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Humboldt tragedy and beyond: Every Life Matters.

As one honours every victim of the Humboldt tragedy it is important to remember that every life matters. The Humboldt Broncos tragedy demonstrates that Canadians expression of care, love and share can be limitless. It is critical to apply the same ideas of expressing care, love and share to every tragedy when the life of human beings abruptly ends. Here is the list of some of the recently media identified human tragedies in Canada and beyond that involve children death:

  • At the same time as Humboldt tragedy three separate crashes involving school buses in the last two days, including one that left a motorist dead, have Ontario provincial police pleading for drivers to pay more attention.
  • On April 9 Indian school bus plunges into gorge, ‘killing 27 children’ Most of the passengers were below the age of 10, police said. The bus driver and two teachers were also killed in the accident on Monday evening.
  • An Ottawa-area teen with a rare and painful skin condition was remembered Friday as a strong, determined advocate who worked to raise awareness about the disease while displaying a remarkable enthusiasm for life. Jonathan Pitre, who died this week, pushed for a better understanding of epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, his mother said, calling her 17-year-old a “fearless warrior.”
  • Earlier in March Krassimira Pejcinovski, 39, and her son Roy Pejcinovski, 15, were found dead inside their home in Ajax on March 15. Her daughter Venallia, 13, was taken to a trauma centre but died of injuries later that evening.
  • Two children died from flu-related illnesses on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 in Guelph.
  • 4 children dead in Nova Scotia house fire in January 2018.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, over 5,500 Canadians shot and killed themselves.
  • Teen killed herself at a foster home in Manitoba in January 2018
  • The bodies of Chloe Berry, 6, and her sister Aubrey, 4, were found in an Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day in British Columbia.
  • Nine more children known to New Brunswick’s child welfare system have died, CBC News has learned. Seven of the deaths happened over the last 12 months, while two more children died in late 2016, according to new figures from the province’s child death review committee.
  • 23 to 25 youth in Canada die from firearms injuries.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 civilians killed in Syria is a child, Lancet study says More than 17,000 children killed by weapons, as air bombs kill 5 times more civilians than combatants
  • Save the Children says 130 children die every day in Yemen.
  • 1 million newborns die the day they are born, UNICEF report says.

The list of human tragedies is much bigger than those identified, many of the losses of human lives are not covered in the media but hopefully, every person who dies is remembered with dignity and their families, friends receive the supports they need. Canadians show how to demonstrate support as a result of the recent Humboldt bus crash (Humboldt Broncos: How Canadians and the world responded to the tragedy). It is critical to respond with the same level of care, share and love to every victim in Canada and around the world.

The biggest takeaway: life is short and can change really fast.  Dr. Alastair McAlpine has a perspective on life many aspire to but it’s one he’s earned doing a heart-wrenching job. McAlpine cares for children in their dying days at Paedspal, a paediatric palliative program in Cape Town, South Africa.  Alastair suggests spending life “doing the things you love with the people you love and tell those people that you love them. And I think if you do all of those things, I think you will look back on your life — whether it’s ending today or ending in many many years time — I think you’ll look back with gratitude and joy”.

Keep living, learning and remembering human tragedies and finding ways to respond to them keeping in mind the dignity and worth of every human being.  Every human life matters!

Contra Spem Spero

Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Education and Social Work

Thompson Rivers University


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