Canadians react to Paris attacks
By Morgan Lowrie for The Canadian PressNews Public Sector hebdo paris terrorism
MONTREAL — Some Canadian political leaders were calling for vigorous action against terrorism in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said the world was facing a crisis in the wake of acts that “defy imagination” and he warned the democratic world was facing a mortal enemy that “threatens us too, even if we’re some distance from Paris.”
Couillard, who approved of the former Conservative government’s decision to undertake airstrikes in the Middle East in October 2014, called for a strong multilateral response to the crisis when he spoke to reporters in Quebec City on Saturday morning.
When asked directly if he supported a renewed military combat mission, he said it would depend on what the international community asked, although his personal support for military action hadn’t changed.
Saskatchewan’s premier voiced similar sentiments in a statement where he indicated that all flags at the province’s legislature would be flown at half-mast.
“Yesterday’s attack was a deadly reminder that there are people in the world who do not share our values and who will stop at nothing in their attempts to impose their twisted, evil ideology through violence, destruction and death,” Brad Wall said in the statement. “They must be defeated. There truly is no other option.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated he intends to end the combat mission against ISIL and would not say Friday night if the attacks in France would prompt his government to reconsider its position.
Conservative MP Jason Kenney questioned whether Canada would have any credibility if it withdraws from the combat mission.
“We will show ’absolute resolve’ by being the only country to withdraw from air strikes against the perpetrators?” Kenney questioned on Twitter.
A spokesman for the French Embassy in Ottawa said Saturday morning that police patrols had been increased following the attack.
Stephane Schorderet said the RCMP and local police had already increased security following the Paris attacks in January.
“We feel like we’ve gone back 10 months in time to the January attacks,” he said, a reference to the terrorist acts against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
He said most of the calls the Embassy had received were messages of solidarity and a desire to commemorate the victims.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that as of Saturday morning there were no reports of Canadians killed or injured in the series of co-ordinated attacks.
Vigils to remember the dead from Friday’s attacks were planned for Toronto and Montreal later Saturday.
French citizen Jordy Pinel is attending today’s Montreal rally in honour of his school friend Melodie, who died in last night’s attack on the Bataclan concert hall. Pinel said he learned of the death from another friend, who was able to escape.
“I’m just shattered,” said Pinel, who has lived in Canada for four years. “I feel we aren’t safe anywhere anymore.”
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