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Trudeau pledges to do more to dismantle hate groups after 'terrorist attack' in London

Last Updated Jun 8, 2021 at 8:53 am PDT

London Police investigate the scene of a car crash in London, Ontario on Monday, June 7, 2021. Police in London, Ont., say four people have died after several pedestrians were struck by a car Sunday night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

OTTAWA – The prime minister is categorizing a recent attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont. as a terror attack, adding his government will do more to dismantle hate groups.

The House of Commons opened session Tuesday morning in Ottawa with a moment of silence for the five victims in Sunday night’s hit-and-run.

Four family members – including a 74-year-old woman, 44-year-old woman, 46-year-old man, and a 15-year-old girl – were killed at a red light around 8:30 p.m. when a large, black truck came up behind the family and struck them at a high speed.

READ MORE: London, Ont. police believe Muslim family of 5 were targeted in hate-motivated, hit-and-run attack

A 9-year-old, the sole survivor and fifth family member, remains in hospital with serious injuries.

Police said Monday they believed the family was targeted because of their faith.

Justin Trudeau said during Tuesday’s session that the hit-and-run was terrorist attack, adding that we ll must take an active role in standing up to hate and terror.

“A family never made it home. Their lives were taken in a brutal, cowardly, and brazen act of violence. The killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred,” he said.

He said this attack is one of many racist and Islamophobic attacks in the country and they need to stop.

“We not only have to say enough is enough–you must take action. We cannot allow any form of hate to take root because the consequences can be far too serious,” he said.

“To anyone who thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I ask you this: How do we explain such violence?”

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He said non-Muslim Canadians need to understand the anxiety and fear that others are carrying.

“It is on all of us to understand that experience, be there to support, to help. We can and we must act.”

He pledged to do more to dismantle far-right extremist groups like the Proud Boys.

“We will continue to fund initiatives like the security infrastructure program to help protect communities at risk and their schools, and places of worship. We will continue to fight hate, online and offline,” he said.

The leaders of all national federal parties in the House of Commons will be in attendance at the vigil Tuesday night in London to honour the victims.

Police arrested the 20-year-old man they believe was responsible for the attack a short time after it happened in the parking lot of a mall seven kilometres away. They say he was wearing a body-armour-type vest at the time he was apprehended.

Police say there was no known prior relationship between the suspect and the victims and it’s believed he acted alone.

He’s been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

-with files from the Canadian Press