Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Addresses The Nation: October 22, 2014

Statemanship



This is the full speech that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made last night, addressing the nation, following the terrorist attacks on the nation's capital, Ottawa and on two soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu, Quebec, one of whom succumbed to his injuries: The two soldiers who were killed are Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, a 28-year military veteran. Our whole family, including our two boys, aged 12 and 6, watched this speech; afterward, we discussed it and its implications, including that one of the best ways that average Canadians can defeat terrorism is to not give in to fear, to live our lives in the Canadian tradition. This includes coming together in times of crisis.

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My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Corporal Cirillo was killed today - murdered in cold blood - as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s national war memorial.

That sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.

Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.

Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

Fellow Canadians, we have also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians, like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life.

And, of course, the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the city of Ottawa police, and in parliament who came quickly, and at great risk to themselves, to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.

But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are, by their very nature, attacks on our country.

On our values, on our society, on us, Canadians, as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

But let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.

In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats, and keep Canada safe here at home.

Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.

They will have no safe haven.

While today has been, without question, a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.

Together, we will remain vigilant against those, at home or abroad, who wish to harm us.

For now, Laureen, Ben, Rachel, and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack.

May God bless them, and keep our land glorious and free.

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