Loading articles...

Canada's threat level not changing, in wake of New Zealand mass shooting

Last Updated Mar 15, 2019 at 11:12 am PDT

The Peace Tower is seen through the iron gates of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, March 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Canada's threat level remains at medium

Trudeau says hate has no place in the world

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada is offering New Zealand its full support as an ally and intelligence partner, following the horrific mass shooting at two mosques in that country.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale saying he is closely following developments and our threat level remains at medium.

He says there are no known Canadian connections, despite unconfirmed reports the shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand may have been influenced by the gunman in the Quebec mosque shooting two years ago.

RELATED: ‘Worst kind of shock’: Vancouver Muslim community reacts to deadly Christchurch mosque shooting

In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is appalled by this terror attack, saying hate has no place in the world and diversity is a strength. Trudeau says Canada remembers all too well the pain caused by senseless violence.

“To the people of New Zealand and to Muslim communities around the world: you are in our hearts and minds. We join in your grief and stand with you at this incredibly difficult time.”

“We must all confront Islamophobia and work to create a world in which all people—no matter their faith, where they live, or where they were born—can feel safe and secure,” Trudeau added in his statement.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna echoed Trudeau’s sentiments. “We need to stand up against Islamophobia. We need to stand up against hatred of all kinds.”

The flag on top of the peace tower is flying at half mast in memory of the victims.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says he is heartbroken, saying Islamophobia has no place anywhere in the world.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer took to Twitter on Thursday night, calling it a “despicable act of evil.” He faced some criticism though for not mentioning the mosque, Muslims, or Islamaphobia in his initial statement.

On Friday morning, he issued an extended statement on Facebook.

“As Canadians are learning the horrific details of last night’s terror attack at two New Zealand mosques, I wish to express both my deep sadness at the tragic loss of innocent life and my profound condemnation of this cowardly and hateful attack on the Muslim community.

“Houses of worship, like the two mosques attacked last night, should be places where all people can meet freely and without fear. We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters to ensure that they remain this way. We must condemn, in the strongest terms possible, the type of extreme and vile hatred that motivated this despicable act of evil.”

Four people were taken into custody following the shooting, in which 49 people were killed at two mosques. Three were said to be linked to the attack, with the country’s prime minister saying one of the suspects had publicly stated they were Australian born.

“It is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, calling it an act of “unprecedented violence” that has no place in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s national security level has been lifted from low to high.

RELATED: QuickQuotes: Canadian reactions to New Zealand mosque attacks

Police say officers found two improvised explosive devices in different vehicles, adding a hospital was a target.

A live stream of the incident apparently taken by a shooter surfaced online. Police have confirmed its authenticity and are asking people to stop circulating the “extremely distressing footage.”

The same person is believed to have shared a manifesto online before the shooting.

 – With files from Estefania Duran, Mike Lloyd, Hana Mae Nassar, The Associated Press