1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
Volume 150, Issue 95

Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

Le Centre culturel islamique de Québec—Victims of Tragedy

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, it is with a very heavy heart that I rise today to address the attack that was perpetrated last week in Quebec City.

First of all, I would like to thank Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard and Mayor Labeaume for their leadership following the tragedy. Their words really resonated with me. Prime Minister Trudeau stated:

Reach out to your friends and neighbours. Gather your communities. Be there for your people. They need you.

The Premier of Quebec said this, and I quote:

Our cause, the one that drives me, is that of an open and confident society, a welcoming place in which there is only one level of citizenship and it is the same for all.

I was also very touched by the words of the Mayor of Quebec City, when he said:

No person should have to pay with their life for their race, their colour, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs.

I would like to sincerely thank MP Joël Lightbound for the role he played in this crisis. Thank you so very much.

Gentlemen, your meaningful words have been vital at this difficult time. They have made it clear how strong, united, compassionate and supportive our country is when faced with adversity.

I have visited Quebec City often since the time my son was a young university student there, working as a guide at city hall. As a parliamentarian, I stayed in Quebec City a number of times. Every time I stayed with people there, they opened their homes and hearts to me.

In closing, I will share with you what my father used to say to me when I was young. There are two types of political decision makers. The first are those who use their power like scissors to divide the community rather than to bring it together. The second are those who use their power like sewing needles to piece together this great mosaic that unites the community and rallies its members in support of a common goal, that of living in peace and harmony with one another.

I would like to say how proud I am to be Canadian and how touched I am by the unconditional love that our fellow Canadians have shown to us, the Muslims of this country. I will always be grateful to our Prime Minister and all of our leaders, who work together to unite Canadians rather than divide them, to open our doors rather than shut them. Thank you for this unity and for your solidarity.