Unfortunately, in the last decade, Canada has seen more terrorist attacks. On October 22, 2014, Parliament and the National War Memorial in Ottawa were the targets of an unprecedented attack by a lone gunman. The shooter killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a ceremonial guard at the War Memorial, and then charged into Centre Block on Parliament Hill where hundreds of MPs were meeting, and was eventually shot to death by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, Parliament’s chief security official. The attack raised questions about parliamentary security and sparked a national debate over the nature of terrorism.
Earlier this month, on June 6th, terrorism struck Canada again when a family of five were the victims of a hate-motivated terrorist attack as they were on a night-time walk. They have been survived solely by a nine-year-old son – three generations lost in a single night.
As difficult as this may be, we must recognize the reality that Canada is not immune to hate, division and racism. The number of police-recorded hate crimes, according to Statistics Canada, remains high compared to recent years.
Discrimination towards Muslims is not a problem simply for Muslims: it affects us all. When one group is attacked, we are all diminished.
Today, we pause to remember and pay tribute to all Canadian victims of terrorism, and to everyone living with the pain and trauma caused by these senseless acts of violence. North Grenville flags will fly at half-mast.
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