January 30, 2017 4:53 pm
Updated: January 30, 2017 11:06 pm

Justin Trudeau: ‘Make no mistake – this was a terrorist attack’

Politicians in Ottawa stood united against the attack in Quebec City, paying tribute to the victims in the House of Commons. But now they will be tasked with figuring out why it happened and how to prevent anything like it from happening again. Vassy Kapelos reports.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the first of the political leaders in Ottawa to stand in the House of Commons Monday, offering condolences and assurances to all Canadians, especially Muslim Canadians, in the wake of Sunday’s massacre at a Quebec City mosque.

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Trudeau delivered his statement first in French, then again in English.

Here is his English speech in full:

It was with shock and sadness that Canadians heard about a despicable act of terror last night in Quebec City.

By current counts, six people worshipping at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre have lost their lives, with many others seriously injured.

This was a group of innocents targeted for practicing their faith. Make no mistake – this was a terrorist attack.

It was an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians – values of openness, diversity, and freedom of religion.

READ MORE: Police search for motive in deadly terror attack on Quebec City mosque

Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. These people were just that – people. Ordinary Canadians. They were brothers, uncles, fathers, and friends. These were people of faith, and of community.

And in the blink of an eye, they were robbed of their lives in an act of brutal violence.

I know that, already, there’s a deeply personal connection here, in this very House. The Member of Parliament for Louis-Hebert knew this community and has joined them at the Centre many times. He is with them now as we speak today.

WATCH: MPs held a moment of silence in the House of Commons to remember the victims of the Quebec City attack

Reach out to your friends and neighbours. Gather your communities. Be there for your people. They need you.

To the injured, to the family members of these innocent victims, to the people of Quebec, and to all Canadians— know that we will get to the bottom of this. Such senseless violence has no place in Canadian society.

WATCH: U.S. President Donald Trump offers full military and intelligence support to PM Trudeau following mosque attack

I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the first responders, and thank local law enforcement officials, local government officials, and the Government of Quebec. I can assure Canadians that we will be working closely together in the days ahead.

I’d also like to thank the many political and faith leaders from around the world who have reached out since last night’s events. Your thoughts and condolences are greatly appreciated.

READ MORE: Alexandre Bissonnette identified as alleged gunman

Canada has long been a diverse and accepting nation. We are kind. We are generous. And we embrace one another, not in spite of our differences, but because of them.

The people who commit these acts mean to test our resolve, and weaken our values. They aim to divide us. To sow discord and plant hatred.

We will not close our minds. We will open our hearts.

WATCH: 2 patients from Quebec City mosque shooting remain critical, but doctor confident they will survive

To the more than one million Canadians who profess the Muslim faith, I want to say directly:

We are with you. Thirty-six million Canadian hearts are breaking with yours.

READ MORE: Canadian leaders express outrage and shock at Quebec mosque attack

And know that we value you. You enrich our shared country in immeasurable ways. It is your home.

Last night’s horrible crime against the Muslim community was an act of terror committed against Canada, and against all Canadians.

We will grieve with you. We will defend you. We will love you. And we will stand with you.

WATCH: Canada’s terrorism level remains at ‘medium’ following mosque shooting: public safety minister

Over the coming days, take solace in one another. We will mourn this devastating attack, and we will heal, together. As one community, as one country, and as one family.

Canadians will not be intimated. We will not meet violence with more violence.

We will meet fear and hatred with love and compassion.

Always.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose:

WATCH: Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose extended condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack on a Quebec City mosque.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ambrose said Sunday’s attack strike at the heart of the country’s fundamental freedoms.

“We’re offering our thoughts and prayers to families in Quebec City that today are mourning their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Innocent people who merely went to pray and will not be coming home.

“This terrorist attack strikes at the very heart of one of the freedoms we cherish as Canadians – the right to practice one’s faith, to worship without fear.”

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair:

WATCH: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair calls on Canada to unify against Islamophobia

During his statement, Mulcair said the attack in Quebec City shook the entire country, and extended a hand to Canada’s Muslim community.

“In this moment, families are mourning the loss of their loved ones and praying for those who are injured and fighting for their lives. To our Muslim brothers and sisters, we mourn with you, we pray with you.

“And we promise that we will stand united and fight against the forces of hatred, bigotry and Islamophobia and against those who pedal the politics of fear and division.”

Interim Bloc Quebecois Leader Rheal Fortin:

WATCH: Fortin told the House of Commons Sunday’s attack on a Quebec City mosque was a “black day” in Canada’s history.

Fortin, meanwhile, struggled to find any logic in the attack, which he said is just the latest in a wave of hatred and intolerance overtaking Western countries.

“Yesterday, six of our fellow Canadian were assassinated because of their faith. Five others are in hospital, in critical condition, for the very same reason. Our hearts go out to them.

“An unhealthy climate has taken root in our society and across the Western world. The terrorist attack in Quebec City is simply the latest example of that. A climate of distrust and intolerance … We were all horrified by the terrorist attack in Quebec City, and we do not understand. We do not understand this violence, this barbarism.

“We do not understand that anyone can pull the trigger to kill people who pray, speak and think differently than themselves. We denounce this. We reject it.”

Green Leader Elizabeth May:

WATCH: We are all Muslims, we are Canadians, says Green Leader Elizabeth May

“I think my colleague, the leader of the Bloc said it best: we don’t understand. This is Canada, this is Quebec City, this is a mosque where innocents gather to worship. We know that much, but we can’t understand it because it’s so out of order. It doesn’t belong in Canada. It feels as if it can’t possibly have happened. And yet it did.

“We will pray, we will work, we will reject intolerance and hatred. And we will say, as our prime minister has said to every single Muslim member of the Canadian family: Today we are all Muslims. We stand with you and we will never let there be daylight between a Christian, a Jew, Sikh, an atheist and a Muslim in this country.”

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