Thursday November 5th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature in reponse to a Ministerial statement on the Montreal masacre. My comments are below:
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, December the 6th is a very important day, is indeed a–was a watershed moment 30 years ago. It is something that is very close to me, in part because I spent four years in Montreal and in part because I had visited the École polytechnique when I was minister responsible for science at the federal level. And so when this happened it was not only an incredible shock, it was a shock which occurred in an institution that I had been visiting and been there and seen the incredible contributions that people have made at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, and it was so sad to have something like this happen.
It is and was a turning point, and it's a turning point on which we must build. We must recognize not only this time, but what has happened more recently with the #MeToo movement, with the task force and the report of the task force on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
We have a special responsibility in Manitoba to act because we have the highest level of violent crime in all the country, and we have that responsibility here to address not only violent crime broadly, but very specifically, crime which is directed against women or people who are binary or trans or of other genders. We have a responsibility not only to provide safe spaces, but to provide equality and opportunity and equality in fact. We need to address issues like poverty and homelessness. We want to make sure that no women or person falls through the cracks of the care that we should be able to provide.
So I rise to join others to dedicate ourselves to create and to build a better Manitoba where women are treated equitably and fairly and where people of all genders have opportunities as they should.
Madam Speaker: Please stand for a moment of silence.