Mr. Speaker, I rise to join with the Prime Minister and other members to remember the victims of that tragic day 10 years ago.
On that day 14 promising young women lost their lives in a malevolent outburst of violence by a man with a gun.
I offer my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these young women and to the young women who were wounded in this tragedy.
I do so on behalf of all the members of the official opposition.
My wife Sandra and I have raised five children in our home. They are now young adults, two young men and three young women. On the day this tragedy occurred two of our daughters were attending classes at the University of Alberta. As a parent, your heart sinks when you even hear about things like this and your mind races to two questions: How safe are our daughters, any of our daughters, from similar acts of violence? And, what can we do as parents, what in particular should we be teaching or providing at home in order to protect our children from violence, in particular violence directed toward women?
Later the news came out concerning the young man who had perpetrated these terrible acts, of the troubled life and background from which grew his pathological hatred of women. I found myself asking a third question of particular relevance to parents with boys at home: What can we do as parents, what in particular should we be teaching or providing our young men at home in order to deal with attitudes or conditions that might lead them to disrespect or discriminate against or to verbally or physically abuse anyone, but in particular those of the opposite sex?
All three of those questions are as relevant today as they were on this day 10 years ago. They demand responses particularly in our homes and personal relations where the attitudes of young men toward women and vice versa are shaped far more than they are by public policy.
Perhaps today the greatest tribute we can pay to those victims whom we remember and honour today would be to rededicate ourselves not just as legislators but as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to the prevention of violence in our society and in our homes, in particular the violence of men toward women epitomized by the tragedy of December 6, 1989.