Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is deploring the “senseless” attack in Toronto that killed 10 people and left 14 others injured, saying the entire country was standing in solidarity with victims, their families and first responders.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of all those who were killed and we wish a full recovery to the injured and stand with the families and friends of the victims,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters.
The Prime Minister singled out the Toronto police and emergency medical personnel who rushed to the scene of the mass attack to try to save the lives of those who were run down by the fast-moving van.
“They handled this extremely difficult situation with professionalism and bravery. They faced danger without a moment of hesitation,” he said. “There is no doubt their courage saved lives and prevented further injuries.”
Although police have ruled out terrorism as the basis for the attack, the Prime Minister said he had no idea what motivated the alleged suspect, Alek Minassian, to mow down pedestrians.
“It is already quite clear that there is no connection to national security,” he said. “In terms of the motivation of the suspect, I think it will take some time yet to understand what was in this person’s mind.”
Mr. Trudeau said that authorities will examine what more can be done to protect Canadians from these kinds of lone-wolf attacks. He added he will travel to Toronto once he is certain that his visit will not hinder the investigation.
“We cannot, as Canadians, choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business. We need to focus on doing what we can and we must to keep Canadians safe while we stay true to the freedoms and values that we all as Canadians hold dear,” he said.
With the flag flying at half-mast over Parliament’s Centre Block, there was a minute of silence in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon in honour of the victims of the attack.
“Today we cry with the families of the victims, and our prayers are with those who are recovering in hospital,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. “Toronto is a strong city, Mr. Speaker, and its residents will have our support as they rally together, not just in anger or grief, but in solidarity.”
NDP MP and parliamentary leader Guy Caron praised the work of first responders who came to the aide of victims, as well as Constable Ken Lam for his role in arresting the alleged culprit.
“Their courage and determination is the embodiment of values that Canadians hold dear,” Mr. Caron said. “We will not allow this attack to sow hatred and division among us. Like Canada, Toronto is strong, diverse, loving and courageous. Nothing that happened … will change that.”
On Monday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron called Mr. Trudeau to express condolences for the multiple deaths and injuries. U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the attack Tuesday morning outside the White House as he greeted Mr. Macron, who is on a state visit to the U.S.
“I also want to express our deepest sympathies to the Canadian people following the horrendous tragedy in Toronto that claimed so many innocent lives,” Mr. Trump said, flanked by Melania Trump, Mr. Macron and Brigitte Macron. “Our hearts are with the grieving families in Canada.”
At a summit of Group of Seven security ministers in Toronto, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale thanked his counterparts for their support and condolences following the van attack. Mr. Goodale said the investigation is still in its early hours, reiterating that so far, there is “no discernible connection to national security.”
- With a report from Daniel Leblanc