1st Session, 42nd Parliament
Volume 150, Issue 193

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

Humboldt Tragedy


Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today with a heavy heart to speak on the terrible tragedy that struck our nation on Friday, April 6, 2018, in rural Saskatchewan. Among the lives lost in the crash are many young players, one as young as 16 years old, their coach, a play-by-play radio announcer, an 18-year-old statistics keeper, a bus driver and an athletic therapist.

The death toll increased on Wednesday when Dayna Brons, the athletic therapist for the Humboldt Broncos, died.

Dayna had been listed in critical condition since last Friday’s crash outside Tisdale, Saskatchewan. Her family previously said she had undergone two surgeries and was in a medically induced coma due to serious head trauma. Dayna grew up on a farm near Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan. She studied at the University of Regina. She completed the athletic therapy program at Mount Royal University in Calgary in 2016. She joined the Broncos as an athletic therapist and equipment manager in the summer of 2016, and she had previously worked for a lacrosse team in Saskatoon.

On Wednesday, April 11, our country kept mourning as Dayna’s family announced her passing, and in a statement her family said, “Dayna will be forever remembered for her joyful smile, and her passion and love of sport.”

Honourable senators, not only are the Canadian hockey and sport communities terribly saddened by the loss of those 16 lives, but the whole world is mourning. In my country of birth of Uganda, hundreds of children are able to walk because hockey teams across Canada have generously sponsored their surgeries. On social media, I was touched by seeing a picture of a young Ugandan boy wearing an Oakville Rangers hockey jersey and holding a sign which said, “Humboldt Strong, Sending Love from Uganda.”

My thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving due to the tragedy, including the injured, first responders, family, friends, staff and everyone in the communities affected.

Honourable senators, this tragedy is more than the 16 accomplished young men and women that we lost. It’s more than the grief that is shared between players and the team and the families. It is about knowing that as a society, as Canadians, we can lean on each other in hard times. I know I speak for all senators: To the families of the Humboldt Broncos, we feel your pain and want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

We are all Humboldt Strong.