Manitoba

Paris attacks: French community holds St. Boniface vigil

Members of Winnipeg's French community came together Sunday night to mourn the lives lost in the deadly Paris attacks on Friday.

'We just have to pray for France and the people,' says Melinie Ferrer

Dozens of people attended a vigil in St. Boniface on Sunday for the victims of the deadly attacks in Paris Friday. (Courtney Rutherford/CBC)

Members of Winnipeg's French community came together tonight to mourn the lives lost in the deadly Paris attacks on Friday.

As of Sunday, the death toll had climbed to 132, with dozens more who remain in critical condition or seriously injured.

Melinie Ferrer, who was at the vigil in St. Boniface Sunday, said she feels heartbroken after the tragic events that unfolded in the French capital.

Ferrer moved from France to Winnipeg in 2012, but her entire family still lives there.

"It's crazy. We are shocked," Ferrer said. "We just have to pray for France and the people."

In the moments after the attacks, Ferrer was able to get in contact with her parents. She has been advised that every member of her family is safe.

Ferrer said that even though there are thousands of kilometres separating her from France, she felt the need to express her support for the victims and those impacted by the attacks. That feeling motivated her and dozens of others to attend the vigil at Précieux Sang Church in St Boniface.

The crowd lit candles, held flags and prayed for the victims in France.

'You don't know where it's going to happen'

Bruno Burnichon, France's honourary consul in Winnipeg, said tensions are high and people fear more attacks could take place at anytime, anywhere.

"People are scared right now. You don't know where it's going to happen. It's not only 'it could happen'; it could happen here, it's happening everywhere," he said.

Francois Deval was also at the vigil. He grew up in Paris and moved to Winnipeg a couple of years ago.

Prior to coming to Winnipeg, for 10 years he lived very close to the Bataclan concert hall, where 98 people were killed on Friday.

Deval said he can picture all of the times he's gone to the places that were attacked and still can't believe what happened.

"I was very surprised about how big it was and how many people have died." said Deval.

A book of condolences was signed by everyone at the vigil Sunday. It will be sent to City Hall in Paris.

This was the second vigil for the Paris attack victims in Winnipeg this weekend.

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