On June 30th the community of Morinville and the surrounding area were victims of a shocking and tragic loss. The burning of the 114-year-old St. Jean Baptiste Church, an icon of the Francophone, Catholic and Morinville communities, hit us incredibly hard. MP Dane Lloyd was on the scene early that morning to survey the damage and speak with residents. He was also on the phone with Premier Kenney and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. Premier Kenney immediately came to the community and church where he and Mr. Lloyd decried this apparent act of hate.
An attack on any place of worship is not only an attack on a building but also an attack on all people of faith. The people of our communities expect and deserve justice. If deliberate, this is an act of hate against our community and the perpetrators must face criminal prosecution to the full extent of the law. As we mourn the tragic loss of this historic centre of our community, we must continue to stand together to support one another. A building can be destroyed, but this community of faith will not be defeated.
With several churches having been set on fire and dozens more vandalized over the past number of weeks, it is time for these acts of hate to be fully condemned by all levels of leadership in our society. The future of our country will be defined by how we build Canada up, not tear it down.