Monthly Archives: September 2019

Edmontonians of Turkish heritage rally at the Alberta Legislature to condemn recent coup

Hundreds of Edmontonians of Turkish descent gathered at the Alberta Legislature Sunday to condemn an attempted coup in Turkey.

“Our country, our homeland, faced an unprecedented attack,” Sinem Senol, organizer of the event said.

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On July 15, a group used tanks and helicopters in an attempt to bring down the elected government. The Turkish Canadian Society of Edmonton, which organized the rally, said a faction within Turkey’s armed forces was behind the coup. It said the faction is connected to a group the Turkish government describes as a terrorist organization.

READ MORE: Turkey issues arrest warrant for U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fathullah Gulen in failed coup

“It’s important to come together here in Canada because this specific coup was actually orchestrated by a group of people that have set up organizations all over the world, especially in the US and Canada, under the pretense of education, or intercultural faith, multiculturalism — all great values on the surface but actually hidden agendas behind closed doors,” Senol said.

Organizers of Sunday’s event say they stand united on the side of any democratically elected government.

“I may be a critic of the Turkish Government but today there is no party A or B, today there is only one Turkey,” Senol said. “When we face acts of terrorism, there is only one Turkey and Turkish people here are united for that.”

READ MORE: Massive crowds gathers for anti-coup rally in Turkey

“It is something that we want to declare to the whole world, it is something that we condemn, doesn’t matter who we are, what political party we support.”

The coup was defeated by police forces and Turkish citizens.

“This is the day where we have to forget all of these differences,” Senol said. “This is the day where we actually have to defend democracy in our country and everywhere in the world.”

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published Aug. 14, 2016. It was edited Aug. 16 to add attribution.

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Rio 2016: Adam van Koeverden blasts rower Adam Kreek, media over ‘sexist’ coverage

Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden blasted his friend and fellow Olympian Adam Kreek over ‘sexist’ comments he made about tennis player Eugenie Bouchard’s performance at Rio 2016.

Kreek, a gold-medal rower from the 2008 Beijing Games, told CBC’s Ron MacLean that he thought the tennis player was more focused on her looks and what she was wearing than in competing.

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“She’s posting photos of herself. She’s holding up the toothpaste. She’s trying out different hairstyles. Maybe she wants something different than being a competitor,” Kreek said.

Van Koeverden responded with a blog post taking Kreek to task.

READ MORE: Rio 2016: Adam van Koeverden ready for Rio after break in training

“I don’t think Adam is an expert on tennis. I’m certainly not. So I initially questioned why he was commenting on Eugenie’s game at all,” van Koeverden wrote. “But at around the one-minute mark, I realized it wasn’t a lesson in tennis Adam needs, it’s a lesson in feminism.”

“He even did a girlish impression of her ‘trying out different hairstyles’, seemingly as evidence that she isn’t focused on winning, or that having an interest in fashion, beauty or anything else might detract from one’s performance,” van Koeverden wrote. “Since when is having a pastime a bad distraction?”

“He may as well have asked her, as one Australian reporter did a few years ago, to ‘give him a twirl.’”

Van Koeverden also chided Kreek over the defensive stance he took when other Olympians expressed concern over his comments on social media.

Van Koeverden then went on to point the finger at the media’s coverage of the Rio Games.

Writing about the four-time medalist at Rio 2016, Penny Oleksiak, van Koeverden wrote that despite all of her accomplishments, too much of the coverage has been focused on her looks.

“She’s strong, performs under an immense amount of pressure, she’s an amazing team player and demonstrates the sportsmanship, media savvy and poise of someone twice her age,” van Koeverden wrote. “Yet sadly, the headline on the cover of the Toronto Sun this week was “Pretty Penny.”

In the post, van Koeverdan also wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t sticking up for the female athletes because “they don’t need my help.” He explained that he believed if he didn’t express his thoughts he would just be adding to the problem.

“If men don’t call out men when we are being sexist, then we are not a part of the solution, and the problem persists,” van Koeverden wrote.

“Feminism isn’t for females. It’s for everyone. Good men should feel comfortable challenging each other’s prejudices, and accept criticism when those prejudices get the better of us, or when we make a mistake.”

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Friend accused of killing Whitefish teens

The man charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two northern Alberta teens appeared in court Monday morning.

Edward Gladue, 19, made a brief court appearance in High Prairie. The case was put over until Sept. 19.

Gladue, 19, faces two charges of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Cory Grey and her boyfriend, Dylan Laboucan – and family say he’s no stranger to them.

Laboucan’s mother, Becky Thunder, said “that was Dylan’s friend, they went to school together.”

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READ MORE: ‘They’ve taken our babies from us’: 2 northern Alberta teens deliberately killed

Gladue would regularly play basketball with Laboucan and his cousins and had been invited inside his aunt’s home numerous times.

Brenda Auger trusted him – but not anymore.

“I’m really shocked and really hurt. I feel betrayed.”

Grey’s older brother, Clint Grey, feels the same way – saying he now has difficulty trusting his own friends.

“It hurts, you know? I never thought that I’d be losing my younger siblings.”

Thunder said to add insult to injury, Gladue came to her house while the community was searching for the teens.

She asked if he’d seen them and he said no.

READ MORE: Mother says arrest in case of slain northern Alberta teens ‘brings a little ease’

Then he started texting Laboucan’s cousins, asking about the investigation.

“Did they search the lot? Are the cops there? What’s going on now? Are the dog teams going to come?,” Auger said.

She’ll never understand why he did that.

“I just pray that justice will be done.”

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‘The Big Swim’ for charity a success, despite bad weather

Swimmers takings part in ‘The Big Swim’ were disappointed by a change in plans due to weather, but organizers say the event was still a success.

Swimmers, kayakers and volunteers collected $148,000 in donations to send approximately 150 children to Brigadoon Village —; a year-round facility that offers camps to children living with chronic illness, chronic conditions or specials needs.

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Swimmer Bobby Lou Reardon from Yarmouth took part in the swim for the third time.

“I’m doing it because I love to swim and we’re helping all kinds of kids get to go to camp,” Reardon said.

READ MORE: Moncton father and daughter team up for ‘Big Swim’ across Northumberland Strait

Participants were originally going to be swimming 14 kilometres across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, but bad weather and water swells caused a change of plans.

Organizers say they aired on the side of caution and had swimmers stick to the  New Brunswick coast instead of swimming alongside the confederation bridge. The weather also caused a two-hour delay —; it was the first time the route had to be changed in the six-year history of the event.

Swimmer Darren Forest participated for the first time and says he’s disappointed he won’t be able to cross “swim from New Brunswick to PEI” off his bucket list.

“It’s disappointing, but better safe than sorry,” Forest said.

The event was organized by Give to Live. Co-founder and board member Todd McDonald says the weather was disappointing, but told swimmers that life doesn’t always go in a straight-line.  He says everyone needs to live life to the fullest.

“If you can imagine being a chronically ill child with Crohn’s or colitis, or the loss of a parents or cancer or something like that —; that life doesn’t go in a straight line and so what I tried to explain to the swimmers was ‘just change your expectations,” McDonald said.


Toronto’s Bob Hayes was the first swimmer to land at Murray Corner —; completing the distance in under two hours.

The biggest swim yet

Organizers the event set the record for the largest recorded group to complete the big swim at once.

62 swimmers and 70 kayakers completed approximately 12 kilometres.  Kayakers paddled alongside swimmers to ensure their safety.

Organizers say the event has raised a combined $700,000 to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada and Brigadoon Village over the past six years.

Donations are being accepted until September 15, 2016.

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‘Racist and hate-filled’ comments after fatal shooting must stop: Brad Wall

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is condemning what he calls “racist and hate-filled” comments on social media and other online forums that stem from last week’s fatal shooting of an aboriginal man on a farm.

Wall said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon that the comments betray the values and character of Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Murder charge laid in farm shooting near Biggar, Sask.

Colten Boushie, 22, was shot last Tuesday after a car he was in went onto the rural property near Biggar.

A cousin of Boushie’s said they were headed home to the Red Pheasant First Nation near North Battleford when they got a flat tire and needed help, but said a man on the farm smashed their window and fired shots as they tried to drive away.

Wall said that he has every confidence in the RCMP to investigate the circumstances of Boushie’s death.

“None of us should be jumping to any conclusions about what happened. We should trust the RCMP to do their work,” Wall said in the post.

“I call on Saskatchewan people to rise above intolerance, to be our best and to be the kind of neighbours and fellow citizens we are reputed to be.”

Comments continued over the weekend on numerous online sites. Some were anti First Nation, while others supported vigilante justice against the suspect in the case.

First Nations leaders said last week that a police news release about the shooting was biased, and they called for an RCMP review of communication policies and writing guidelines.

WATCH: FSIN accuse RCMP of fuelling racial tensions after fatal Biggar, Sask., shooting

An initial news release said people in the car had been taken into custody as part of a theft investigation.

Superintendent Rob Cameron in Regina responded that officers handled the investigation fairly and competently.

Wall said the hateful comments that have appeared online must stop.

“There are laws that protect citizens from what this kind of hate may foment. They will be enforced,” he said.

The suspect, Gerald Stanley, 54, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the case.

Stanley is to make his next court appearance in North Battleford on Aug. 18 to face the allegations.

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  • FSIN accuse RCMP of fuelling racial tensions after fatal Biggar, Sask., shooting

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