Salmon Arm council briefly suspended its June 14 meeting in order to hold a minute of silence to honour the members of a Muslim family in Ontario targeted in what authorities are calling a terrorist attack.
Coun. Wallace Richmond issued a statement of condolence on behalf of the City of Salmon Arm to the community of London, Ontario, where her parents happen to live.
“We begin this meeting with a moment of reflection to honour the victims of the horrific act of hate that killed four and orphaned a nine-year-old boy in London, Ontario,” she said.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, congregation members, witnesses, first responders, health-care providers and all who have been impacted by this trauma and terror.
“We must not let the pain of this unfathomable loss and hateful act lessen our collective responsibility to stamp out hate, acknowledge that Islamophobia is real, and combat the racism in Canadian society and in our own community.
“We mourn with our Muslim community members who continue to suffer the cruelty of ignorance, intolerance, prejudice and discrimination.
“We are all equal under the law and share the right to freedom of expression of religious beliefs.
“We must recommit to upholding that freedom by working together every day to fortify a culture of inclusion, respect and safety,” Wallace Richmond said.
The Shuswap Immigration Services Society is planning a vigil to honour the victims of the attack on Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. at McGuire Lake.
“We offer our thanks to the Shuswap Immigration Services Society for their leadership in supporting our newcomers and strengthening our community’s resilience against racism and towards inclusion,” Wallace Richmond concluded.
Later in the meeting, she suggested council defray the society’s cost of using McGuire Lake on June 25 by using money from the council initiatives fund. Council agreed.