Mr. Speaker, today is my first opportunity for a private member's statement after a terrible tragedy struck the city of Vernon, B.C. where my constituency office is located.
On Easter weekend the Gakhal family was gathering for what was to have been a joyful occasion as one of their six children was getting married. Instead, the estranged husband of one daughter arrived at the home of his in-laws and proceeded to kill nine of his former relatives before he returned to his motel room and took his own life.
This Canadian family was such a long term part of the community that most other Vernon families knew one or more members of the Gakhal family. Their children were friends with children of my office staff.
As the member for Okanagan-Shuswap, I want to express both my personal sorrow and the appreciation of the people of Vernon and the Gakhal family for the moment of silence observed on April 15 by this House as requested by the member for Vancouver South. The funeral Saturday with all those open caskets was one of the saddest days in my life and in the history of Canada.