VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As emboldened Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, prompting a lockdown and curfew, the prime minister said he was keeping a very close eye on the situation that was developing.
When asked about his reaction, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told NEWS 1130 in an exclusive interview that he was concerned about what was unfolding south of the border.
Trudeau said his government was following the developments “minute by minute.”
“There is an important electoral process unfolding in the United States and I think we all want it and need it to unfold properly and peacefully. So we certainly hope that things will calm down,” he said.
On whether he is confident a transition will see President-Elect Joe Biden move into the White House, Trudeau said he believes the democratic institutions are strong, adding he hopes for the best.
“Hopefully everything will return to normal shortly but we’re going to continue to do what we need to do to make sure that Canadians are well served in our relationship with the United States regardless of how things unfold,” he said.
Listen to the full interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Later in the day, Trudeau said Canadians were “deeply disturbed” by what had been unfolding south of the border, adding they were also “saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour.”
Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 6, 2021
Violent clashes between Trump supporters and police started and an announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Biden’s victory. Due to an “external security threat,” no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex, the recording said.
Both chambers abruptly went into recess and Vice President Mike Pence was escorted out of the building.
Reporters on the ground had been sharing video and images from the scene, with some saying guns had been drawn and others that shots had been fired.
The National Guard was eventually called in.
Four people died as a result of the chaos that erupted at the Capitol building.