Published on November 16, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Patrick Brown, MPP for Simcoe North and Leader of the Official Opposition, today delivered the following remarks on the terrorist attacks in Paris, France:

“On behalf of the Ontario PC caucus, I rise today to express our deepest condolences to those who have been touched by the vicious acts of terrorism that took place in Paris on November 13, 2015.

We are not immune to the hatred and terror that exists in the world.

Today we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of France, just as they stood by Canada after last year’s shooting on Parliament Hill.

Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

Freedom. Equality. Fraternity.

Values that describe our Canadian way of life

The people of this province and country have remained united in our resolve to protect our freedom and encourage equality so that future generations can enjoy the same.

It is these very values that have heartened us to provide support to those in need – at home or abroad.  

To those Canadians fighting ISIS, fighting this vile evil on the front lines, we say thank you for your courage and personal sacrifice.

Canada must always stand steadfast in our international fight against these forces of terror and inhumanity.

In the wake of horror, humanity of all faiths and backgrounds unite against acts of hatred, such as we saw in Paris and Beirut last week.

As the entire world reflects on these acts of terror, we must resolve to remain vigilant and stand together to defend what those before us fought so hard to keep.  

We must be resolute in our stance against terrorism, violence and hate, and those who want to destroy our very way of life.

These acts of terror, allegedly conducted in the name of religion, are nothing more than a distorted view. Religion preaches love, not hate.

Pope Francis, in discussing the atrocious acts last week, stated “there is no religious or human justification for it.”

This past weekend saw a Mosque in Peterborough destroyed, deliberately set on fire.

We must remember that Muslim Canadians also share in the world’s grief and anguish over ongoing conflict.

The Muslim Association of Canada wrote:

"Violence against civilians, wherever it is perpetrated, is unacceptable and a corruption of Muslim beliefs. Human wisdom and divine teachings of Islam and, indeed every faith, teaches us to abhor such acts. "

Any act of hate is deplorable.

We must remain calm and tolerant – one of the most profound Canadian values.

In difficult times like these, there are often isolated incidents perpetrated by individuals that seek to exploit global events and divide Canadians.

It is exactly this type of behavior that extremist groups seek to provoke.

As Canadians, we will continue to draw on our shared values to reject this violence and send a clear message to those groups that seek to divide us.

We will not be divided.  

Last week, on Remembrance Day, we gathered to honour and remember those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe. It is because of these selfless acts we can enjoy freedom.

So to the men and women who serve to keep us safe with the Canadian Forces, and Ontario’s police, firefighters, and paramedics, we say thank you.

And to the men, women and children who have faced unspeakable terror these past few days, we say: We stand with you, united.”