Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable colleagues, the scene is the same in hockey communities across Canada. Boys and girls, young men and young women, their coaches and team staff board the buses that transport them to away games and tournaments. From small towns and big cities, our sons and daughters travel by bus on the highways and rural roads that criss-cross our vast country.
But as every Canadian knows, on April 6, tragedy struck one of these everyday scenes. A transport truck collided with the bus carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Humboldt Broncos just north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. One moment, they were excitedly on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin; the next moment brought a terrible accident in which 16 people ultimately lost their lives, 13 others were seriously injured, and their families were forever shattered.
In the days that followed, Canadians all struggled with the loss. But in tragedy, the country has united behind the injured survivors and the families of those lost in the town of Humboldt. Since that dreadful day, Canadians from coast to coast to coast have come together to show their support for a community and province in mourning, leaving hockey sticks on porches, wearing sports jerseys to work and school, and donating millions of dollars to help families cope with their unimaginable loss.
Honourable senators, we all share in Humboldt’s grief, just as we did 10 years ago when seven members of the Bathurst High School Phantoms basketball team and their teacher lost their lives in a horrific collision on a snow-covered highway in my home province of New Brunswick.
On behalf of the Independent Liberals in the Senate, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the 16 individuals taken by this tragedy. I also offer our support and good wishes to the injured and their families. I hope that our thoughts and prayers will help strengthen them as they begin to rebuild their lives.