HoC Statement on anniversary of the Quebec Mosque Shooting

Elizabeth May Saanich

Mr. Speaker, I thank you and my colleagues. As my colleague from the Bloc Québécois said, we are in this together. We must never forget this dark episode in our history, when six Canadians were gunned down and 19 others were injured. I want to express my love and solidarity for our Muslim brothers and sisters across the country.

We are together today as we were last year. On a personal note, I want to extend my thanks to the right hon. Prime Minister for taking on the airplane representatives, leaders of the other parties: our dear friend, who is not here now, Rona Ambrose, and the previous leader, the member for Outremont. We were together, standing on that cold night, with our candles, with thousands and thousands of Quebeckers holding their small children, with blankets and toques, and children coming home from their hockey games standing along the snowbanks to watch us, lit by candlelight, in our grief and solidarity.

There is only one thing I would want to add to what we have already said. I want to thank the Prime Minister again for making it possible for representatives of all parties to travel together again today to Quebec City to stand in solidarity with the extraordinarily generous and open-hearted people of Quebec, who were also victims of having such a terrible crime committed in their most beautiful city. That is another atrocity, because it attaches to an open-hearted and wonderful city a crime that broke our hearts.

It is appropriate that we heed the call of the National Council of Canadian Muslims that we make a permanent decision to create a day of remembrance on January 29, but another action we can take to show our deep commitment is to recognize the heroism of Aymen Derbali.

Mr. Derbali remains seriously injured.

He will never be able to walk again. He is a father of three, originally from Tunisia. When the gunman opened fire, he stood to attract attention and take more shots to try to protect other people. He has earned two MBAs at Laval since coming to this country. He must be an extraordinary human being, and I would hope that we can find a way, perhaps not as Parliament but as individuals, to contribute to the fund to ensure that he has housing that is accessible, because he will be in a wheelchair, and his current housing will not work for that.

I will not go on. I am sure we all feel in our hearts how much we could do to say to our Muslim brothers and sisters across this country our deep commitment that this never happen again.

As-salamu alaykum, shukraan