Mr. Speaker, each year on the last Sunday of September, Canada salutes the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in their role as police and peace officers.
In Yellowknife on September 27th, RCMP, peace officers, family members and the public came together to recognize and honour the loss of loved ones, friends and colleagues who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Since the 1870’s, 222 officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and its forerunner, the North West Mounted Police have died across Canada. We owe each of them a profound and continuing debt of gratitude.
Police and peace officers include RCMP officers, correctional officers, highway patrol officers, territorial park officers and municipal enforcement officers. Our police and peace officers regularly work in difficult environments and in dangerous situations. In times of crisis, they respond quickly and without thought of personal danger.
As well as upholding the law, peace officers are mentors in our schools, coaches in our arenas and gymnasiums, and neighbours contributing in many ways to our communities.
The fallen officers recognized during the past year were RCMP Constable David Wynn of Alberta; Constable Daniel Woodall of the Edmonton police service; Transport Enforcement Officer, Toni D. Kristinsson from BC; and Corrections Officer Rhonda Commodore from Manitoba Corrections Services.
We remember those 56 who have fallen in the Northwest Territories, including the sacrifices of Constable Christopher Worden and Parole Officer Louise Parteger, who each lost their lives serving our citizens.
We have been working towards making communities safer and policing more effective in the Northwest Territories, by building trust and improving relationships between law enforcement and those they serve.
We will continue to build these positive relations through Community Policing Plans and working with community members on common goals and priorities. These relationships need to be continually nurtured. Great work has been accomplished in the past few years.
I know all the Members of this Assembly will want to be sure that the men and women who work hard and have dedicated their lives to public safety and public service know they have our sincere appreciation.
Selfless commitment, sacrifice and dedication; these qualities were exemplified by each officer we have lost. Every peace officer deserves to go home safely to their loved ones at the end of their shift. To those who didn’t make it back, we will never forget you.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.