Ottawa shooting: Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau speak about attack

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau delivered speeches Wednesday evening in the wake of a shooting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa that left one member of the Canadian Forces dead.
An RCMP intervention team runs next to a Parliament building in Ottawa on Oct. 22, 2014, near where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed by a gunman. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau delivered speeches Wednesday evening in the wake of a shooting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa that left one member of the Canadian Forces dead.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist serving with Hamilton’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada regiment, was shot dead while guarding the National War Memorial. The gunman, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was later shot dead inside the main Parliament building.

You can watch the speeches and read the text, based in part on prepared remarks, of each of their addresses below.

Stephen Harper

PM speaks on Ottawa shooting

9 years ago
Duration 6:56
Raw video from Stephen Harper

"My fellow Canadians: for the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.

Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Cpl. Cirillo was killed today — murdered in cold blood — as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada's National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.

Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.

Tonight, we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks. 

Fellow Canadians, we've also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians  --  like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Cpl. Cirillo as he fought for his life.

And, of course, the members of our security forces — in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa police and in Parliament — who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had. But this week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values. on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. 

But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

While today has been without question a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. 

Together we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us. For now, Laureen and Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today's attack. May God bless them and keep our land glorious and free."

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair

Opposition speaks about Ottawa shooting

9 years ago
Duration 5:38
Raw video from Tom Mulcair

[The first four and a half lines of the text below are from prepared remarks that were not caught on video in the CBC broadcast above.]

"Good evening my fellow Canadians. Today the peace of our nation's capital was shattered by an act of hatred and brutality -- cowardly act designed to strike at the heart of our democracy, at the heart of who we are.

But I'm here tonight in solidarity, side-by-side with my colleagues, with our Prime Minister and with all Canadians.

This attack struck with sudden and deadly violence. It was carried out on the very ground where we come together to exchange ideas with the knowledge that whatever our differences, we will always resolve them peacefully.

It was intended to make us more fearful of our neighbours and less confident in ourselves. But it has failed. Today's events have instead only succeeded in drawing us closer, in making us stronger.

And to the brave women and men of law enforcement, our security services and our Canadian Forces, I want to say that your determination, your professionalism and, indeed, your heroism today will not soon be forgotten.

Just as we have all borne witness to these horrific acts, we have watched in awe your acts of courage, now an abiding emblem of Canadian strength, values and valour.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone here in our nation's capital are with the family and loved ones of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the Canadian Forces member from Hamilton, Ont., who lost his life this morning — the second in just a few days.

Cpl. Cirillo was literally standing on guard at a monument dedicated to the sacrifice of others who came before him. To his family and friends, I tell you that 35 million Canadians at home and abroad from coast to coast to coast and around the world stand with you tonight, and we will not forget.

In this moment, Canadians are unified in grief and stricken with disbelief. Canada is shaken today, but we shall not waver. We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace, and tomorrow, we will do the same.

These acts were driven by hatred but also designed to drive us to hate. They will not. We will stand up, we will stand together. We will persevere, and we will prevail.

Good evening."

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

Liberal leader speaks about Ottawa shooting

9 years ago
Duration 10:19
Raw video from Justin Trudeau

"My fellow Canadians: I’m speaking to you from a Parliament Hill just coming out of lockdown. I am deeply saddened by today’s horrific events here in Ottawa and unreservedly condemn these brutal and heartless acts of violence. This attack is unforgivable. Should any other perpetrators or co-conspirators exist, they must be caught and be punished to the full force of our laws.

I’ve extended an offer of full support to the government along with any assistance members of our party can provide at this time. My thoughts and prayers, along with those of my colleagues, go out to the family and friends of the victims of today’s horrific shooting, including Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, who was standing dutifully, guarding one of our nation’s most sacred monuments.

It was a cowardly act — an unarmed man was murdered in cold blood, at close range. Words cannot express this deep sadness we feel over his loss. To the brave women and men who rushed to the scene to confront the shooter and to help keep us safe, I say only, 'Thank you. Thank you for your selfless courage and your professionalism in this time of crisis.'

In the days that follow, there will be questions, anger and perhaps confusion. This is natural, but we cannot let this get the better of us. Losing ourselves to fear and speculation is the intention of those who commit these heinous acts. They mean to shake us. We will remain resolved. They want us to forget ourselves. Instead, we will remember. We will remember who we are.

We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation and a country of open arms and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, of justice and of the rule of law. We will not be intimidated into changing that. If anything, these are the values and principles to which we must hold on even tighter.

Our dedication to democracy and to the institutions we have built is the foundation of our society and a continued belief in both will guide us correctly into the future. Staying true to our values in a time of crisis will make us an example to the world.

Criminals cannot and will not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves or how we treat each other. They cannot and will not dictate our values, and they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces.

Today, some speak of the loss of innocence in Canada. This is inaccurate. Canada is not and has never been innocent to the threats we face. And we know, as we have always known, that we are not immune. What is true is that we have never let those threats shape us, and we have never bowed to those who mean to undermine our values and our way of life. We have remained Canadians, and this is how we will carry on.

We will get answers to how and why this happened. They will be vital in preventing any future attack. And to our friends and fellow citizens in the Muslim community, Canadians know acts such as these committed in the name of Islam are an aberration of your faith. Continued mutual co-operation and respect will help prevent the influence of distorted ideological propaganda posing as religion.

We will walk forward together, not apart.

In the coming days, we will be inundated with pictures and videos showing what happened today. But there is one in particular we should all remember: the picture in our minds we have of Canadians helping and protecting Canadians. That is who we truly are, and it is who we shall continue to be.

Good night." 


  • A previous version of this story contained text based on prepared remarks that in parts varied slightly from the delivered remarks that appeared in the videos. They have been corrected to reflect the spoken remarks.
    Oct 23, 2014 10:30 PM ET