B.C. woman identified as Canadian who died in London terror attack
Christine Archibald, 30, has been identified as the Canadian who died in the London Bridge terror attack Saturday night, according to a statement from her family.
“We grieve the loss of our beautiful, loving daughter and sister. She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected,” read the statement from the Archibald family of Castlegar, B.C.
Before moving to Europe, Archibald worked at the Alpha House in Calgary, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to those affected by alcohol and drug dependencies. The Alpha House also released a statement on Archibald’s passing.
“The employees of Alpha House are devastated to learn of our recent colleague’s passing in London this weekend. Chrissy was a bright light to many, and her generosity, kind spirit and huge heart for her work in responding to issues of addictions and homelessness at the centre inspired us all,” read the statement.
“We grieve the loss of our dear friend and colleague, and will remember her as a talented social worker, workmate and exceptional human being.”
WATCH: Family of Canadian woman, Christine Archibald, killed in London attack releases statement
The family added that Archibald “would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death,” and urged Canadians to honour her memory by serving their communities.
“Volunteer your time and labor or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you.”
Archibald was in London Saturday night with her fiance, Tyler Ferguson, who’d been living in the Netherlands when the attack hit.
In a post on Facebook, Ferguson’s brother Mark says the pair were on the London Bridge when attackers drove a van onto the curb and into a crowd of pedestrians which included Archibald.
Ferguson’s sister Cassidy said her parents are now en route to London to be with their grieving son.
Archibald graduated from Mount Royal University in 2014 with a diploma in social work.
“It is with great sadness that we learned an alumna of Mount Royal University was killed in a horrific act of violence in London this weekend, Dr. David Docherty, President of Mount Royal University, said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go to her family and loved ones, as well as to members of our community who are grieving her loss.”
A professor from the university also commented on the circumstances surrounding Archibald’s death.
“There’s a real reaching out amongst the students in this program, both current and former, and sadness about the fact that somebody that they knew – former students — has passed in such tragic, tragic circumstances,” Peter Choate, Associate Professor of Social Work at Mount Royal University, said.
WATCH: A young woman from Castlegar, B.C. has been identified as the Canadian killed in Saturday’s attacks in London. Tanya Beja reports on the family’s reaction to her death.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark issued a statement saying her thoughts are with the Archibald family, and with everyone who knew and loved Chrissy.
“As her family and province mourn, we must never forget who we are – and the diversity that makes us strong,” Clark said.
“The individuals who carry out these acts of hate want to change us. They want to sow fear and division. Ultimately, they want us to turn on each other. They will never succeed.”
B.C. New Democrat Leader John Horgan tweeted about Christine Archibald, saying “let’s honour her & never let hate win.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement earlier Sunday, in which he confirmed that a Canadian was killed in the attack.
“Canada strongly condemns the senseless attack that took place last night in London, United Kingdom, which killed and injured many innocent people. I am heartbroken that a Canadian is among those killed.
Trudeau went on to say that Londoners and people across the United Kingdom “have always displayed strength and resilience in the face of adversity.” He went on to say that the Government of Canada would not comment further at this time out of “respect for the family.”
Trudeau also made a brief statement at the Press Gallery dinner in Ottawa.
“Canadians stand united in sending our love and support to our friends in London. We stand with you all,” he said.
WATCH: London attack eyewitness recalls stabbings and efforts to distract attackers
The government and diplomats on the ground in London are advising travelers to avoid the affected areas, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
The attack began at about 10 p.m. local time when police and witnesses say a white van barrelled into pedestrians on London Bridge. Officials in the U.K. say three men armed with large knives then fled the scene and started attacking people at bars and restaurants in the nearby Borough Market.
Police said seven people were killed and at least 48 others were wounded, some critically, before officers shot and killed the three suspected assailants.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer tweeted that he was “horrified by the events in London” and that Canada would always stand with the people of London. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a tweet that Canadian hearts were heavy with the news of the violence in London.
— With files from Rahul Kalvapalle, Simon Little and Jessica Vomiero.
© 2017 The Canadian Press