An auto body shop is not a place one would expect to receive flowers, but at Albert’s Autobody in Edmonton’s Chinatown, customers are paying their respects three weeks after Hung Tran’s death.
Owner Anthony Hai said his employees described the sensation as a dark cloud hanging over them.
“If they stay at home they will think about it, and it seems to me that they are just following through and trying to do everything they can right now,” he said.
“When you lose someone in a case like this, it’s different than if they retire, or if they are (are) sick… In this case, everyone is involved. “
Two fatal beatings in Chinatown in mid-May highlighted an urgent need for more support in Chinatown.
“It shows at the government level that unfortunately mistakes are made too often, and in this case it cost the lives of several people,” Hai said.
“The police have done a better job in the last two and a half weeks than I have seen in over 20 years.”
After Justice Minister Tyler Shandro called for an action plan to address safety issues in Edmonton, the city released a report on how to improve safety in the downtown core.
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It outlines 12 recent actions the city has taken to support safety, focusing on public spaces, regulations, cleanliness, communication and enforcement. It also outlines four longer-term streams of work, as well as specific requests for support from the provincial government to help address the issue at multiple levels.
Michael Lee of the Chinese Benevolent Association said it was a small step, but a step in the right direction.
“It’s going to be a long time,” Lee said. “It’s not something that’s going to happen in six months or a year or even two years. It will have to be a sustained effort by all levels of government and society as a whole.
“I am encouraged that the city and the province are working closely together at this time.”
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Puneeta McBryan of the Downtown Business Association said the city was doing everything it could to address security issues in the city center but other levels of government also needed to get involved.
“It takes a lot of combining efforts, making sure that EPS, the city and the peace officers — and everyone — are talking to each other and working together,” she said. “These issues are so important and so out of reach for the City of Edmonton.
“I think in Edmonton we are worried and angry. We have to look in the direction of the province and the EPS and I think at this point the city has demonstrated that they are ready to do everything they can.
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