oct 15Mr. Speaker, in 2015, this House passed a motion which was introduced by the former MLA for Hay River South to formally observe today, October 15th, as an annual special day of awareness and remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss in the Northwest Territories. In doing so, the NWT joined a number of other jurisdictions in Canada, and around the world which use today to recognize and raise awareness of the prominence of pregnancy loss and infant death with an aim to support the women and families who experience the such losses, and to remember the children who have passed.

Sometimes, Mr. Speaker, the world isn’t fair, and a child is lost and it’s no one’s fault, and all we can do is be mindful, offer support, and attempt to console. However, today reminds us that we must also work to provide the education and prenatal care required to reduce preventable losses, and ensure that every child is given the greatest opportunity possible to grow up.

The loss of a pregnancy or infant can take a heavy emotional toll, and parents can often feel isolated in their grief. One of the goals of today is to help break that isolation by starting a conversation that will allow parents to open up and work towards healing.

To that end, there is a candle light vigil today, known as the International Wave of Light. Candles will be lit at 7:00pm local time in countries all around the world, and remain lit for one hour. That means that for 24 continuous hours, when candles are put out in one time zone, they are lit in another.

Hay River’s event will begin at 7:00pm at the Rec Centre. Everyone is welcome to attend and light a candle in remembrance of a baby that was taken too soon, or to show support for the women and families in Hay River, and around the world, who have experienced this type of loss.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.