In a rural town, east of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, April brought a kind of grief unimaginable to the residents of Humboldt. The evening of April 6, 2018 the Humboldt Broncos hockey team boarded their bus to travel to a playoff game. The bus was filled with young eager hockey players in their late teens and early 20s along with their coaches.
The boys never made their playoff game.
It was a crash heard from coast to coast in Canada, and even further in the hockey community. One that resonated with so many Canadians- how many of us have played hockey ourselves or seen our relatives off in a bus on their way to a game. 16 people died in the crash and others still were injured.
Hockey has the amazing ability to bring people together. This is something I’ve seen in our community in Charleswood for decades and it’s something I see on a larger scale, too. I see it when the Jets make the playoffs and our city gathers for street party celebrations, I see it on social media when Canada stands behind the Winnipeg Jets and wishes our team well, and I see it when I drive past homes with hockey sticks out front.
I can’t imagine the difficult road ahead for the families of victims. What I can do is stand with Canadians to show those affected that we support them.
As Speaker of the Manitoba Legislature I oversee decorum in the house. This includes reminding Members of the Legislative Assembly to dress to code. Or, on the rare occasion, allowing them to disregard the dress code entirely. April 12, 2018 was Jersey Day across Canada. This idea originated from a group in British Columbia and quickly spread over social media using the hashtag #JerseysforHumboldt. The Speakers of all provincial assemblies as well as the House of Commons decided together to embrace this show of support. In Manitoba I organized for all MLAs to wear their jerseys. I was so proud the sport the Roblin Park Raiders jersey. Elected representatives from all parties, from all provinces, and from different levels of government joined together to show that together we are all Humboldt Strong. Out of this unimaginable tragedy we’ve seen Canadians band together in support of Humboldt and I am humbled to have been a part of it.