Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau united in Parliament against threats
'These acts were … designed to drive us to hate. They will not'
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau expressed unity in Parliament today against any threats to Canada's democracy and freedoms.
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All three were fulsome in their praise for Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, whose normally ceremonial job is to protect Parliament and who has been hailed a hero for leading the charge against the gunman suspected of shooting Cpl. Nathan Cirillo outside the National War Monument on Wednesday. Cirillo later died, and the gunman was shot dead in Parliament.
Harper led off with an unusually heartfelt and emotional speech:
Mulcair followed, having received an unprecedented hug from the prime minister in the House of Commons. He stressed that Canadians will stand together against those who threaten the country.
"These acts were driven by hatred but also designed to drive us to hate," he said. "They will not. We will stand up and we will stand together."
Trudeau spoke with equal gratitude for the work Vickers did Wednesday in protecting Parliament and — as Harper and Mulcair had — he walked over to thank the sergeant-at-arms personally.
Trudeau said Canadians will honour the memory of Cirillo, who was shot while standing guard at the war memorial on Wednesday morning.
Canadians must remember who they are, he said: "A welcoming and peaceful nation, a country of open arms, open minds and open hearts."