It seems the illusion  of a blank slate for the new year is already broken. It’s been shot and bloodied by the ignorance and hatred of a man with a gun.

Late one Sunday evening, men and women went out. Some went to restaurants. Some to bars. And some to their place of worship. All of them expected to return home in a few hours.

At the same time, a coward loaded his gun with bullets of hatred from his poisoned heart. He went, silently, to where a group of people were praying. And he opened fire.

He opened fire on innocents, tainting them with blood and fury. He ruined their lives and the lives of so many around them. He intended to not only strike fear in their hearts, but to make them pay for an unidentified deed.

Why?, you ask. I can’t tell you why. Because I can’t understand why. A human being entered a place of worship and peace with the intent to cause bloodshed and violence.

6 people will never pray or think or laugh or smile or walk or live again.

19 people may never again feel safe in their homes.

And countless others will feel the same fear. And for what? For nothing.

These people were simply exercising their right to practice their own faith. But a young man decided that being Muslim was a crime deserving of capital punishment. In a country that has outlawed capital punishment.

This event shocked me. I cannot believe that in 2017, we are still choosing to hate people for something like their religion. I had thought we had moved past this. Beyond excluding people because of their race or faith or sex. I guess I was wrong.

But Canada has not forsaken these people. We will stand together to end news stories like this from occurring. Not only in Canada but all over the world.

The world is full of people who are different from you and who have opposing beliefs. But killing them won’t solve anything. So instead, let us stand together, let us stand united and let us be strong, together.