'
A Saskatoon intersection was overflowing with water late Tuesday afternoon.
Environment Canada has issued a tornado warning for the R.M. of Kindersley including Kindersley Brock and Flaxcombe, and the R.M. of Oakdale including Coleville.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he doesn't know when second booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for people under 50.
A group of Ukrainians who fled the war at home are waking up to a new life in Saskatchewan, they arrived in Regina Monday night on a humanitarian flight from Poland.
A 24-year-old man who was arrested near the east end Canadian Tire on Tuesday is connected to two recent robberies and two other incidents, the Regina Police Service (RPS) said in a news release.
Saskatchewan Roughriders' defensive linemen Pete Robertson and Anthony Lanier were named two of the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) top performers in Week 4.
'We can’t forget all we’ve learned': Expert’s advice as N.S. lifts mandatory COVID-19 measures Wednesday
Tuesday was the last day for the volunteer-run asymptomatic walk-in COVID-19 testing sites that were once a constant during the pandemic.
A Nova Scotia man is facing charges after the SPCA says his five dogs were found neglected and starving.
Families of victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting are pondering whether to continue participating in the public inquiry into the tragedy because key witnesses are being shielded from cross-examination.
Video has emerged showing a worker dangling in the air above a Toronto construction site after accidently getting entangled in a tagline attached to a crane.
Ryan Somes and Anthea Stanley were, by most standards, living a successful life in Toronto. With two kids under six, the couple had a home in Trinity Bellwoods and held high-end positions in the finance industry. But something still felt amiss, they said.
The cost of filling up your gas tank will be a lot less painful on Thursday throughout most of Ontario.
Two young emergency room doctors, raised and trained in Montreal, are leaving their jobs after only two years to move back to Toronto – and they say the Quebec health-care model and Bill 96 are to blame.
An ambulance shortage and reduced clinic hours in Quebec's Abitibi-Temiscamingue region were not critical factors in the death of a 65-year-old man, a coroner has ruled.
The community of Lac-Megantic is marking the ninth anniversary of the train disaster that killed 47 people and disfigured its downtown on July 6, 2013.
Ottawa home sales dropped for the fourth straight month in June as the real estate market continues to come down from its frenzied pace.
Brown campaign accuses Conservative party of acting in favour of Poilievre after disqualification from leadership race
Patrick Brown has been disqualified from the federal Conservative leadership race, after ballots have already begun to be mailed out, and his campaign is fighting back against what it calls anonymous allegations.
Ontario’s police watchdog has dropped its investigation into a 23-year-old woman who jumped out of a fourth-floor hotel room window when police knocked on the door.
A string of serious collisions over the last few days has Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) sending a heightened warning to drivers to not let their guards down during the summer months.
As police try to track down the man believed to have paved a Puslinch woman’s driveway without her permission, another person has come forward claiming to be the victim of a similar alleged fraud.
A Kitchener intersection that has seen dozens of crashes in the past year in a half is getting a makeover.
The cost of filling up your gas tank will be a lot less painful on Thursday throughout most of Ontario.
Construction is officially underway on a new French cultural centre in Timmins, after its original building caught fire some years ago and was demolished.
The number of lab-confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Ontario tripled in the past two weeks, likely reflecting a greater emphasis on surveillance and testing as global infection figures rise.
New sub-variants of COVID-19 are in Manitoba, with scientists watching trends warning the mutated version of the Omicron variant called BA.5 is highly transmissible.
The City of Winnipeg is moving forward with a plan to switch out the grass in some green spaces around the city.
Mini motos – small motorcycles and scooters – are surging in demand as people grapple with the high prices of gas in Manitoba and across the country.
British Columbia's current jobs minister says he will not be throwing his hat into the NDP leadership ring.
An annual contest asks photographers to submit their best photos of British Columbia wildlife, and the public to vote for their favourites.
A group of B.C. health-care workers were happy to find out they'd won a couple hundred dollars.
Questions of what would motivate twin brothers to enter a British Columbia bank dressed in body armour and prepared for a gun battle remain unanswered, but a criminologist sees similarities to two other young men who terrified Canadians in 2019.
First responders in the Comox Valley had a major road closed down for several hours Wednesday morning as they dealt with a serious incident.
Home sales in Greater Victoria dropped last month by 35 per cent since June 2021, with 612 properties sold compared to 942 properties last year, according to the region's real estate board,