Mr. Speaker, I want to express the sadness we all feel with respect to the senseless violence that took place yesterday in Nova Scotia. Every victim is a tremendous loss for their family and community.
We remember RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson, who lost her life protecting others. Many were also injured, including a member of the RCMP. The families are going through tough times, which are made more difficult because they may not be able to visit their loved ones in hospital because of COVID-19.
In the past several weeks, we have seen the courage of first responders in the face of COVID-19, those who are running to harm's way to keep us safe. Now we have an example of an RCMP constable who did exactly that. She ran toward the fire, ran toward harm, to save the lives of others, and in saving the lives of others, she lost hers.
She was a 23-year veteran of the RCMP, a mother of two young children. When we think about her sacrifice and we think about this senseless violent act and how it has hurt an entire province, I want to send a message on behalf of all of us here and all New Democrats that though Nova Scotians are grieving, they are not grieving alone. An entire nation grieves with them.
While we often look to the south and think of mass shootings as a reality for the States but not something that happens here in Canada, we have to acknowledge that it happens here as well. École Polytechnique was an example of a mass shooting that targeted women, violence against women. Now, we do not know the details, but there is clearly a problem with violence, and we have to do something about it.
I agree with my colleague who raised the point that it is no longer enough to have rhetoric about the senseless violence. We have to do something about violence. We have to get at the root cause. We have to understand where the gaps occurred that allowed this to happen and what we can do to prevent this from ever happening again in our country.
While today we mourn with our brothers and sisters from Nova Scotia, while we mourn as a nation, tomorrow we also have to talk about how we can move forward together to prevent this type of harm from ever happening again. The only way to truly remember and honour the lives that were lost is to commit to changing the future so this never happens again.