Stabbing victim's name will live on
Stabbing victim's name will live on

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Stabbing victim's name will live on

By JAMIE LONG, Ottawa Sun

Andy Moffitt was just a toddler when he moved to Ottawa with his family.

As a kid, he played in the streets and forests of rural Barrhaven, in south Nepean.

There isn’t a more fitting place for a park in his memory, the name change unveiled at a dedication ceremony Wednesday.

It’s been 12 long years since the 23-year-old Moffitt, a university student, was killed trying to protect his friend from a knife-wielding attacker at an Ottawa bar.

“Losing Andy broke our hearts and changed us forever,” said Paulette Moffitt, Andy’s mother, as her voice wavered while speaking at the ceremony.

“We only have one wish for Andy and it’s that he never be forgotten. Our wish has come true.”

The City of Ottawa officially changed the name of Barrhaven’s “Edgeware Park” — a forested area near where Moffitt grew up — to “Andy Moffitt Trail.”

“It’s a fitting memorial for Andy, to have a park named after him because this was one of the places we would go to every single day,” said Rod Moffitt Jr., Andy’s older brother, holding back tears.

“I plan to bring my family and friends here.”

The fight to keep his memory alive has been tough, says Paulette Moffitt.

Pleas to change the Canadian justice system were just as brutal on the family.

Moffitt’s killer was released in August 2006, after serving only three years of a five-year sentence. The family fought for years to have him convicted, and later, to keep him in prison,

In 2004, they approached their local MP, Conservative Gord Brown, who represents Leeds-Grenville.

Brown made it his personal agenda to amend the Criminal Code, introducing a private member’s bill, Bill C-393 in 2005. It was adopted into the criminal code in 2008.

This proposed “to create mandatory minimum sentences for carrying a concealed weapon and for manslaughter on an unarmed person inflicted with a knife that was previously concealed,” according to the act.

It also reduced parole eligibility for these offenders, created a second offence for carrying a concealed weapon and eliminates credit for time served.

The Andrew Moffitt Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by his family in 2001, an award given to outstanding engineering students at the University of Ottawa.

Andy Moffitt was also posthumously awarded the medal for bravery in 2003 by then-governor general Adrienne Clarkson.

Twelve years after his death — more than half his life span — his footprints are still evident in the streets and forests of rural Barrhaven.

“To Andy this was home, and he always planned to return here,” said Craig Wells, Andy’s best friend.

“And I feel in my heart that he has come home.”

   Letter to the Media
   Bill C-393
   Our Angel
   Thank You
   Mike's Speech
   Memorial Speech
   Andy's Story
   Our Brother