Statement from Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair on the murder of four Muslim family members in London, Ontario

On Sunday evening, five members of the same London family went for a walk in their neighbourhood. They were struck by a pickup truck driven by a man allegedly intent on killing them. Four members of that family died. The fifth, a nine-year-old boy, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

London police have reported the attack was intentional and premeditated. They believe the family was targeted because of their faith, and that the attacker was motivated by his hatred of Muslims, in an event that must be described as an horrific act of Islamophobia.

In every event like this, we are shocked. And we should remain shocked. We are a country that celebrates diversity, but racism, hatred and Islamophobia still exist. Each and every Canadian needs to recognize that, and we all need to redouble our efforts to push back against it.

This mass murder, and other similar attacks, have the effect of terrorizing a specific community and make people fear that their family could be next. No one should ever have to live that way, or feel that fear, but because of horrific incidents like this, many of our fellow citizens, our neighbours, and friends, do.

I thank the London Police Service for its work in arresting and charging the man investigators believe committed this mass murder. Federal resources are available to assist the London police in their investigation, should they be required. I know the RCMP has been in touch and has offered its full support.  Currently, the London Police Service is leading the investigation. The Integrated National Security Enforcement Team is engaged in the investigation and working collaboratively with local police.

We will hold the victims of this tragedy close to our hearts, and our thoughts will remain with the family and friends of the deceased, and, of course, with the young boy who survived. The people of London, and Muslims across the country, have been hurt today. They are sad, scared, and angry. We all must stand alongside them and let them know that we will support them as they mourn, and we must show those who hate that their hatred isn’t welcome, isn’t shared, and will be confronted and rejected by Canadians at every turn.

James Cudmore

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness