A candlelight vigil was organized in Cranbrook’s Rotary Park Saturday, Sept. 19, in honour of Terry Blanchette and his daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, who were both killed in the Crowsnest Pass community of Blairmore, Alberta, last week.
The event was organized by Deanna Louis, who was born and raised in Vancouver’s downtown east side, and who herself is the mother of a murdered child.
Louis, speaking to those assembled, said she is doing this because there needs to be more support for families who have experienced tragedies like this. Louis has organized a petition calling for more support for the families of victims, as well as life sentences and stiffer penalties for the perpetrators, in order to help protect children and families.
Fellow organizer Arlene McCrory’s mother was murdered when she was just three months old, and her aunt was one of the victims of the Robert Pickton murders.
She said the vigil was organized to honor Hailey and other children who lost their lives, and to offer the community a chance to grieve in a healthy way.