On January 21, what should have been a snowmobile trip like any other in our region turned into a horrific tragedy that has brought France and Lac-Saint-Jean together in the face of adversity.
Each winter, we proudly invite the world to discover our majestic landscape. Hospitality is our watchword, and we reserve a special welcome for our brothers and sisters from France. That is why this tragedy has hit us so hard. This accident should never have happened, not in our region, and not to our guests, our friends.
As the member for Lac-Saint-Jean, and on behalf of the people of Lac-Saint-Jean, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the five missing snowmobilers. Today, my thoughts go out to the rescuers, who are still searching as we speak and are sparing no effort to make sure every family can mourn with dignity.
Lastly, I want to commend their courageous guide, Benoît L'Espérance, who died trying to save them. He acted valiantly, knowing the risks. In Lac-Saint-Jean, we never leave anyone behind.