Jason Kenney condemns 'violent hate crimes' against churches, says they are 'profoundly unCanadian'

Kenney: “L’Eglise de Saint-Jean-Baptiste was a place tied up in the lives of people, marriages, baptisms and funerals for generations, including Indigenous peoples."

Alex Anas Ahmed Calgary AB

Another Catholic church was burned to the ground, but this time in Morinville, AB — the sixth place of worship to be vandalized over a week.

Alberta fire crews responded to a fire at St. Jean Baptiste Parish at 3 am Wednesday. A fire destroyed the century-old structure that officials say started in the basement. About 50 firefighters were on the scene working rotating shifts to avoid heat-related injuries from the extreme heatwave in western Canada. They said it was too dangerous to enter the structure and contain the spread of the flames.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

"The century-old église de Saint-Jean-Baptiste was the heart of Morinville and a key part of the history and spiritual life of Alberta’s francophone community," said Premier Jason Kenney on social media. "I condemn what appears to be another violent hate crime targeting the Catholic community."

In a government press release, Alberta’s government "unequivocally condemned" the recent arson attacks that targeted Christian churches across Canada and Alberta.

"Today in Morinville, l’eglise de Saint-Jean-Baptiste was destroyed in what appears to have been a criminal act of arson," said Kenney. He made it clear that hate-motivated arson attacks targeting religious communities are not commonplace and should not be allowed to continue.

He said today’s incident was an attempt to destroy the spiritual sites important to people of faith across Alberta, including many Indigenous people. "L’Eglise de Saint-Jean-Baptiste was a place tied up in the lives of people, marriages, baptisms and funerals for generations, including Indigenous peoples," said Kenney.

"This is unacceptable in Alberta. It is unacceptable in Canada. We must all reject hateful acts of violence whenever and wherever they occur."

Kenney visited the burned-out remains of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church earlier today to express his sorrow and solidarity with the local community, particularly Franco-Albertans, and Catholics across the province.

"I have instructed Justice Minister Kaycee Madu to work with ALERT and police chiefs across the province immediately to step up monitoring and protection of potential target sites," said Kenney.

Alberta’s government also announced on-site that it would double funding for the Alberta Security Infrastructure Program (ASIP), from $1 million to $2 million annually, to help protect churches and other targets of hateful vandalism and violence.

On June 11, Alberta’s government announced support for at-risk communities, including religious and ethnic organizations and Indigenous groups, to protect them against hate-inspired violence and vandalism.

ASIP addresses a range of protective measures, such as security planning, education and training. A total of $500,000 was made available, beginning in the fall, in the initial announcement. Applicants were eligible for up to $10,000 to assist with training and security assessments and up to $90,000 for security infrastructure.

Funding for upgrades to facility infrastructure includes security and monitoring systems, which the province contends will protect individuals and property further from hate-related vandalism and other criminal acts.

Kenney called on leadership across Canada to condemn outright the violence that he notes as "profoundly unCanadian."


Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2023 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy