The tragic and horrific shooting on the Danforth has shocked and saddened the City of Toronto, our province and country.
My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the victims and their families. My heart goes out to everyone on the Danforth affected by this senseless act of violence.
It is hard to imagine the horror of that moment last night.
I want to sincerely thank the first responders who ran into danger last night when the normal reaction from anyone is to run from it. The front-line police officers, EMS, and fire services all deserve our gratitude and support. We thank you from the bottom our hearts.
I also want to acknowledge and thank the everyday heroes who acted to help their co-workers, customers, friends, family and strangers. I’m inspired by your bravery and your deep instinct to care for people in need around you.
With tears in my eyes, I read the news this morning. I was especially moved by the story of Tanya Wilson who exposed herself to danger by opening her tattoo shop to help two bleeding victims—a mother and her adult son. Placing them in her tattoo chairs, Ms. Wilson administered first aid, helping them for half an hour until paramedics found them.
Her story and those of others give me hope.
Senseless acts of violence have no place in our streets. But the sad fact is that such outrageous acts of violence are a reality of today’s world.
I know that we are a strong and resilient people. Toronto is a proud and caring city. We will not, we cannot allow such random acts of violence to shut down this city, prevent us from spending time with family, friends and community in public spaces.
And while we remain vigilant, we will not be afraid to celebrate this city and each other. We cannot allow the cowardly actions of a disturbed individual to drive us apart, make us afraid of each other, prevent us from opening our arms to strangers.
We are stronger than that. We are better than that.
While we mourn the loss of life today, I know that in the coming days there will be discussions about how we prevent such senseless tragedies in the future.
I ask my colleagues in this House and my fellow citizens across Ontario that we have that conversation in a respectful, dignified and productive way. In a way that honours those who lost their lives last night. In a way that brings us together—pursuing a collective agenda that our cities, our streets and our communities be safe for everyone.
If we stick together, we can turn senseless violence into meaningful change.
I want to close by offering my heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones last night. The pain and loss you feel is real. We are here for you, we grieve for you, and we pray for you.