OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed shock and sadness late Friday over the attacks in Paris killed at least 100 people around the city.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France and we mourn their loss,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“Canada stands with France at this dark time and offers all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with the international community to help prevent these terrible, senseless acts.”
Trudeau was bound for the G20 in Turkey, where terrorism and the plight of Syrian refugees had muscled their way onto the formal agenda.
Since it began in earnest during the 2008 Great Recession, the G20 has become charged with dealing with the world’s economy. But because Turkey is at the forefront of the Syrian crisis — it has absorbed more than two million refugees — the G20’s agenda was expanded for the first time beyond pure economic matters.
This weekend’s summit marks the first time the G20 agenda has been expanded beyond the global economy, following a dynamic that also occurred with the G7 and G8 over the previous decades.
But the G20 was pre-empted Friday by the Paris attacks. Some Canadians were uncomfortably close to the violence.
Mike Miltmore from Kamloops, B.C., was eating dinner at a restaurant in the French capital when shots rang out nearby.
“Police came in with machine guns and everything like that, and they were shooing everyone out into the streets,” he told CFJC Radio in Kamloops. “It’s actually a little scary when you don’t know what’s going on.”
The restaurant was evacuated and Miltmore was sent to his hotel room blocks away.
Amelia Aspen and her husband arrived home at their Paris apartment around the time the attacks began.
IN DEPTH: Paris attacks
“We got a message from a friend saying, ‘Something is going on in your neighbourhood, stay inside your apartment,’ and we did,” said the artist, who moved from Edmonton, Alta., with her husband in October.
Aspen said the couple has been watching what’s happening on the news and listening to a lot of sirens.
Canadian political leaders took to Twitter to respond to the attacks.
Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted that her thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the people of Paris.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair expressed shock at the “horrific” attacks and says he and his wife Catherine are praying for the victims and their families.
The Canadian government issued a notice advising Canadians in the capital to be extremely vigilant.
Rona Ambrose, interim leader of the Conservative Party and leader of the Official Opposition, called for “swift action to bring those responsible to justice.”
“No matter who is responsible for these heinous attacks, we will continue to stand firmly with our allies,” she said in a statement. “We will continue to protect the rights and freedoms that define us as Canadians from those who wish to take them away, and strive to ensure Canada remains the peaceful, open, and free nation we value so much.”
IN PICTURES: Images from the Paris attacks after shootings, explosions
© 2015 The Canadian Press