Skip to main content

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a statement regarding Canadian hostage Robert Hall in the Philippines during an availability in the House of Commons foyer on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, June 13, 2016.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando and the death of Canadian hostage Robert Hall in the Philippines serves as a reminder that acts of violence and hatred cannot be tolerated.

Mr. Trudeau made the statement on Parliament Hill Monday morning, where the Peace Tower flag flew at half-mast for the dozens killed in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend. He also confirmed the death of Mr. Hall, held by Islamic group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines since September 2015.

"The appalling attack on the LGBTQ2 community this weekend in Orlando and this news today [regarding Mr. Hall's death] serve as devastating reminders for all of us that vicious acts of hatred and violence cannot be tolerated in any form," Mr. Trudeau said in a brief statement to reporters.

LGBTQ2 is an acronym used to refer to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirited community.

Fifty people are dead and 53 injured after an attack on an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in the early hours of Sunday morning. The attack on Pulse nightclub is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the attack an "act of terror and an act of hate."

The attacker has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Mr. Trudeau said that while the government is working closely with Filipino authorities to confirm Mr. Hall's death, it has every reason to believe that the reports are true. He said he has also spoken with Philippines President Benigno Aquino.

"Canada holds the terrorist group who took Mr. Hall hostage fully responsible for this cold-blooded and senseless murder," Mr. Trudeau said. "We are more committed than ever to working with government of the Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for these heinous acts and bring them to justice however long it takes."

Mr. Hall's death comes after Canadian mining executive and fellow hostage John Ridsdel was executed in April.