Ottawa, Ontario — Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism:
“Thirty years ago today, in June 1985, a terrorist attack took place that killed all 329 passengers and crew members aboard Air India Flight 182. On this sombre anniversary, we stand in solidarity with the friends and families who lost loved ones in that heinous attack and honour those lost. On this sad day, let us also remember all those who were victims of such senseless acts of hate and empathize with the families left to mourn.
“Today, Laureen and I had the privilege of laying a wreath in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in remembrance. We were deeply moved by this solemn tribute as well as by our meeting with families impacted by acts of terror.
“It is no secret that we live in troubled times. The world is now faced with an enemy who opposes the values we hold most dear: freedom, democracy, tolerance and openness. This enemy is violent jihadism and we cannot and will not ignore the threat it presents to Canadians here at home and abroad.
“That is why we have joined our allies in a broad international coalition to fight the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). It is why we have provided our law enforcement and security agencies with significant new resources, legislation and other tools to fight terrorists and keep Canadians safe. The brave men and women of our military, our security agencies and our local law enforcement are the frontline that stands between peace and order, and fear and turmoil. We thank them for their vigilance and dedicated service.
“On days such as this, I cannot help but cast my mind back to the Canadians who perished in Air India Flight 182 and in the World Trade Center attacks, to last year’s cowardly murders of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, and to the many terrorist activities that have been foiled by the vigilance of our security agencies. These recollections serve as a reminder that Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism and that continued vigilance is essential.
“As we mark the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, let us renew our resolve to continue responding to the terrorist threat with vigilance and decisive action. We owe this to the many victims lost to terrorism.”