My statement on shootings in our nation's capital
Many constituents have reached out to me following the terrible events that took place in Ottawa on Wednesday. I wish to share the following response:
My family and I are very grateful for the outpouring of support – emails, phone calls, tweets, and Facebook messages – that we received during and after the attack on Parliament Hill on Wednesday. Now that this day is behind us, we share in Canada’s deep sadness at the loss of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and, earlier this week, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Both served our country proudly and selflessly and we are all indebted to them. Today, Corporal Cirillo’s body was brought back to his hometown of Hamilton, ON by motorcade down the Highway of Heroes.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 was a day of confusion and tragedy in our nation’s capital. I had just finished chairing a meeting when the gunfire broke out downstairs shortly before 10 a.m.. All floors were then put on lockdown. I went in an office with MPs Joyce Murray and Arnold Chan. We remained locked down for over ten hours until it was deemed safe to leave. Throughout this time, however, I did not fear for my personal safety as I witnessed the professionalism and competence of the security forces on the Hill. I am profoundly grateful to Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers and his team for keeping us safe.
Moving forward, the authorities will conduct investigations and I imagine that added security measures will be put into effect in and around Parliament Hill. We want Parliament Hill to be a safe place, but we also want it to remain a public place, where the business of the people is conducted.
The Liberal Party continues to push the government for more information about whether domestic security resources have been sufficiently funded, about the use of a national security watch list, and whether preventative detention measures already on the law-books are being used to thwart individuals from committing acts of terror. If any other perpetrators or co-conspirators exist, they must be caught and be punished to the full extent of our laws.
However, through all this we must not lose sight of what Canada stands for. We are a proud and welcoming democracy, guided by the principles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said in his address to Canadians on Wednesday night, “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.”
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns on this week’s events.
Ted Hsu, MP