Mr. Speaker, on this national day of mourning, we remember the lives of those lost on flight 182, 20 years ago today. On behalf of the Conservative Party, I want to offer our sympathy, condolences and prayers for the families of the 329 victims of this horrific terror.
We offer our condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy.
Neither the passing of years nor the machinery of state have provided answers to those whose lives who were changed forever on June 23, 1985.
Twenty years ago, families were ripped apart and forever altered by that deadly explosion over the cold North Atlantic waters off the coast of Ireland.
It was the worst terrorist act originating in Canada in our nation's history. An evil act of indiscriminate terror killed someone's child, someone's mother, someone's father, someone's family. Over 80 children were killed. Six parents lost all their children and over 20 complete families were killed.
An act of pure evil and indiscriminate terror still wounds the entire Canadian community. This assault on sensibility is an open wound with no answers still, and no justice for those whose family members or friends we remember at this time.
We share with the families in the memory of their lost loved ones.
We do so in full frustration that many questions still remain unanswered. These questions deserve to be answered and all of us need to know that our government, our country, has done its all to find out what happened.
Most important, who committed this crime? Who caused this slaughter of innocents? Were there any failures by anyone in authority who might have altered this sad history?
In recent years, we have come to realize that not all matters of security can be examined in public, but they must be examined by competent and trustworthy individuals. Important questions have to be answered, and whenever possible, they must be answered publicly.
People in my home province of Nova Scotia, particularly around Peggy's Cove, were similarly confronted with a tragic disaster in 1998, which also resulted in a great loss of life. The Swissair crash forever changed the lives of families of victims but also of those who lived in surrounding areas.
Therefore, I want to remember and thank the people of Ireland, who cared for the remains of the victims of this murder and honour their memories still. They have for 20 years cared for the families of the victims. As they gathered with family, friends and officials, the people of Ireland demonstrated again at the service, as they have for over 20 years, their sympathy and support at a critical moment of remembrance. Today we thank them for their compassion and their humanity.
But above all, by remembering the victims murdered on Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, we accept our collective responsibility to them and to their families to see that difficult questions are asked and answered.
Today we honour the memory of their souls. We offer our compassion to those who have experienced enormous grief and heartbreaking losses yet have carried on with courage and conviction, determined to seek the truth and find justice, and ensure, as the Deputy Prime Minister has said, that a tragedy such as this never happens again.
I am reminded of a poignant expression which tells us that in order to lose someone we must first have had them, and so the magnitude of one's loss becomes the measure of life's gifts.