Vigil for Quebec City victims on Wednesday

Sponsored by Red Deer’s Welcoming & Inclusive Communities Network

A vigil will be held on Wednesday at City Hall Park to remember those who died or were injured in Sunday’s shooting at a Quebec City mosque.

The vigil, to be held from 5 to 6 p.m., is sponsored by Red Deer’s Welcoming & Inclusive Communities Network.

On Monday Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen called the shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec shocking.

“We mourn with Quebec City. It’s a terrible lose for the community. We have to stand up strong and condemn those who are so ruthless and cowardly,” said Dreeshen who was in Quebec City about a week ago for a Conservative caucus meeting.

“Attacks like this strike at the very heart of freedoms we cherish as Canadians, the right to practise your faith without persecution.”

Canada has a strong, hard-working Muslim community, including in Alberta, he said.

On Monday, flags flew at half mast at Red Deer City Hall, and at other locations in the city.

Deputy Mayor Lawrence Lee said he was glad the vigil is being held in Red Deer to support the local Muslim community.

“It’s a tragic event and certainly our hearts go out to not just the victims, but the families and friends of the victims,” Lee said.

Coincidentally the vigil falls on the first day of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Mayor Tara Veer was away from Red Deer on Monday, but did tweet out her condolences on Sunday to the people of Quebec who lost loved ones.

Dreeshen said Canada is unfortunately not immune to violence. Even the House of Commons came under attack on Oct. 23, 2014. A lone gunman killed a soldier at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill before entering Parliament’s Centre Block building.

“Those of us that have been in the House of Commons, we know what it’s like to be attacked so it brings back a lot of those memories too. It’s been a sad day.”

He said Canadians need to be vigilant and alert authorities if they hear or see threats to others, and Canada has to make sure that its police and security forces have the tools to do their job effectively.

The Welcoming & Inclusive Communities (WIC) Network came together in 2015 as a community group interested in reducing racism and discrimination.

For more information on the vigil visit the Facebook page Red Deer Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network and search events.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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