Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I would like to add our voice to those who are mourning this unconscionable loss.
The burden of grief is too high for too many. We cannot continue this way. When a family can no longer feel safe going for a walk in their own community — in their own neighbourhood — because of their faith and identity, that is a problem that must be addressed with immediate and concrete actions.
So many of us believe that violence fuelled by this kind of hate and cowardice has no place here in Canada. But the horrific events that unfolded on Sunday evening in London, Ontario, show us that we still have so much work to do to combat Islamophobia and the destruction it causes.
Three generations — three generations of a family — have been unfairly killed, and a 9-year-old boy has been left behind in hospital. This immense loss reflects upon us all.
Like the news last week about the 215 residential school children, we should be heartbroken but, sadly, not shocked. Members of religious and minority communities have been subjected to these kinds of targeted acts of violence for too long. If we do not want these events to define us as a nation, we must commit to change. We must call out hate and prejudice when we see it, and we must not let these attitudes go unchallenged.
Honourable senators, we must be at the forefront of fighting hate and discrimination.
On behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I offer our condolences to the family, friends and neighbours of the Afzaal family. To the Muslim community, we would like to pledge our support and our promise that we will continue toward eliminating the hate and prejudice that has once again left you in mourning. We grieve with you, and we stand with you. Thank you.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.