Montreal, Quebec City hold marches following Paris attacks
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Bruno Clerc, France's consul general in Montreal, among those in attendance
Thousands of people marched silently through the streets of Montreal and Quebec City on Sunday to honour the 17 victims of three days of bloodshed in Paris.
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The Montreal demonstration, billed as an expression of unity and defiance, began at 11 a.m. at Place des Arts, on the corner of Jeanne-Mance Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard. It ended at the French consulate at 1501 McGill College Ave.
Ariel Teboul, who is originally from France, said he decided to take part because he believes in the right to freedom of expression.
"Charlie Hebdo did not just make fun of Islam. They were not targeting Islam. They make fun of extremism — they make fun of Jews, they make of Muslims, they make fun of the Pope, and they should be able to continue in this way."
Mayor Denis Coderre and Bruno Clerc, consul general of France in Montreal, were also in attendance.
Premier Philippe Couillard was at the march in Quebec City, which began at 11 a.m. at the National Assembly and proceeded along Saint-Jean Street to the French consulate.
"It is important that we all say loud and clear that we all want to live together, in peace," Couillard said.
"The terrorists who acted, they want us to exclude people. They want to see us doing this. We will not do this. We will do the opposite."
Quebec, Canada send representatives to Paris
Blaney told reporters he made the trip to show the support of Canadians for the French people, adding there is a deep bond between Canada and France.
“Canada and its allies will not be intimidated and will continue to stand firmly together against terrorists who would threaten the peace, freedom and democracy our countries so dearly value,” Blaney said in a statement.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve thanked Blaney for his support, pointing out that Canada was the site of two attacks on soldiers in October.
Sunday's tributes follow the shootings at the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the killing of a police woman in Montrouge, and the hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes.