Minority groups often suffer from racial discrimination in Red Deer says Tymmarah Sheculski, City of Red Deer Human Resources Specialist — Inclusion and Diversity. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Red Deer Advocate

VIDEO: Racial slurs common in Red Deer

Visible minority groups report discrimination in Red Deer

Imagine you are walking on the streets of Red Deer and a driver in a vehicle yells out, “You are an ISIS terrorist, go home.”

Such racial slurs are common on the streets of Red Deer, said Tymmarah Sheculski, human resources specialist — inclusion and diversity with the City of Red Deer. People of colour and Indigenous populations are subject to racial discrimination in the city, she said.

“They are walking down the street in Red Deer and somebody would yell out of their car, ‘You are an ISIS terrorist, go home,’” she said while giving examples of the type of issues that have been brought to her attention.

In another example, Sheculski said, while a woman was crossing a street, a vehicle charged at her to give her a scare.

She said racial slurs were reported to the Welcoming and Inclusive Community Network since the arrival of Syrian refugees in Red Deer.

When asked if the women in the examples were Syrians, Sheculski said no, which brings up another issue.

“Even if you’re not a Syrian refugee and maybe you’re not a Muslim but just because you’re a visible minority you are being treated disrespectfully because of the colour of your skin,” she said.

She has also been part of a conversation when two women of visible minority groups were discussing exercising more. The conversation went something like “Don’t walk out on the streets by yourself because they are not safe. Go to the track instead,” Sheculski said.

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which includes freedom of speech, it is not illegal to utter racial slurs. She said the intention of the Charter was not to utter racial slurs but some people use it to spew hate.

When asked if racial profiling or ‘carding’ by law enforcement officers is a common practice in Red Deer, she said it isn’t something that’s been brought to her attention.

She hopes, if it is an issue as some reports suggest it is in other cities such as Edmonton, people would bring it up.

“This issue has not been brought to my attention as a problem in Red Deer, that doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue. If it is, I hope people would bring it to my attention,” she said.

Alberta Justice has announced recently that it’s conducting province-wide checks to get community’s feedback on street checks.

Barry LaRocque with K-Division in Edmonton said street checks are based on behaviours and suspicious circumstances.

When asked if colour of a person plays a role in street checks, LaRocque said no and RCMP conducts biased-free policing.

What are you supposed to do if someone is discriminating against you? Sheculski is working to help minority groups with that.

Red Deer Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network and the city is working together to put procedures in place that would answer questions like what are the procedures to follow if there’s a hate rally or what do you do when you are experiencing hateful slurs. Sheculski is hoping to have a plan in place before the end of this year.

Just Posted

Joshua Frank takes stand in murder trial

Joshua Frank testifies he had no idea Klaus family would be murdered

Doctor first in Red Deer to offer Mohs surgical suite for skin cancer

A local doctor says a skin cancer surgery newly offered locally will… Continue reading

Lacombe family in TV cooking contest needs Central Albertan votes

The Gustafsons are in the running to win a trip to Italy

Methamphetamine, THC found in half-million dollar seizure and Bowden Institution

Nearly half a million dollars worth of drugs and other contraband was… Continue reading

Community support needed to bring Canadian Finals Rodeo to Red Deer

Bid from Westerner Park and Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

WATCH: National women’s hockey team in Red Deer

Before heading to next year’s Olympics in South Korea, the women’s national… Continue reading

New columnist joining Advocate team

Market Gypsy starts on November 30

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month