A Tribute To Fallen Police Officers
Welcome to Queen's Park.
Thank you for being here for Ontario's Tribute to the Fallen ceremony.
Today, it is my great privilege to pay tribute to four courageous officers who served the people of Ontario with honour and to express our gratitude and condolences on behalf of 13 million Ontarians, to the family and friends of:
OPP Provincial Constable Alan Hack, Ottawa Police Constable Eric Czapnik,
Peel Regional Police Constable James Ochakovsky, and OPP Provincial Constable Vu Pham.
We gather here to honour their lives and remember their devoted service to Ontario.
Vu Pham was many things.
He was a man of peace who came to Ontario in search of a better life.
He was a church deacon, a man who found comfort, guidance and joy in his faith.
He was a solid police officer, respected by his colleagues and a pillar of a close-knit community.
Like so many Canadians, he was a hockey fan and, above all, a dad and a husband.
To show their love and support for Heather, Tyler, Joshua and Jordan, OPP officers in Wingham are planning a fundraising hockey game.
Some great homegrown talent has volunteered, including Colorado Avalanche Centre Ryan O'Reilly.
James Ochakovsky fulfilled a dream of becoming a police officer a little over two years ago.
Growing up, James saw a lot of injustice.
Passionate and determined to make a difference, he immigrated to Canada and worked hard.
His moral conviction motivated him to seek the truth and he found his answer with Peel Regional Police Services.
Fellow officers called him a role model who went out of his way to help others.
Ontario will always call him a hero.
And in a final act of selflessness, James gave life and health to six people who received his organs.
Eric Czapnik had a natural charm that put people at ease.
Born in Poland, Eric immigrated to Ottawa in 1990 to start a new life.
After years of hard work at other jobs, Eric pursued a life-long dream.
At the age of 49 he became a proud and dedicated Ottawa Police officer -- an officer like his father who served for over 30 years in Poland.
His work ethic, reliability and desire to do his best every shift earned him great admiration and respect.
Colleagues said Eric had a big heart and a smile that could light up a room.
Eric had the love to serve his community and the courage to live his dream and the people of Ottawa will always hold a special place in their hearts for him.
Born and raised in London, Ontario, Alan Hack was a happy, honest and loyal man.
After many years of volunteering as an auxiliary police officer with London police, he was thrilled to join the ranks of the OPP and his fiancée, Donna, supported him all the way.
Alan was willing to do anything to help people and his generous nature inspired everyone who knew him.
Alan was the kind of man who brought people together and, in a fitting tribute, the Elgin Group Police Board is working to name a bridge over the 401 in West Elgin in his honour.
The life stories of these brave men tell us that, in spite of a world that seems dark sometimes, strength of character and good work is what society honours.
Heroes are remembered and the courage of these men demonstrated was strengthened daily at home.
To the families of our fallen officers: thank you for supporting and loving your husbands, fiancée, and dads.
Thank you for encouraging, nurturing and sustaining them.
I have no doubt that the toughest part of their jobs, each and every day,
was leaving you behind -- knowing that they had a job to do that put their lives at risk.
Please accept this Tribute, we will shortly present to you, as a reminder that we all stand with you in your mourning.
In this way we honour the memory of your loved one, we build on their legacy of service and we give thanks for the safe, generous, supportive communities that our fallen dedicated their lives to building.
Let the memory and the good works of your loved ones, your colleagues and friends continue to lift you up, and know that people of Ontario are lifting you up.
You're not alone and we will always, always remember.