April 15, 2013 6:00 pm
Updated: April 17, 2013 11:19 am

Canadian politicians send thoughts and prayers to victims following Boston blasts

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Canadian politicians are offering their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the explosions that devastated the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on the explosion, stating that Canadians are standing with their American neighbours.

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“I was shocked to learn of the explosions that occurred today during the running of the Boston Marathon. It is truly a sad day when an event as inspiring as the Boston Marathon is clouded by such senseless violence,” he said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured or affected by this horrible incident. We stand with our American neighbours in this difficult time.”

Two bombs exploded near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing two people and injuring more than 100 others in a terrifying scene of broken glass, smoke and severed limbs at the world’s oldest and most prestigious race, authorities said.

According to figures on the official Boston Marathon website, 2,083 Canadians were participating in the event.

In a statement, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair expressed heartfelt condolences to the victims, families and the American people.

“New Democrats are shocked and saddened by the senseless violence we have witnessed at the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts today.  We join all Canadians in condemning this act in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also expressed his condolences saying, “My first thought goes out to the thousands of people who every year are involved in the Boston Marathon and I just hope there’s as few victims as possible and as few injuries as possible. We will deal with any changes or any security issues in the coming days once we’ve secured the safety and expressed our condolences and worries for people who suffered.”

Canadians in Boston who need emergency assistance can reach the Consulate General at 617-247-5100. Friends and relatives seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the area should contact 1-800-387-3124 or sos@international.gc.ca.

Conservative MP Ryan Leef, who ran in the marathon, had already crossed the finish line and didn’t see or hear the explosion.

“I cleared through the finish line before all this went down,” said the Yukon politician, reached by phone Monday.

“Then you could hear the sirens going like crazy.”

Leef said the blast went off around the four-hour mark and he was running with two others from the Yukon, both of whom he believes are safe.

He said the race is busy and at any given moment there are up to 1,000 people crossing the line.

“I’ve got colleagues of mine in Ottawa is emailing me now, ‘Are you ok, are you ok?’”

Leef, who completed the marathon in 3 hours 11 minutes, was on his way back to Ottawa after the race.

Canadians in Boston requiring emergency assistance are being urged to contact the consulate general at (617) 247-5100.

Friends and relatives seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the area are asked to contact 1-800-387-3124 or sos@international.gc.ca.

With files from The Associated Press

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