Politics

Heroism during Ottawa shooting leads to free beer for Alain Gervais

House of Commons guard Alain Gervais won't have to pay for beer for a long time to come after Molson Coors Canada delivered several hundred bottles to his home in thanks for his work in last week's shooting.

New Democrat MP says Alain Gervais shouldn't have to pay for beer — and Molson obliges

House of Commons guard Alain Gervais, left, won't have to buy beer for a long time after MP Glenn Thibeault, second from left, helped arrange for a company to provide some to him for free. (Fin Donnelly/Twitter)

Some grateful MPs have ensured House of Commons guard Alain Gervais won't have to pay for beer for a long time in thanks for his work securing the NDP caucus in last week's shooting. 

​Gervais used his body to block the door to the hallway where Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fought a gun battle with security officials. MPs say a bullet hole in the door serves as a reminder of the risk he took. The bullet went through the first set of wood doors and entered a second interior door but stopped there, around the place where Gervais's head was.​

The MPs applauded Gervais yesterday during their caucus meeting, exactly one week after the shooting, but NDP caucus chair Glenn Thibeault said there was another way he planned to show his gratitude.

Several hundred bottles of beer were delivered Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, to the home of Alain Gervais, a House of Commons guard who helped secure the NDP caucus last week during a shooting on Parliament Hill. (Kerry Gervais/Twitter)
"We just need to constantly make sure that that person never has to pay for a beer at any pub in the country for the rest of his life," Thibeault said.

"To see that officer stand there with bullets hitting the door — holding the door together with his arms, willing to give up his life for us — is something that I will never, ever forget.… Because he has a family as well."

The comment was picked up on Twitter, eventually reaching Gavin Thompson, who works for Molson Coors Canada in corporate affairs. Gervais's wife tweeted that he drinks a Molson brand of beer.

"We will take good care of Alain," Thompson tweeted. "We will make sure he gets a good supply of his fave beer!"

Several hundred bottles of beer were delivered to Gervais and his wife on Thursday afternoon.

Some New Democrat MPs tweeted photos of Gervais at their caucus meeting, calling him their "hero."

Speaker thanks security staff

House Speaker Andrew Scheer on Wednesday thanked all the security staff for protecting MPs during last week's shooting.

A bullet went through the door of the room in which the NDP caucus meets every Wednesday, stopping part-way through a second door. (Rosemary Barton/CBC)
"I want to ensure that each and every one of you are aware just how grateful we are for the job that you did last week and indeed the job that you do each and every day, keeping us all safe within the precinct. When the first shots were fired, the immediate instinct of our constables was the protection of this building, all those who work here, and the Canadian citizens and international visitors who were here to take in this building’s great beauty," Scheer said in a memo.

"In the coming weeks I look forward to an opportunity to further thank you at an official appreciation event."

Thibeault says none of the security staff want any kind of recognition. 

"I scratch my head but I understand why, because they say this is what they're here to do, this is what their job is... they like the handshake and a thank you," Thibeault said.

Scheer noted parliamentary officials are reviewing what happened to allow a gunman to make his way from the National War Memorial, where he shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, into Parliament's Centre Block.

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