Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his public safety minister are delivering messages of sorrow — but not panic — in the aftermath of a Toronto man’s deadly rampage through city streets in a van.
In an early morning statement, Trudeau said there is no apparent link to terrorism, adding that all Canadians are standing with Toronto as it continues to reel from the attack.
“The events that took place yesterday in Toronto were a senseless attack and a horrific tragedy,” Trudeau said, extending condolences to the victims and thanks to the first responders on the scene.
“They handled this extremely difficult situation with professionalism and bravery. They faced danger without a moment of hesitation, and there is no doubt that their courage saved lives and prevented further injuries.”
But while Trudeau says the investigation into the incident is still underway, he says there is no evidence to suggest there is a “national security element” to the situation.
“All Canadians are with Toronto today — in our hearts, in our prayers and in our thoughts.”
Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who happens to be in Toronto for a meeting with other G7 national security ministers, says the attack has led to “a very large homicide investigation,” with city police at the helm and every level of government taking part.
Goodale thanked other countries, especially the United States, for their condolences and offers of help. And he, too, commended the first responders.
Like Trudeau, he reiterated that the investigation “what happened and why” has only just begun, but sees no reason to draw any links to a national security risk or organized attack.
The @TorontoPolice and first responders faced danger without hesitation today, and I want to thank them for their courage and professionalism. We’ll continue working with our law enforcement partners as the investigation continues.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 24, 2018
The attack began Monday afternoon when a man allegedly drove a van down a busy stretch of sidewalk on Yonge Street in the city’s north end.
Toronto police have arrested 25-year-old Alek Minassian in the incident.
Minassian is due to appear in court later today.
Alek Minassian, 25
-He will appear in court Tuesday, April 24, 2018
-10 am at 1000 Finch Avenue West court
-Information on charges to be released at that time
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) April 24, 2018
The Canadian Press