Fourty-nine people have been left dead in two New Zealand mosques, victims of a mass shooting likely motivated by religious beliefs.
Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson spoke about the shooting.
He said that it raises a wide variety of questions.
"There must be some way that we can respect people's basic freedoms, their freedoms of equality, respecting each other, seeing each other as equal, respect their freedoms of belief and religion," he said this morning. "There are far too many people that we hear event after event, where people go into churches or mosques, places of worship, and they are attacked just simply because they want to do that [practice religion], and that needs to stop."
He said that as a vocal supporter of religious freedoms, he has been able to speak with those from different backgrounds.
"We're all very different, political beliefs included, and yet we find ways to work together on supporting these fundamental freedoms, and people can do that if they just set their minds and their hearts towards it. We're not all the same, I think that probably we should be able to accept that, we should be able to celebrate those differences and learn from each other, and an event like this reminds us once again that we need to do that."
He said that leaders need to be able to address the situation correctly and adequately.
"I think those of us who see ourselves as leaders need to do better in our responses," the Conservative MP said. "I think far too often, there's, I'll call it a lazy reaction, where it's easy to sloppy assign labels to other people, you slander people to try and silence them, and then you try to put definitions on people so we can win the battle, and that actually ends up creating more problems rather than less."
Anderson said that southwest Saskatchewan was a tolerant area, and commented that he would be attending an event today speaking on inclusivity, that happened to occur a day after the New Zealand attack.
"We have the responsibility, both to treat others as equals, and then to also to expect that others will treat us as an equal as well. And I think that goes both ways in our culture to try to convince people, 'look, I have the right to be respected by you, and I have the obligation to respect you as well'."
That 'March Out Racism' event is taking place at noon today in Market Square.