Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation following a mass shooting in Nova Scotia over the weekend.
Instead of his daily COVID-19 pandemic update, the prime minister said that he was mourning the lives of the “at least” 18 people who died in the shootout.
“We are a country that stands united in our effort to defeat a pandemic, save lives, and help each other make it to a better day,” said Trudeau. “But yesterday, we were jolted from that common cause by the senseless violence and tragedy in Nova Scotia.”
Among the victims is RCMP Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Force, who “died protecting others,” according to Trudeau.
Reports of multiple victims in several Nova Scotia communities began late Saturday night, and the incident continued until the following morning.
“This happened in small towns, Portapique, Truro, Milford, and Enfield. Places where people have deep roots. Places where people know their neighbours and look out for each other,” he said.
“Violence of any kind has no place in Canada.”
The prime minister said the government will be supporting the province of Nova Scotia “during this incredibly painful time.”
“We stand with you, and we grieve with you,” he said.
Trudeau took time to also thank paramedics, doctors, nurses, police officers, and firefighters.
“They are always here for us. They have been stepping up through the pandemic, and yesterday, in Nova Scotia,” said Trudeau.
He asked the name of the shooter not to be mention in media reports and said that while there won’t be an in-person vigil, there will be a virtual one on Friday.
The online vigil will be organized by Colchester-Supporting our Nova Scotian Communities on Facebook, and Trudeau said he would be participating virtually.
“Canada is a vast and sweeping country, filled with long stretches of lonely roads,” Trudeau said. “With unwavering courage and compassion, the RCMP patrol these roads to keep us safe as they have for hundreds of years.”
Trudeau said that he will be listening to what Canadians are saying for more gun control. He also said he is open to moving forward on gun control legislation in Parliament in the coming weeks.