Leaders and politicians are reacting to a shooting at a Quebec City mosque that has left at least six people dead.
Two people have been arrested after shots were fired inside the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood shortly before 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
Officials quickly spoke out against the shooting. On Twitter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it a “cowardly attack.”
A few hours later he issued a full statement, following authorities in labeling the shooting a terrorist attack.
“It was with tremendous shock, sadness and anger that I heard of this evening’s tragic and fatal shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec located in the Ste-Foy neighbourhood of the city of Québec.
We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge.
On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who have died, and we wish a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.
While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.
Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country. Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance.
Tonight, we grieve with the people of Ste-Foy and all Canadians.”
Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale pledged federal support to Quebec in handling the attack. He earlier tweeted “Deeply saddened by loss of life + injured in Ste-Foy.”
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Rhéal Fortin, said he was “speechless in horror” after hearing of the attack and Conservative Party interim leader Rona Ambrose tweeted: “Praying for the victims of this unspeakable crime. Those responsible must face justice.”
Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch, who has created waves for her anti-immigration platform, also added her voice to the condemnations, along with candidate Kevin O’Leary.
“Heartbreaking news out of Quebec City tonight. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims,” she tweeted.
NDP leader Tom Mulcair pledged support for the Muslim community on social media.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also tweeted “Therejects categorically this barbaric violence. All our solidarity to the families of the victims, the injured and their families.”
He later added that Quebecers should “unite against this violence” and stand with those of the Muslim faith.
Opposition leader for Parti Québécois, Jean-François Lisée, tweeted his condolences and condemned “intolerable” violence against Muslims.
In a bolder statement, politician Amir Khadir from the Québec Solidaire party put blame on U.S. President Donald Trump for the attack.
“I hold an Islamophobic American president who spreads hate partly responsible. It’s dangerous,” he wrote on Twitter.
Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, who had just hours before tweeted his support for Donald Trump’s ban on several Muslim-majority nations, expressed his dismay toward the attack.
Meanwhile Canadian Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale pledged federal support to Quebec in handling the attack. He earlier tweeted “Deeply saddened by loss of life + injured in Ste-Foy.”
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Rhéal Fortin, said he was “speechless in horror” after hearing of the attack.