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It was with great sadness that we learned last evening of the terror attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec.  Today, we echo the words of the YMCAs of Quebec who denounced this violence as having “no place in our communities, our cities, and our country.”

All people deserve the right to live in peace.  Peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict.  Peace is the ongoing work of building and rebuilding conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity.  

The Canada we want has safe and vibrant communities where everyone belongs.  Our Canada is one that demonstrates leadership in improving the health of all people in spirit, mind, and body; a Canada that respects diversity and pluralism; that combats inequality; that protects the most vulnerable; that promotes global citizenship; and that nurtures the potential of young people.

Yesterday’s attack in Quebec City is a painful reminder of how hate can live in even the most progressive of communities and countries.  It is a reminder that we must be active and vigilant in building healthy communities; that we must be steadfast in our conviction that people of all backgrounds must be able to thrive in a single society.  We must listen, ask questions, seek understanding, and together, build the trust needed to stand in the way of those who seek to divide us.