Statement on Tina Fontaine, Faron Hall

When I learned yesterday that 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was murdered, my first thought was that young girls should not die.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tina Fontaine and the Aboriginal community.

Tragically, Aboriginal girls and women are killed and go missing in far too frequent numbers in our city and throughout the country.

Although this is an issue that is national in scope, the impact on families is personal. They are daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers. When they are killed, they leave families and communities to grieve and their deaths create a void that can never be completely filled.

It is now estimated that 1,200 women and girls have died in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and in communities across our country.

We need to stand with people who are profoundly sad, angry but most of all are afraid. There is no easy solution to this issue. But at the very least we have a responsibility to ask the right questions and be at their sides at this most difficult time.

Additionally, we mourn the passing of Faron Hall who I had the privilege to meet and who has been an inspiration to many through his actions, his struggles, and his spirit. Faron's struggles were not his alone, and we all bear the responsibility to reach out and support our fellow citizens.