“When you see this type of violent act, you do not sit around trying to rationalize it or make excuses for it or figure out its root causes,” Harper said before leaving London after attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. “You condemn it categorically, and to the extent you can deal with the perpetrators, you deal with them as harshly as possible.”
Mr. Trudeau then came out after Question Period this afternoon to respond.
I’ve already scrummed today so I’m not really supposed to scrum again but someone just handed me the news report of the Prime Minister lashing out. Two days ago, there was a horrific tragedy and I expressed clearly both today and yesterday the shock that I can only imagine that father feels that his son was killed for wanting to give him a hug. I really hope that Mr. Harper rethinks the extents and the lengths he’s willing to go to personally attack people and to politicize tragedies like that. That’s all I have to say.
The bombing occurred in Boston as Question Period was occurring in Ottawa. In his scrum after QP, Mr. Trudeau was asked about the attack and commented as follows.
Well, I think we have to be very, very careful about politicizing troubling news immediately. Obviously, I just heard about the Boston Marathon bombings and my first thought goes out to the thousands of people who every year are involved in the Boston Marathon and I just hope there’s as few victims as possible and few injuries as possible and we will – deal with any changes or any security issues in the coming days in – once we’ve secured the safety and expressed our condolences and worries for the people who’ve suffered.
A statement was then issued by Mr. Trudeau’s office.
“I was shocked and saddened to hear of the explosions that occurred today at the Boston Marathon. During what was an event worthy of celebration for thousands of people – including many Canadians – this senseless act of violence has left us reeling. My thoughts and condolences are with all those in Boston at this time, especially the victims and their families.”
Mr. Trudeau would have spoken to Mr. Mansbridge around 5pm on Monday. The next day, Mr. Trudeau opened his scrum a statement about the bombing.
Like all Canadians and all parliamentarians, the images and the horrific stories come out from Boston after this senseless violence touch us deeply. Like I think probably every father across this country, the idea of eight-year-old Martin Richard running to give his father a hug and dying in a horrific explosion is one that is seared into my nightmares. We send all of our thoughts and prayers to our friends in the south and hope that we resolve this horrible crime quickly.
And then today, he commented after the Liberal caucus meeting.
On Wednesday, after a meeting with his caucus, Trudeau clarified his remarks when asked by a reporter what he meant by “root causes.” “Obviously, we have to make sure that as we move forward we look at creating a safe community, a safe country, a safe world for all citizens and all individuals and that happens both with security and with, with a significant commitment to peace, as highlighted in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Trudeau said.