Mr. Speaker, 85 years ago today, just after 9 a.m., the beautiful, bustling harbour front of Halifax was reduced to a pile of smouldering rubble.
The Halifax explosion, at the time the largest man-made explosion ever, killed between 1,600 and 2,500 people and displaced thousands more, leaving them homeless and missing family and friends.
A centre for naval activity and ocean going commerce since its founding in 1949, Halifax is no stranger to nautical disasters. However, the scope of the collision between the Belgian relief ship Imo and French munitions vessel Mont Blanc and the ensuing destruction is beyond the understanding of contemporaries and historians alike.
I ask all members to join with me in remembering this solemn occasion with the respect it deserves.