It has been a very difficult week in Ottawa.
I started the week by attending the closing arguments in the long-running case on discrimination in child welfare funding for on-reserve children.
That’s where I was again on Wednesday (Oct. 22) when an attacker killed a young soldier at the War Memorial and then entered the House of Commons.
The building where the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal was hearing the child welfare case was locked down, like many other buildings in downtown Ottawa.
But the work of the Tribunal continued while outside the building, police closed the surrounding streets, re-routed traffic, and looked for any evidence.
You know much of what followed — the media has covered the details.
In the hours and days afterward, I was buoyed by the statements made by our country’s leaders, including my own, Tom Mulcair.
They focused on the strengths of Canada, a diverse nation that struggles every day to create a country that people of many faiths, backgrounds, ethnicities and histories can call home.
The speeches reminded us all that while we come together in grief at the loss of two fine soldiers, we also saw again the incredible courage demonstrated by Canadians who rushed into danger.
While the motivation for these shocking events is still unknown, we do know what can motivate all of us in the days to come.
As Tom Mulcair said…
“We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace, and tomorrow we will do the same.
These acts were driven by hatred, but also designed to drive us to hate.
They will not.”