OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling the attack that killed at least 50 people and injured dozens of others at a gay nightclub in Florida an act of domestic terror.
Trudeau says he was “shocked and saddened” to learn so many people were killed and injured following the mass shooting in Orlando.
Trudeau says that while authorities are still investigating and not all details have been confirmed, it is “appalling that as many as 50 lives may have been lost to this domestic terror attack targeting the LGBTQ2 community”.
Trudeau says he and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, are offering condolences and prayers to the families and friends of those lost and wish full recovery to those who were injured in the attack.
Trudeau says they stand in solidarity with Orlando and the LGBTQ2 community, grieve with their friends in the United States and Florida.
Other Canadian political leaders and members of the LGBTQ community expressed shock and outrage over the mass shooting.
Candlelight vigils to mourn the victims were planned for Toronto and Vancouver Sunday night.
A gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando. He was shot and killed by police. The attack came during Pride month, both in the U.S. and Canada.
A manager at a prominent Toronto gay bar said the massacre likely won’t prompt his establishment to increase security at the club.
“You can’t live in fear because of one incident,” said Cameron Rennie, a manager and bartender at Woody’s in Toronto.
Officials from Pride Toronto, a not-for-profit with the goal of bringing together the city’s LGBTQ community, which also organizes Toronto’s pride month, released a written Staten saying that they stand united with the community.
In the statement, officials said they will “continue to work” with security officials looking forward at the rest of the Pride events including Toronto’s traditional parade.
Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted that he is shocked by the mass shooting, and that his thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay, wrote on Twitter that her thoughts are with the LGBTQ community while B.C. Premier Christy Clark tweeted that she is “incredibly saddened by the evil brutality” of the Florida shooting, and that her province “stands united with (Orlando) against terror and hate.”
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has announced that the city will fly the rainbow flag at City Hall in solidarity with the LGBT community.
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Rona Ambrose, interim leader of the opposition, wrote in a Facebook post that “we must remain steadfast and strongly condemn terrorism, in all its forms, around the world.”