OTTAWA – I am deeply saddened by the horrific events in Ottawa and unreservedly condemn these brutal and heartless acts of violence.
This attack is unforgivable. Should any other perpetrators or co-conspirators exist, they must be caught and be punished to the full force of our laws. I’ve extended an offer of full support to the government along with any assistance members of our Party can provide at this time.
My thoughts and prayers, along with those of my colleagues, go out to the family and friends of the victims of today’s horrific shooting, including Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, who was standing dutifully, guarding one of our nation’s most sacred monuments.
It was a cowardly act — an unarmed man was murdered in cold blood at close range. Words cannot express this deep sadness we feel over his loss. To the brave women and men who rushed to the scene to confront the shooter and help keep us safe, I say only thank you. Thank you for your selfless courage and your professionalism in this time of crisis.
In the days that follow there will be questions, anger, and perhaps confusion. This is natural, but we cannot let this get the better of us. Losing ourselves to fear and speculation is the intention of those who commit these heinous acts.
They mean to shake us. We will remain resolved.
They want us to forget ourselves. Instead, we will remember. We will remember who we are. We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation, and a country of open arms and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, of justice, and of the rule of law.
We will not be intimidated into changing that.
If anything, these are the values and principles to which we must hold on even tighter. Our dedication to democracy and to the institutions we have built is the foundation of our society, and a continued belief in both will guide us correctly into the future. Staying true to our values in a time of crisis will make us an example to the world.
Criminals cannot and will not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves, or how we treat each other. They cannot and will not dictate our values, and they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces.
Some speak of the loss of innocence in Canada. This is inaccurate. Canada is not and has never been innocent to the threats we face. And we know, as we have always known, that we are not immune. What is true is that we have never let those threats shape us, and we have never bowed to those who mean to undermine our values and our way of life.
We have remained Canadians and this is how we will carry on.
We will get answers to how and why this happened. They will be vital in preventing any future attack.
And to our friends and fellow citizens in the Muslim community, Canadians know acts such as these committed in the name of Islam are an aberration of your faith. Continued mutual cooperation and respect will help prevent the influence of distorted ideological propaganda posing as religion.
We will walk forward together, not apart.
In the coming days we will be inundated with pictures and videos showing what happened today. But there is one in particular we should all remember: the picture in our minds we have of Canadians helping and protecting Canadians. That is who we truly are, and it is who we shall continue to be.
Leader, Liberal Party of Canada