Malala Yousufzai

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues on all sides of the House for the opportunity to speak as leader of the Green Party of Canada in the tragic situation of the shooting of Malala Yousafzai.


The fact that she was targeted, and we all feel this so keenly, I wish, as my friend from Mount Royal said, to associate myself with the comments of the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, the member for Ottawa South, my esteemed colleague from Mount Royal and my friend from the Bloc.

We stand in a non-partisan sense as Canadians whose values embrace the absolute right of young women to be the equivalent, the equals, of any man in their society. To have the right of education is something so fundamental that all of us are shocked to our core by what has happened to Malala.

It seems that in Pakistan the events have turned the tide against the Taliban, because people across various parts of that society recognize the evil in targeting a 14-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to be able to read, to write, to pursue her education and to pursue a life as a full-fledged member of that society.

Since there are very few words to add, I wonder if I could have the permission of my friends on all sides of the House to not think of Malala as a symbol but Malala as a 14-year-old girl who is lying in a hospital bed and, if we could, rise for a moment in contemplation and, if it moves us, in prayer, collectively as a House, to urge Malala’s well-being and to pray for her health.