Dozens gather to shine light on Wetaskiwin violence Sept. 21

No city council members attend vigil in Jubilee Park

By Stu Salkeld The Pipestone Flyer

Depending on whom you ask, Wetaskiwin has a crime problem, or the city’s crime problem is not worse than any other community the same size. However, dozens of people gathered at Jubilee Park Sept. 21 to shine a light on violence.

The “Violence Vigil” was organized by local resident Susan Kokas, who lives in the area near the park and noted during her opening remarks a murder had recently occurred in that area. She said there were many reasons a vigil should be held, among them to shine a light on violence in the community, to remember people who lost their lives and to those who survived.

Kokas noted she herself is a survivor of violence. When she was living in Calgary several years ago, she had been targeted, stalked and attacked.

“I lived in fear for a long time,” said Kokas. She said it’s very likely everyone knows someone who is a survivor of violence.

She said survivors walk a fine line between extremes. “I don’t want to live in fear, but I don’t want to be a vigilante.”

Wetaskiwin NDP MLA Bruce Hinkley spoke briefly, noted Sept. 21 is the International Day of Peace.

Other survivors of violence also spoke, including a young girl who noted her father had been murdered.

Kokas stated she felt community leaders must address violence in Wetaskiwin.

Other speakers pointed out that much could be done to make Wetaskiwin a safer, friendlier community, such as getting to know your neighbours and looking out for each other.

No members of the Wetaskiwin city council were present for the vigil and only one candidate for council, Phil Houle-Gregg, attended.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read