It is with heavy hearts that Canadians throughout the land close out this day. Today Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lost his life while serving as an honour guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa. A gunman shot Cpl. Cirillo in cold blood for motives that remain unclear. The gunman then moved to Parliament’s Center Block where a gunfight ensued and the gunman was killed. Canadians grieve for Cpl. Cirillo and for his family. They are deeply grateful for the courage and valour of the security forces who defended Parliament, its members, staff and visitors, putting their lives on the line. “Thank you” “merci” to them all.
We are a nation in shock. But as shocked as we may be, Canadians must stand as one against the criminal intent of the gunman and his colleagues. The gunman and his cohorts sought to make us fearful, they wanted us to act in a hateful manner. They wanted us to try to take retribution, to justify their own hatred. We must resist those temptations.
As Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair said today, Canadians “woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace and tomorrow, [they] will again”. We must not let our values of openness harden because these senseless acts. We must not succumb to the emotions that leave the taste of bile in our mouths. We must not close up our democratic institutions, fearful that others may share the twisted plans of the gunman and his accomplices.
Instead, we must all now stand on guard for Canada – for her love of peace, for her people’s love of democracy and free expression, for her respect of rule of law.
Let us come together and stand as one. Review our security procedures, yes. But let us not quiver in the face of these criminals. Let us maintain our values, undiminished by any sick man’s plan of terror. Let us square our collective shoulders and stand united, such that we remain the country that Cpl. Cirillo was proud of serving, a country that is open, peaceful and free.