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Carolyn Bennett, MP

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Remarks by LPC Leader Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons

Posted on October 23, 2014 | No Comments

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition for their strong and passionate words.

Yesterday’s events were a shared, national tragedy. It is fitting that we have come together in this place, immediately, to let the world know that Canada’s values are strong, our institutions are resilient, and our people are united.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims of yesterday’s tragic events. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was murdered while guarding our nation’s sacred memorial to his own fallen comrades. He was unarmed.

Corporal Cirillo was a hero and a servant. He was also a father. Let us all remember that today there is a little boy who suddenly, tragically, lost his father. Let us pledge to honour his memory.

Corporal Cirillo’s death, like that of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent earlier this week, was a cold-blooded murder. Both attacks are cowardly and unforgiveable.

Should any other perpetrators or co-conspirators exist, they should be punished with the full force of our laws.

I also extend my deep and sincere gratitude on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada to the brave women and men who selflessly and courageously came to our aid yesterday. Through them and their actions, we are reminded of the professionalism and dedication so often exhibited by those who protect us. I thank them.

And to our Sergeant-at-Arms, we would like to issue particular thanks. Your heroic actions have been widely lauded – and for good reason.

Kevin, without your courage, a terrible situation would have become much worse. We are in your debt. Canadians are proud of you, and they thank you.

Yesterday’s attack on both our military and our most cherished democratic symbols was designed to frighten us. It was meant to embed within our minds an image of terror. It was meant to make us think differently about our surroundings and fellow citizens.

This was an act designed to have us forget ourselves. Let us instead always remember who we are.

We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation, and a country of open arms, open minds, and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, justice, and the rule of law. We will not be intimidated into changing that by anybody. Instead, these are the very values and ideals upon which we must rely in the days ahead. It is in our dedication to these principles that we can set an example to the world.

These pillars of our society are an unbreakable foundation. Our continued belief in them will guide us correctly into the future.

Let us also remember what we are up against. The individuals who committed these awful acts are not larger than life. They are not giants. They are not martyrs. That is how they want us to see them, but it is not what they are. Seeing them that way lets the fear they try to perpetuate grow.

Thinking of them in this way affords them credibility when they deserve none. They are criminals, and criminals do not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves, or how we treat each other. They will not dictate our values.

They will not make the rules about this land we share, and they do not get to change us.

We are aware of the threats we face as a nation. We know, as we have long known, that we are not immune, nor can we guard totally against danger in the future. What we can do is not let these threats define us.

We need answers as to how and why this happened. They will be vital in preventing and helping to prevent any future attacks.

And to our friends and fellow Canadians in the Muslim community, we offer an extended hand. Canadians know that yesterday’s acts were criminal, not religious. They are an abhorrent perversion of their faith. Continued mutual cooperation and respect will prevent the influence of distorted ideology and propaganda masquerading as religion.

Our values may be tested, but have faith that they are strong, our Canadian values. We will walk forward together, never apart.

Those who carried out these attacks wanted to leave us with an image of fear and chaos. Let us remember one of strength and of hope. The image in our collective minds, and shared in our hearts, is one of Canadians helping and protecting Canadians, of passersby trying to save the life of a young man who gave his in service to his country.

That is who we truly are, and that is who we shall continue to be.

A therapeutic day …. with solidarity and huge resolve to never abandon Canadian values

Posted on October 23, 2014 | No Comments

 

ottawa-shooting-flag half mast

 

I wasn’t in Ottawa yesterday…. I landed in Toronto from overseas and was instructed to stay there…. last evening like so many Canadians I watched the news unfold on TV with my family.

This morning I flew to Ottawa.  I arrived  at the Justice Building this am at 8 am …. as I went through the door I immediately hugged Janice the impressive House of Commons Security officer and as the tears welled up …. I feebly said  ‘We thank you all”.

I arrived in my office to a rather shaken staff that had been in lock-down for hours yesterday.  They were amazing as always…… worrying about their colleagues. I left almost immediately for the gathering at the War Memorial…. it was impossible to get there on Wellington….. I walked by the O’Connor street entrance to the Hill….. where the perennial anti-abortion activist was being refused access to the Hill.  I walked down Sparks Street and then ran into other MP’s who had been informed we wouldn’t be allowed access to the War Memorial across Elgin…. we all turned and walked back to Metcalfe Street and south to Queen Street to gather at the south side of the War Memorial ….  everyone was so quiet ….  then MP’s spontaneously broke into ‘O Canada’ ….. it was therapeutic …. we all needed it …. I then got to hear the stories from my colleagues of their horrific day yesterday ….the international media were everywhere …. Swedish, CNN, US News, BBC Channel 4 …. they were asking question about our feelings, whether Canada would change forever …

The MP’s then walked back to the Hill … and met with our caucuses … Justin’s words were empathetic and strong.

We were told that the ceremonial ‘parade’ and prayer would be televised today …. We were to be in our seats on time ….

We all were.

As the Sergeant-at -Arms- Kevin Vickers walked with the mace into the Chamber … I burst into tears … I will never forget the look on his face …. I totally understood how he knew that none of us could ever understand how he felt …  all  3 leaders thanked him, celebrated his courage, and hugged him. I sit right in front of his desk…. I could barely take my eyes off him …. an international hero …  so indisputably human – that look on his face …. telegraphing such restrained emotion… those clapping and thumping their desks could never never understand what it felt like to have been through yesterday’s ordeal and be responsible for the safety of everyone in the Parliamentary precinct  …..

The speeches were truly therapeutic – different but even more important in the areas that each leader focussed upon …. the hugs amongst the leaders … and with Kevin Vickers… touched us all.

Kevin Vickers

As always … in situations like this … we grieve …. we thank those who serve and protect us ,  we gather the facts … and then we plan a way forward …..

But today was indeed therapeutic …..

 

 

A truly terrible day for Canada…..

Posted on October 22, 2014 | No Comments

From the events at the War Memorial and the Hall of Honour….. all Canadians have been injured today ….. and inspired by the bravery of those that every day serve to protect us all…..

We need to assess and plan the way forward ….. but today our thoughts are with the family and  friends of those brave men who lost their lives this week and we give thanks to all of those who serve in our armed forces and as first responders ….  We owe you all so much …..

Ebola documents

Posted on October 20, 2014 | No Comments

Please find below links to a number of documents, which I was pleased to receive regarding Ebola preparedness. It is clear that there were indeed lessons learned […]

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Happy Persons Day!

Posted on October 18, 2014 | No Comments

Persons Day marks the 85th anniversary of the historic decision to include women in the legal definition of “persons” in Canada.  On October 18th we celebrate the ‘Famous Five’ […]

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In the House: October 10

Posted on October 10, 2014 | No Comments

I was honoured to rise today, on the eve of the International Day of the Girl Child, to both celebrate the advocacy of Nobel Laureate Malala […]

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Nation to Nation with Nigel Newlove: Jails, juries and the panel tackles a scathing environment report

Posted on October 10, 2014 | No Comments

Click here for the political panel’s insight into this week it’s a scathing environment report and that of the Correctional Investigator  

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Joe Natale’s speech at Canada2020

Posted on October 10, 2014 | No Comments

I was so pleased to attend the Canada 2020 conference earlier this month to hear from speakers from across the country about their vision for the […]

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Toronto Foundation’s Vital Signs report

Posted on October 8, 2014 | No Comments

Toronto Foundation has just released its annual Vital Signs report which looks at the state of the city’s demographics, health and wellness, safety, work, housing and economic health, […]

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Meeting with the College of Family Physicians of Canada

Posted on October 7, 2014 | No Comments

Yesterday I met with some inspiring representatives from the College of Family Physicians. They shared with me the CFPC’s 2014 report The Seven Wonders of Family […]

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