Canada News

Get the latest new in Candada


‘Big day’: Edmonton City Hall reopens to public 2 months after shooting

Edmontonians are able to visit city hall for the first time in two months as of Monday.

The building has been closed to the public since an attack by an armed man on Jan. 23.

Over two months, crews have repaired the damage that was caused by gunshots and explosions that day and implemented new security measures.

Among those is a screening process which is now required to enter the City Room. On Monday, new signage explaining the protocol, a security guard and metal detectors were stationed before the City Room’s entrance.

Additionally, stairwells will be locked for emergency use only and elevators will require a City of Edmonton identification card.

“City Hall is a vibrant gathering place for civic participation, celebration and commemoration,” city manager Andre Corbould said in a statement last week announcing the reopening. “I am confident that we have achieved the appropriate balance of a safe and secure environment that is also open and welcoming.”

Ward Sspomitapi Coun. Jo-Anne Wright called Monday a “big day” but noted some constituents felt reopening had taken too long.

“Some have pointed out security measures that were put in place after the Parliament incident at the Parliament buildings.

“And I look back (to when) I worked in Sherwood Park in 2016, when there was the incident at the Strathcona County Hall and it was reopened within a week,” she told CTV News Edmonton.

Overall, she said she was glad city hall was accepting visitors again, even if the new protocols might make visitors “wonder what they’re being protected from.”

However, CTV News’ public safety analyst Chris Lewis said safe is better than sorry given the increased risk politicians face.

“It’s sad that it’s come to this, but you probably recall, 10 years ago, you could walk in Parliament buildings in Ottawa without any security. So the times have changed,” he told CTV News Edmonton on Monday.

“I think we’re going to see more rather than less because every time one of these tragic events occurs, where someone brings a gun or a knife or something into a place like a city hall, or the Parliament buildings or provincial legislatures across the country, it causes concern, and so the authorities have to react they have to put plants and security measures in place to protect people.”

Members of the public are able to freely come and go from the Hallway Cafe, City Hall School and south corridor as they could before.

There is no timeline for the parkade’s reopening. 

The man who is accused in the attack, 28-year-old Bezhani Sarvar, was charged with terrorism and other offences.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Nicole Lampa and Evan Klippenstein 

View original article here Source