Political, international reaction to what PM Trudeau calls 'senseless' van attack
Published Tuesday, April 24, 2018 11:11AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 24, 2018 3:12PM EDT
OTTAWA – Canadian and international leaders are offering their condolences after 10 people were killed and others injured when a rental van plowed into pedestrians in Toronto on Monday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about the attack in the House of Commons foyer on Tuesday morning, calling it a "senseless attack and a horrific tragedy."
Trudeau offered his condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed, and wished full recovery for the injured.
"The entire community of Toronto has shown strength and determination in the face of this tragedy. All Canadians stand united with Toronto today," Trudeau said. He also encouraged Canadians not to live in fear, noting that the national security threat level has not changed as a result of this incident.
MPs observe moment of silence, 'an expression of our sorrow'
MPs observed a moment of silence in the House of Commons ahead of question period for the victims of the attack.
Just before all in the chamber rose, a representative from each of the three main parties in the House delivered some brief remarks.
"All too soon, we find ourselves once again offering condolences in the tragic and unexpected loss of life many of our fellow citizens have had to bear," said House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan. He described the moment of silence as "an expression of our sorrow."
"Yesterday’s tragic attack in Toronto is cause for all Canadians to pause and remember the 10 lives that were taken and the 15 that were injured," NDP parliamentary leader Guy Caron said.
Toronto Liberal MP Marco Mendicino described it as "shattering a peaceful city."
Fellow Liberal MP and former Toronto police chief, Bill Blair, called it a "terrible, tragic event."
"It was also remarkable to see how Torontonians responded in the immediate aftermath of horror. Rushing to the aid of their fellow citizens, and the incredible work of the police, paramedics, and fire department in response, and quite frankly I watched I think, with the same pride in that all Torontonians had in that response. It’s a terrible, terrible thing that’s happened in Toronto, but at the same time Toronto is a very strong and resilient place," Blair said on his way into the House of Commons.
Scheer offers thanks to first responders
In a statement, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer offered condolences on behalf of his party and his family.
"I can only imagine the horror, fear and pain that this has caused to all those who were victims of the attack or those who witnessed it," Scheer said.
He also offered thanks to the first responders and acknowledged the “incredible footage” of the police officer who was involved in a standoff and apprehension of the suspect, Alek Minassian.
Singh says attack won't divide
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in a statement, said he knows the area of Yonge and Finch well, as "dynamic" and "full of people."
Singh said he is "sickened by the brutality" of the attack, and said he can only imagine the overwhelming loss being felt by the families of the dead.
"We will not let this attack sow hate or division amongst ourselves. Toronto, like Canada, is strong, diverse, loving and courageous, and this event will not change that. We will come together, we will mourn, we will seek justice, and we will remain strong," Singh said.
U.S. President Trump calls it 'horrendous tragedy'
Speaking outside the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday morning, Trump extended sympathies and said “our hearts are with the grieving families in Canada.”
Trump called it a "horrendous tragedy that claimed so many innocent lives"
Macron also expressed his condolences to Canada. In a phone call to Trudeau, Macron offered help if needed, according to the PMO.
Tragic news coming out of Toronto – my thoughts are with all those affected by the horrific events unfolding near Yonge and Finch, along with all first responders.— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) April 23, 2018
J’exprime ma profonde solidarité au peuple canadien après la tragédie qui vient de frapper la ville de Toronto.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 23, 2018