P.E.I. MPs Make Emotional Return to the Hill

Prince Edward Island MPs returned to work today with mixed emotions, after a day in lockdown following a gun attack in Parliament, majority of which were eager to move on from the tragic events. Malpeque MP Wayne Easter stated that “we’re not going to see our values, our freedoms, our belief in a peaceful and open society compromised as a result of somebody else’s desire to either hate our values or undermine or attack them.”

The security was tightened further as MPs and staffers reached the Hill on Thursday morning. There were clear signs that reminded of yesterday’s shooting spree, including bullet holes in walls, windows and doors. There was a definite change in tone in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, urged all MPs to look after their health and expressed gratitude that his political opponents were unharmed. In addition to that, all three party leaders gave expounding tributes to the soldier killed by the gunman and to Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who shot the assailant after he barged into Parliament’s Centre Block spraying bullets.

In his remarks, Charlottetown MP Sean Casey mentioned that “I would say that today was an emotional and unifying experience, which most days this place lacks.” Furthermore, Casey added that “it strikes a soft spot in your heart about how important democracy is, how important what we do is and how, even though we go after each other on issues, we’re all trying to do what’s best for the country.”

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