Speech: Shooting on Parliament Hill

On Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 in Speeches

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank all my colleagues for giving me this opportunity to speak on this very serious and grave day. We had a horrible day yesterday. I especially want to thank the Prime Minister for his words today, as well as the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the Liberal Party.

We are together now and always.

It is rare in the House to be united as we are now. We experience shared grief occasionally, such as the day we gathered to honour our colleague Jim Flaherty, but this day we have shared something far different.

All of us in different ways yesterday experienced the fear of being locked down somewhere, not knowing quite what was going on. All of us, and some of my colleagues far more than I, experienced the real terror that comes from thinking someone with a gun is on the other side of a door and they are at risk.

I know these moments are important and we should underline that there is no partisanship in the House when we are all together. In the same way, I guess that there are no atheists in fox holes, there are no political party leaders when we share a common experience of such basic fear and concern for our loved ones and for our well-being. All of us together are family. We need to feel it and say it more often. We are together in this place and our constituents need to know. We are not at war with each other, as the Prime Minister said.

Together, we work together for our country. Whatever our views are about the future of the country, whatever course we want the country to take, at a very basic level we are nothing more than human beings who at a very fundamental level care for each other. All of the people in this place are my colleagues. My colleagues must know how much I care for all of them and love them, and this is something our constituents need to know.

I cannot add anything to the eloquence of what was said, but it does need to be said again. This country lost two wonderful men this week through cold-blooded murder.

I am talking about the cold-blooded murders of Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent.

These are crimes that cut to the heart of all of us. We get to know something of their lives, and we get to realize with every passing day and revealed detail of their personal lives how much we all lose as a nation when two such fine men are so senselessly and brutally killed.

We know, as I think we always knew, that our Sergeant-at-Arms is a consummate professional. He is more than a ceremonial figure. The finest thing that we could do for him right now would be to let him leave this place and go fly-fishing on the Miramichi.

In closing, I want to wish all of my colleagues and all Canadians well. I pray for one thing: that we hang on to the sense of a common, shared purpose, that we remain calm, and that we wait for answers from the police before we make any assumptions about motivations, connections or the extent of what we face.

If I were a betting person, and it is good for my bank account that I am not, I would put money on these being the acts of isolated, disturbed and deeply troubled men who were drawn to something crazy. I do not believe that it was a vast network or that the country is more at risk today than it was last week. However, that is my opinion. I can be wrong. I have been wrong before and I may be wrong again. I am undoubtedly going to be wrong again, but what I would like to suggest is that we wait for answers from the police before we make assumptions and that we speak calmly, truthfully and openly to all Canadians.

Let us be the place that exemplifies the words of our founding documents. Let us exemplify peace, order and good government.

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