OTTAWA — The gunman who staged a deadly attack Wednesday on Parliament Hill was a terrorist whose despicable crime will only harden Canada’s resolve to crack down on terrorists at home and abroad, Stephen Harper says.
The prime minister tied Wednesday’s extraordinary events — the killing of an honour guard at the National War Memorial, and a subsequent shootout inside Parliament’s Centre Block — to an incident two days earlier in Quebec, where one soldier was killed and another injured when they were run down by a car driven by a man with declared sympathies for Islamic extremists.
The shooter Wednesday was himself shot dead by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons.
“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” Harper said in a live televised statement.
“But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”
Attacks on Canadian security personnel and governing institutions are, “by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all,” he said.
But Canada will not be intimidated, Harper declared.
“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home — just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.”
“They will have no safe haven.”