Politics

Ottawa shooting: Canada's political leaders react

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says "our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were attacked." Governor General David Johnston is "grateful for the professionalism and courage of our security personnel and emergency responders."

Additional statements expected later today from prime minister, opposition leaders

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was safely removed from Parliament Hill when the attacks started in downtown Ottawa. (Hannah Yoon/Canadian Press)

The following statements were released as news of Wednesday's attacks spread across Ottawa.

From Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall:

Together with all of Canada, Sharon and I are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of today's attacks. 

At this most difficult time, we wish to express our deepest sympathies to the family of the Canadian Armed Forces member who was killed in this crisis. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to those who were injured today. 

As governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, I am grateful for the professionalism and courage of our security personnel and emergency responders. 

From Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office:

Earlier today there was an attack at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were attacked.

The Prime Minister is safe and not on Parliament Hill and being briefed by security officials.

The police continue to do their important work and we are still gathering the facts.

From Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair's principal secretary, Karl Belanger:

This morning’s horrifying attack has shocked all Canadians and shattered the peace of our nation’s capital. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the soldier killed and the people who were injured, and we are deeply grateful for the soldiers and law enforcement officials who quickly and courageously protected the public today.

As we seek to comprehend the enormity of this event, Canada stands united in grief and in resolute determination that we will not give in to fear.  May we give strength to each other at this difficult time.

The leader of the Official Opposition has spoken to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and will be issuing a statement later.

From Green Party Leader Elizabeth May:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian Forces member who was killed at the National War Memorial this morning.

We would also like to convey our immense gratitude for the incredible courage of the RCMP, the Ottawa Police and Emergency Responders, and the House of Commons Security in doing all that they can to ensure the safety of the public.

In particular I wish to express gratitude to our Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, for his courage. 

It is my profound wish that we remain calm, determine all the facts, and not make any assumptions. Today is not a day that 'changes everything.' It is a day of tragedy. We must ensure we keep our responses proportionate to whatever threat remains.

This senseless, horrifying attack has shaken all of us who work in Parliament, but we stand together, strengthened in our resolve to uphold the values of peace and democracy upon which our country was founded.

May all those affected by this tragedy know that our nation is united in wishing them peace at this time.

From House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer:

Today's events are shocking and deplorable.‎ Our thoughts and prayers are with the member of the Canadian Forces who lost his life, those injured in this tragic event, front line House of Commons constables and RCMP officers.

The priority right now is securing the precinct and ensuring that a full investigation is conducted.

‎I encourage everyone still within the parliamentary precinct to remain safe and to follow the instructions of security personnel.

On behalf of all Members of Parliament, let me assure all Canadians that while this is a difficult day, it only strengthens our resolve to maintain our free and democratic way of life.

As Speaker, the House Administration and I remain prepared to open the House for the resumption of sittings when it is deemed appropriate to do so.

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