Mr. Speaker, I express my most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed as a result of the unspeakable tragedy on September 11, 2001. I also thank the people from every community across Canada, and specifically my constituency of London North Centre, who have taken the time to support our American friends by giving blood and helping in the rescue efforts.
In the coming weeks and months, and indeed years, we will be called upon in this place to make many difficult decisions. Perhaps the most difficult task facing us will be that of balancing the new concern for our collective safety with the longstanding Canadian values of acceptance and compassion.
We cannot allow ourselves to dictate something as fundamental as our immigration policies based on the terrible acts of a cowardly few. We cannot let fear change our way of life and the way we treat others. To do so would send a message to those who advance their own agendas with the murder of innocent civilians that they could win this new war.
It would also diminish Canada as a nation. We are a country built on the backs of immigrants. The diverse cultures represented here have made us aware of what we are.