Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): It is with a heavy heart that I rise today to offer my condolences to the families, friends and community members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.
Together we grieve as a country. Together we mourn the tragic loss of the Humboldt Broncos athletes and support team taken too soon.
Such situations are beyond our capacity to understand. We all struggle with the difficult reality that these young athletes — at the prime of their game — will not get more ice time.
As soon as Canadians heard about this terrible accident, they came together to offer support and encouragement, as a country, to all those affected by the tragedy.
We have seen entire neighbourhoods with hockey sticks on their front porches. We have seen jerseys worn by so many last Thursday, and we have seen the generosity of Canadians.
To the families and friends who have been faced with the impossible loss of a dear loved one, may you find peace and comfort in knowing that the country mourns with you, and know that we will not forget your loved ones.
To the survivors who have witnessed the horrors of this accident, may you find strength and support to properly heal from this ordeal. Stay strong, and when you are faced with times of doubt, know that the people of Canada await your recovery and well-being.
To the first responders and medical professionals, thank you for your bravery. Your courageous actions under circumstances unimaginable to most of us do not go unnoticed.
To all those impacted, from small towns to big cities, dedicated hockey lovers and teammates, brothers, sisters and parents everywhere, remember that Canada is built on strong communities. Whether you are in Saskatchewan or elsewhere, know that you are not alone. The entire country shares your pain.
Sport is what brings us together. It is where champions are born, but more important, where teammates become family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.