Mr. Speaker –
It was with shock and sadness that Canadians heard about a despicable act of terror last night in Quebec City.
By current counts, six people worshipping at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre have lost their lives, with many others seriously injured.
This was a group of innocents targeted for practicing their faith. Make no mistake – this was a terrorist attack.
It was an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians – values of openness, diversity, and freedom of religion.
Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. These people were just that – people. Ordinary Canadians. They were brothers, uncles, fathers, and friends. These were people of faith, and of community.
And in the blink of an eye, they were robbed of their lives in an act of brutal violence.
I know that, already, there’s a deeply personal connection here, in this very House. The Member of Parliament for Louis-Hebert knew this community and has joined them at the Centre many times. He is with them now as we speak today.
And to each of my 337 colleagues in this House, Mr. Speaker, remember that we are all leaders in our communities. At times like these, our communities need our leadership. It is in these moments that we must show ourselves worthy of the honour of sitting in this place.
Reach out to your friends and neighbours. Gather your communities. Be there for your people. They need you.
To the injured, to the family members of these innocent victims, to the people of Quebec, and to all Canadians—
Know that we will get to the bottom of this. Such senseless violence has no place in Canadian society.
I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the first responders, and thank local law enforcement officials, local government officials, and the Government of Quebec. I can assure Canadians that we will be working closely together in the days ahead.
I’d also like to thank the many political and faith leaders from around the world who have reached out since last night’s events. Your thoughts and condolences are greatly appreciated.
Canada has long been a diverse and accepting nation. We are kind. We are generous. And we embrace one another, not in spite of our differences, but because of them.
It is in tragic moments like this that we must come together in order to move forward. Canadians will not be broken by this violence. Our sense of spirit, and our sense of unity, will only strengthen.
The people who commit these acts mean to test our resolve, and weaken our values. They aim to divide us. To sow discord and plant hatred.
We will not close our minds. We will open our hearts.
Mr. Speaker, my friends, my fellow Canadians: let us strive to be the best version of ourselves in this dark hour.
To the more than one million Canadians who profess the Muslim faith, I want to say directly:
We are with you. 36 million Canadian hearts are breaking with yours.
And know that we value you. You enrich our shared country in immeasurable ways. It is your home.
Last night’s horrible crime against the Muslim community was an act of terror committed against Canada, and against all Canadians.
We will grieve with you. We will defend you. We will love you. And we will stand with you.
Over the coming days, take solace in one another. We will mourn this devastating attack, and we will heal, together. As one community, as one country, and as one family.
Canadians will not be intimidated. We will not meet violence with more violence.
We will meet fear and hatred with love and compassion.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.