Mr. Speaker, we were deeply saddened and troubled last week by the news of the shooting in Taber, which left Jason Lang, a 17-year old student, dead and another student of the same age seriously injured.
As we know by now, this tragic incident at W. R. Myers High School was the work of a former student, barely 14 years old. This only adds to the tragedy and our bewilderment.
It is always hard to understand the reasons for such actions. It is just as painful, if not impossible, to know how to interpret them. The easy way out, of course, is to say that violence breeds violence. Yet how can we explain that a small peaceful community in southern Alberta would have to go through such a tragedy?
One should avoid drawing easy parallels with what happened in Littleton, Colorado, a couple of weeks ago. Others go back 10 years to the tragic events at École Polytechnique, in Montreal, although the social problems at the roots of that tragedy were quite different. Nonetheless, the pain of the grieving families in Alberta is just as real and deep.
The main lesson we must learn from such events is the need for soul-searching as individuals and as a community. We must analyse our collective and individual behaviour, and wonder what impact it has on society in general and young people in particular.
We must therefore wonder about the roots of violence, about our ability to deal with the distress of many young people and about the role to which we confine them in our society. We must reflect on the despair that afflicts too many young people and on the inadequate answers provided by the governments.
Should we put the accent on rehabilitating young people or on imposing coercive measures that only alienate them more? The answer is obvious.
On this day of the memorial service for Jason Lang, I want to offer to his family and friends, on behalf of all my colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois, our sincere condolences in this most difficult time. I also wish Shane Christmas a speedy and full recovery.
Our thoughts are with you and with all the families in Taber and Alberta.