Sen. Plett expresses great concern on the tragedy that occurred in London, ON

June 8, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) - The Honourable Don Plett, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, issued the following statement:

Honourable senators, I also rise to speak about the tragedy that occurred in London, Ontario, this Sunday evening.

A 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman, a 15-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy were the victims of a driver who deliberately struck them down with his truck. All the family members died except for the young boy who remains in critical condition in a London hospital. This violent act of mass murder was motivated because of the family’s Muslim faith. It is a heartbreaking incident on every front.

This family deserved to be able to walk through their community in safety, in peace and without worry. Like all Canadians, they deserved freedom of conscience and religion. Their Muslim faith alone put targets on their backs for someone who wrongfully and shamefully believed this family did not deserve these freedoms.

As the Mayor of London, Ed Holder, said Sunday, it was certainly a dark day in Canada.

Colleagues, Islamophobia has no place in Canada. Violent acts of terror have no place in Canada. Racism has no place in Canada. Yet this incident reminds us that these dark evils persist in our society. Sometimes they persist under the surface, but on Sunday, they were expressed in a horrific act of violence that has surely left Muslim Canadians with increased fear for their own lives, doubt of their acceptance in their own country and deep grief.

The Conservative senators stand with the Muslim community in this time, and we express our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the victims. Our hearts go out to the family’s son, who remains in hospital, and we pray that he will fully recover and be surrounded by love as he begins to take in how his life has changed.

We reaffirm our commitment to build a country that is free from hatred, where Canadians of all faiths can live without fear of violence or persecution and where Canadians feel no fear to worship in the public sphere, no fear when entering a mosque, no fear when wearing the expressions of their faith and certainly no fear when going on a walk with one’s family.

As parliamentarians, let us mourn this tragic event and grieve with those who are grieving. As Erin O’Toole said in his speech this morning in the other place:

Our first duty as political leaders is to ensure the security of our citizens. To ensure that Canadians can be free to live, work and pray as they wish.

May we all recommit ourselves to standing for freedom of religion in Canada to ensure the security of all of our citizens.

Thank you.

Senator Plett's speech can also be found here.

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