Mr. Speaker, today I would like to address a tragedy in my constituency that occurred four and a half years ago when Maple Batalia, a talented young women, a health sciences student at SFU, and an upcoming model was murdered at her school.
The death of Maple Batalia has, for the past four years, been a colossal wound to our community.
When I speak to the Batalia family and members of our community, they share the story of a young woman who was a trailblazer, an inspiration to her peers, someone who was known for a strong and courageous character, and a woman who, I am certain, would have had a bright future.
On March 7, 2016, the perpetrator was sentenced to life in prison.
I believe that, too often, there is a sense that violence against women is a private issue. To all those women and families listening, I challenge them to break this silence. Partner violence, and in particular violence against women, is a community issue that we need to address together.