With police providing security, a crowd of 300 Edmontonians huddled together in Churchill Square on Sunday evening at a vigil for victims of Saturday night’s suspected terror attacks.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Education Minister Dave Eggen and federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi were among those bundled up in the cold and wet Edmonton weather.
Streets were closed around the square and police observed from several positions, including the roof of nearby Edmonton City Hall.
“We stand together,” Iveson told the crowd. “All faiths, all cultures. We will not be divided.”
Urging people to reject hate and division, he said Edmontonians “have shown what we are made of” in the hours since a pair attacks Saturday evening left five people injured. Police have a suspect in custody and terrorism charges are pending.
Near Commonwealth Stadium where the Edmonton Eskimos were playing, Edmonton police Const. Mike Chernyk was struck by a Chevrolet Malibu and then stabbed by a man who fled the scene on foot.
Hours later the same man, driving a rented U-Haul truck, struck and injured four pedestrians in the busy downtown, police said.
Chernyk, 48, and two pedestrians who were hit have been released from hospital. Two victims remained in hospital Sunday.
‘We stand more solidly than we ever have’
The vigil was organized by the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council as a way for people to show they stand together against violence in solidarity with Edmonton police.
“For those who want to strike fear into our hearts and strike terror into the heart of the city — you will have to get past Alberta’s Muslim community first and foremost,” Aurangzeb Qureshi, AMPAC’s vice-president of communications, said to applause.
Notley said the community reaction to Saturday’s events show that…