Paris attacks: Manitobans mourn victims at Winnipeg vigil

The French Consulate held a vigil in Winnipeg Saturday for the victims who died or were injured in attacks in Paris Friday.

'It's a barbaric act, there's not a bad enough word to describe it,' France's honourary consul says

The flag at the Manitoba Legislature was lowered to half-staff on Friday following deadly attacks in Paris that ended in 129 dead and dozens more critically injured. (CBC)

The French Consulate held an emotional vigil in Winnipeg Saturday for the victims of attacks in Paris.

Dozens of people gathered at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature to mourn those killed in the French capital Friday.

Three teams of assailants launched the co-ordinated deadly attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and another 352 injured, 99 of them in critical condition, Paris prosecutor François Molins said Saturday.

'Fighting these demons'

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman (left), France's honourary consul Bruno Burnichon (centre), and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger (right) stand at the steps of the Legislative Building Saturday during a vigil for those killed in the Paris attacks.
"It's a barbaric act, there's not a bad enough word to describe it and we know we are going to succeed in fighting these demons," Bruno Burnichon, France's honourary consul in Winnipeg, said at the vigil.

Burnichon fought through tears as he thanked the province, the City of Winnipeg and the people who showed up at the vigil for their support. He said he's heard Manitobans with family in France have been encountering issues trying to get a hold of them.

It's been a stressful time for Leonore Bailhache who attended the Winnipeg vigil.

"When I got in contact with [my friend], she was still on the streets of Paris going home and she was saying it was just crazy, ambulances rushing through the streets, police and fire squads and feeling like you are in a state of war," said Leonore Bailhache. "It was very stressful and worrying."

Bailhache lives in Winnipeg but is originally from Normandy, France. She has lots of family and friends in Paris and wishes she could do more.

"It's awful, you can't do anything. You are far, you just watch and it's all you can do," she said, adding she was up all night following news coverage of the event.

She said none of her loved ones were injured in the attacks.
Dozens of people attended the vigil Saturday at the Manitoba Legislature. (Courtney Rutherford/CBC)

Burnichon said that Paris remains one of the most visited places in the world and he doesn't want the attacks to overshadow the fact that it is a beautiful city, full of warm and welcoming people. 

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger was also present for the vigil at the Legislative Building. He offered his condolences and said the province will continue to work with France to support them any way it can.

Another vigil for the victims of the Paris attacks will be held in St.Boniface on Sunday. A book of condolences will be put together at the vigil to be sent to city hall in the French capital.


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