Last week we witnessed a horrible event in Toronto. A young man, Alek Minassian rented a van and proceeded to hit pedestrians on Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch with the explicit intent to cause fatal harm.
I learned of this news at the office and my initial thoughts were, “No it could not be. Not in Toronto. Not in Canada!” As we review the news briefings on Twitter, CBC, Global, CTV, and CNN, it is tragically clear that many innocent people enjoying a beautiful, sunny afternoon on Yonge met an unfortunate fate.
Of course this type of drive-by killing immediately reminds us of the numerous and similar incidents in Western Europe and in the US. I still cannot fathom why any individual would cause harm to strangers who have not displayed any threat or ill intent towards the perpetrator. These hateful behaviours are not compatible with any stable society.
People who wield, advocate and execute such abhorrent beliefs are effectively cancerous to others livelihood. We must combat such cancer with education, empathic communication, and not lash out with ignorant animosity. We need to show them that we can keep our wrath in check, and we can stay vigilant and strong, and move forward, and continue to live life the way we want and not in fear.
I was doubly surprised when Alek’s father turned out to be a former coworker of mine back at Ironside Technologies. I cannot imagine how he feels. The words, “extremely difficult”, is probably a drastic understatement. He is also a victim of the event. I reached out to him and offered whatever support should he requires it.
My condolences to all victims, survivors and others that are horribly touched by the event. Let us all work together and be transparent to our beliefs, and grievances. Let us leverage our empathies so that we can address our disagreements with civilities and compromises. In the end, we can and should ALL GET ALONG!