This has been a heavy week for us all, but most notably for our Indigenous and Muslim neighbours.
I am thinking of Jagmeet’s words in Parliament when he said that some people would look at the events of the past week and say that this is not our Canada.
But as Jagmeet said, this is our Canada.
Our Canada is a place where 215 children’s bodies are discovered in unmarked graves.
Our Canada is a place where Muslim women can’t walk down the street in hijabs without fear of being killed.
Our Canada (and our own city) is a place where young Black men can’t film a music video in a parking lot without having a dozen police cars surround them, with weapons drawn.
Our Canada is a country of violence, colonialism and racism.
But what do we do now that we have acknowledged this? We follow the affected communities’ lead and change things.
We can join MP Leah Gazan’s call for the government to recognize Canada’s Indian Residential Schools as an act of genocide, and write to other Members of Parliament calling on them to support this.
And we can join together to demand more from our elected officials. We deserve leaders that don’t take Indigenous children to court, and don’t abstain from motions calling for urgent action towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, as Ottawa Centre Liberal MP Catherine McKenna did.
This week I am mourning but I am committing to do more than just mourn. Both in Parliament Hill and outside of it, I will continue to demand more from our governments and make sure they put real money behind their statements of solidarity.
I hope you’ll join me,