OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling the storming of the U.S. Capitol by outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump’s supporters an “attack on democracy.”
“Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened,” Trudeau tweeted Wednesday evening.
“Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the U.S. must be upheld – and it will be.
The federal government continues to monitor the situation after pro-Trump extremists, who were gathered to protest the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory, rushed security and breached the U.S. Capitol building.
Once inside they where they entered key spaces and offices held by officials who were largely evacuated or ordered to shelter in place. As of Wednesday evening, police had secured the building but tensions continued to flare on the grounds, where a perimeter has been established.
Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he was “deeply shocked,” by the situation and that his thoughts are “with the American people,” over what is unfolding in Washington, D.C.
“The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to democracy – it must continue and it will,” said Champagne.
CALLING FOR CALM
In response to the rioters, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman is calling for “calm.”
She said that Canadian officials continue to follow the developments “very closely.”
The chaotic and violent scene prompted a lockdown of key government buildings and a curfew in Washington, D.C
Hillman said that all embassy staff are “safe and accounted for,” and implored Canadians in D.C. to follow the advice of local authorities.
‘ASTONSHING’ AND ‘FRIGHTENING’
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole called the storming an “astonishing assault on freedom and democracy.”
“I am deeply saddened to see chaos grip our greatest ally today,” he tweeted.
In a statement, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul said that “moments such as these underscore the importance of respect for the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power – principles upon which any healthy democracy depends.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the violence to end.
“The horror unfolding in Washington is frightening and it was incited by Donald Trump. He can end it now, but refuses to. Democracy must not be intimidated,” he tweeted.
Around the same time, Trump released a minute-long video statement in which he tells those who stormed the halls of American democracy that he “loved” them, but they “have to go home now.”
In the video, he continued to claim without evidence that the election was “stolen” from the Republicans. He called it a “landslide.” Biden won the popular vote by more than seven million votes.
The video was removed by Facebook first and then Twitter, after that social media company placed a warning on it and blocked the ability to reply, re-tweet or like the tweet “due to a risk of violence.”
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