Prime Minister and opposition leaders address nation after Ottawa shooting. Federal sources confirm identity of slain Ottawa gunman. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was the soldier fatally shot at the nation’s War Memorial. Security beefed up across Toronto after attack in Ottawa. Doug Ford calls a Toronto star reporter a “little bitch.”
PRIME MINISTER, OPPOSITION LEADERS ADDRESS OTTAWA SHOOTING
Prime Minister Steven Harper broke nearly 11 hours of silence following a shooting in the Nation’s Capital on Wednesday morning. Harper was quietly removed from Parliament Hill earlier in the day, following an incident that left one Honour Guard dead, and a suspected gunman fatally shot. Speaking to the nation on Wednesday night, Harper said that Canada “is not immune” to the attacks that are often reported around the world, and quickly reacted to his words by saying “Canada will never be intimidated.” The Prime Minister called the suspect involved in the shooting incident a “terrorist”, while explaining that the country will not be intimidated, and will “strengthen to resolve and redouble [the] efforts” when it comes to dealing with threats. Harper also says that Canada will work with its allies to “fight terrorists that brutalize others.” NDP leader Tom Mulcair spoke shortly afterwards, saying that his party’s “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the Canadian Forces Member.” Mulcair detailed the incident as “driven by hatred, to drive us to hate”, responding that Canadians will “persevere and prevail.” Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also addressed the nation, repeating comments made by Harper, that Canada is not “innocent to the threats we face.” Trudeau called the shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo a “cowardly act” and that while questions and anger remain, Canadians “cannot let that get the better of us.” The leader explained that he would like to see all residents of Canada stay ”true to our values in a time of crisis.” Politicians in Ottawa will meet at the National War Memorial this morning to pay their respects to a Corporal Nathan Cirillo. The RCMP has the Parliament buildings under close watch and will spend the day taking a hard look at security. Although the Hilll will be off limits to visitors today, police have given the all clear for federal government employees to return to their offices this morning. The House of Commons will sit at 10 a.m. Prime Minister Harper is expected to make an address.
FEDERAL SOURCES CONFIRM IDENTITY OF SLAIN OTTAWA GUNMAN
After killing an honour guard at the War Memorial, 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was shot to death by Kevin Vickers, the Sgt.-At-Arms as he approached the area where Prime Minister Harper was meeting with his caucus. Those who knew him say the small time crook may have been mentally ill and the Muslim convert’s religious views didn’t become extreme until recently. Police are still trying to determine if Zehaf-Bibeau acted alone.
CPL. NATHAN CIRILLO FATALLY SHOT AT NATION’S WAR MEMORIAL
The Canadian soldier gunned down at the National War Memorial in Ottawa is being honoured from all corners of the country and has been identified as Corporal Nathan Cirillo by family and friends. The reservist from Hamilton’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was on duty at the memorial next to Parliament Hill when he was reportedly shot at point blank range just before 10 o’clock Wednesday morning. David Cirillo, reportedly the victim’s cousin, expressed anger at the killing in a posting on Facebook saying his family is destroyed. Nathan Cirillo’s Instagram account shows he was a dog lover, and outdoors enthusiast. Funeral arrangements are still being made.
SECURITY BEEFED UP ACROSS TORONTO
Hours after the shootings in Ottawa, security was beefed up around Toronto at public buildings as well as the TTC. But Police Chief Bill Blair says he wants reassure residents there’s no specific or identifed credible threat to any individial, group or public institution here, although precautions will still be taken. Extra uniformed officers will be in place at various locations around the city. Blair is urging the public to be vigilant, and to come forward to report any suspicious activity. “Torontonians will see today, and over the coming days, a very visible police presence at various public institutions and public spaces. Additional police resources have been directed to Queen’s Park, Toronto City Hall, to our court houses, our consulates, as well as government and military facilities. You will see additional uniformed police officers on the subway system and in any place the presence of our police can reassure out citizens.” Canadian forces bases across the country are also on alert.
DOUG FORD CALLS TORONTO STAR REPORTER A “LITTLE BITCH”
Doug Ford is being accused of calling a Toronto Start reporter a “little bitch”. Ford made the remark after a post debate media scrum and a few other members of the media heard the remark and believed it was attributed to the Toronto Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro. Ford had just repeatedly mentioned her name as he avoided her questions about when he planned to release his list of campaign donors and why he is holding a fundraising dinner only two days before voting day. Ford has not denied making the comment but did deny they were attributed to Pagliaro. Below is his full statement:
I respect that reporters have a job to do but I am being accused of something that is not accurate. The Toronto Star is reporting that I made a derogatory comment about one of its reporters. The fact is, I had a private conversation with two of my staff members as I was walking out of the debate, and that private conversation was completely unrelated to anyone in the room. I never said anything about the Toronto Star reporter. This reporter heard something second-hand and based on this inferred I was talking about her, when the Toronto Star reporter’s name didn’t even come up once.
(PHOTO: LUCAS OLENIUK / TORONTO STAR)