Mr. Speaker, like all of my colleagues, I share in the deep grief of the people of New Zealand, and particularly the Islamic population of New Zealand as neighbours, friends and worshippers.
This is a horrific act of violence, and I appreciate so much that the Prime Minister shone a light on the fact that there are white supremacists in Canada who harbour the same kinds of views as the perpetrator of this act, this atrocity.
Those are hard words to say because Canadians are so very nice. We really are. Over the two-week break we had, I was in community after community for town hall meetings and there is no question that Canadians, as a people, are a family. We may want to create divisions, region against region, but they are not real. Canadians are inherently really wonderful, loving, compassionate human beings. That we have such a thing as white supremacy anywhere in Canada should be as deeply disturbing to all of us here as it is to everyone across the country.
I will turn to New Zealand for a moment.
It does not fail to strike me with deep irony that the people of Christchurch were visited by another act, a natural disaster, that cut right to the heart of that community. The earthquake of 2011 killed 185 people. I am not speaking for New Zealanders, but given the commentary from people who were near the shooting and impacted by it, and as my friend James Shaw, who is a parliamentarian in New Zealand and co-leader of its green party would agree, I do not doubt that this act of violence has been more deeply painful to the people of Christchurch than even the earthquake that obliterated centuries of monuments and killed so very many.
That brave young woman Prime Minister of New Zealand has all of our support. I so appreciate that the Prime Minister spoke to her directly. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already proven herself to be a strong woman in politics, as she is the first prime minister anywhere in the world to give birth while in office. However, this should never have come on her watch. It is so unfair.
I note her words in the moments after the killings. Speaking of the victims in the mosque, she said, “They are us. The person who has perpetrated this violence against us is not.” She has completely excluded those who would do such a thing from having any right to feel that they belong in New Zealand.
We must do the same in Canada. We must be prepared to tell people who are attracted to a white supremacist movement that they do not belong in Canada and that they are not us. Those who are attracted to a rally where there are signs that suggest there are white supremacists in the group should not show up. They should not speak there. We should give no oxygen, even accidentally. All of us in political life must give no oxygen to hatred, violence, anti-Semitism, misogyny and Islamophobia.
We must stand together as Canadians and know that the people we represent call on us to be our best selves, to love one another and our neighbours and to be the kinds of people who will stand outside a mosque with a sign that says, “I'm a Christian but I'm here while you worship. I've got your back. I'm watching for you” or “I'm a Jew, but I'm standing here outside your mosque, as you will stand outside my temple.” We should stand together in places that are secular and religious, in faith and as family. No hatred must be allowed to take root in this country.
We stand with the people of New Zealand. We say, “God bless you” for what they are going through. As-salaam alaikum. We are together as family on this planet. Let no hatred take root here.