October 22nd, 2014

Speech by Thomas Mulcair on shooting at Parliament Hill and War Memorial

My fellow Canadians,

Today, the peace of our nation’s capital was shattered by an act of hatred and brutality. A cowardly act, designed to strike at the very heart of our democracy— at the heart of who we are.

But I stand here tonight in solidarity— side-by-side with my colleagues, with our Prime Minister and with all Canadians.

This attack struck with sudden and deadly violence.

It was carried out on the very ground where we come together to exchange ideas with the knowledge that whatever our differences we will always resolve them peacefully.

It was intended to make us more fearful of our neighbours and less confident in ourselves.

But it has failed.

Today’s events have instead only succeeded in drawing us closer, in making us stronger.

To the brave women and men of law enforcement, our security services and our Canadian Forces: Your determination, your professionalism and indeed your heroism today will not soon be forgotten.

Just as we have all borne witness to these horrific acts, we have watched in awe your acts of courage— now an abiding emblem of Canadian strength, values and valour.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone here in our nation’s capital are with the family and loved ones of Corporal Nathan Cirillo— the Canadian Forces member from Hamilton, Ontario who lost his life this morning, the second in just a few days.
Corporal Cirillo was literally standing on guard at a monument dedicated to the sacrifice of others who came before him.

To his family and friends, I tell you that 35 million Canadians— at home and abroad, from coast-to-coast-to-coast and around the world— stand with you tonight.

And we will not forget.

In this moment, Canadians are united in grief, and stricken with disbelief.

Canada is shaken today, but we shall not waver.

We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace, and tomorrow we will do the same.

These acts were driven by hatred, but also designed to drive us to hate.

They will not.

We will stand up, and we will stand together.

We will persevere, and we will prevail.