Grieving as a community is healing

Our riding and province experienced an unimaginable tragedy on the afternoon of April 6th that we will never forget.  Last Monday I stopped and laid flowers at the site of the accident, where the lives of sixteen Humboldt Broncos players and support staff were taken and another thirteen injured.  My body went numb as I looked at the ground to see bits and pieces of the bus and its contents scattered around the roadside. It emotionally shattered me. No words can express the feelings of sorrow and sadness that I felt for the victims and their families.
I have spent the last week since then travelling through the Tisdale and Nipawin area, visiting and listening to constituents as they work to process the bus accident and tragic loss of life.  The people of our riding are truly shaken, saddened and care about what occurred. The conversations always turn to the first responders: the people who came along the scene, police, volunteer firefighters, ambulance drivers, EMTs, as well as the many doctors and nurses who were waiting to respond in our hospitals.   We are all so proud of them and how they worked together to save as many lives as possible. They faced the worst of the worst of accidents, yet rolled up their sleeves and got the job done.
The constituents of Prince Albert firmly believe that these emergency workers need our community’s support as well in the coming days as the adrenaline of the emergency response wears off.  We want to ensure that they have access to whatever support they require to come to terms with what they saw, smelled and experienced in the aftermath of this horrendous accident.
I want to thank the chaplains, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, as well as all the other support services that the provincial government has committed.  Grief is tough, but necessary so that we can get back to some sort of normalcy as we move forward. The chaplain of the Humboldt Broncos said it best at the vigil last Sunday when he told us that this accident has created a scar and that as the pain subsides with time, and it will subside, the scar will still be present upon us and our communities.
Over the weekend and throughout the weeks ahead, there will be a number of events to show support for the Broncos, their families and all of the first responders. I encourage you to attend and support these events. Not only is it a way that you can help the victims and their families, but it’s also a way for you to help yourself if you are facing difficult thoughts and feelings in the aftermath as well.  Grieving as a community is healing.
Finally, I also ask that you please remember to pray.   Prayer is an amazing healer and when we find ourselves feeling helpless, prayer is all we have.
-Randy Hoback, MP


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