Mr. Speaker, upon hearing of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, my thoughts immediately turned to his family. How difficult this must be for them. He was so young, so vibrant, so full of life, but what of his extended family, all those people who shared in his yearning for hope, democracy, opportunity, equality and justice? How difficult this is for all those who share in this grief.
For all those throughout history who have been cut down and taken from us far too early, we must continue to carry the torch. As it says in scripture, “Say not in grief 'he is no more' but live in thankfulness that he was”.
A few months after my election to the House of Commons in 2011, I hosted Boris Nemtsov in Ottawa for meetings with my fellow parliamentarians. In my riding of York Centre, we organized a community event to a packed room at the Bernard Betel Centre. His message was a simple one, centred on hope and optimism.
Let me be clear. Those cherished values did not die in the streets of Moscow with Boris Nemstov. Yes, the world cries, tears are shed over his grave for the words left unsaid and deeds left undone, but Boris pushed the door open. Now it is up to all of us to carry his memory across the threshold.
Rest in peace, my friend.