Ottawa, ON – Our Nation’s capital is still reeling following the brazen attack at the National War Memorial on Wednesday, killing Corporal Nathan Cirillo, just two days after the hit-and-run death in Quebec of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Those of us who travel up to Parliament Hill frequently to testify on pieces of legislation were shook, not to mention those who have lost loved ones in similar acts of terrorism around the world. It is hard to believe that something like this could happen in our peaceful city.
In the aftermath of this attack, most cities across Canada will remain on high alert. Naturally, we do not want another tragic event to occur. While the police and military continue to investigate, there will likely be calls to react with new legislation. Kent Roach has written an insightful piece looking at the attacks this week, Canada’s current counter-terrorism laws and the fact that we already have many laws to address national security threats.
It is our hope that existing systems will work together closely to provide the best supports to the victims’ families in the aftermath of these tragedies. We know that long-term recovery can be impacted by the initial response received. We hope that military, police and victim services agencies across Ontario will work collaboratively and over the long-term to support those who have been affected.
If your community needs information about how to be prepared to respond to terror incidents or incidents of mass victimization, visit www.terrorvictimresponse.ca. This site provides information resources to emergency management, law enforcement, victim services and government officials who may be required to deliver tangible support to persons harmed. Ensuring that victims and survivors can recover and normalize their lives is critical in fostering community resilience. Communities must be prepared to meet the immediate, intermediate and long-term needs of victims and survivors of terrorist acts/mass victimizations and can do so by incorporating victims into their official response plans. Victims and survivors must not be an afterthought.
The CRCVC offers our deepest condolences to the families of Nathan and Patrice, and stands with them in solidarity at this most difficult time.