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Editorial: Guilty pleas in stabbing attack a significant milestone for Lynn Valley

We may never have all the answers we want. What’s important is to keeping moving forward.
Messages of hope chalked onto the pavement around the Lynn Valley Library complex following the stabbings in April 2021. | Mike Wakefield / North Shore News

Two years after the horrific stabbing attacks in the Lynn Valley library plaza, this week’s guilty pleas in court mark a significant milestone, one we’re thankful to see behind us.

The French-language trial originally scheduled for 10 weeks would have been long and complex.

The pleas will likely come as a relief to the victims, who will now be spared having to testify and relive their experience. It allows them to concentrate on moving forward, rather than on the worst day of their lives. It will also come as a relief to the community at large, as it continues to move forward from that terrible day.

So far, what the guilty pleas haven’t done is answer the biggest question remaining – why? Random attacks on strangers are extremely rare. Most serious assaults and even murders are committed by people who know their victims. So when actions this horrific occur without any obvious reason, they threaten our feeling of safety.

Randoms acts, by their very nature, could happen to any of us at any time.

We hope that the sentencing hearing scheduled for July – when psychiatric reports and details about an accused’s background are usually presented – will help us understand more. But it’s equally possible we may never get answers that will really satisfy our community.

After the attacks, we made the decision not to let one man’s actions define us. That message remains as relevant today as it did two years ago.

We remain Lynn Valley Strong.