‘There are no words’: Laval daycare bus crash prompts outpouring of condolences on Parliament Hill
Condolences are pouring in on Parliament Hill after a Laval, Que., city bus crashed into a daycare on Wednesday morning, with federal politicians of all stripes expressing their sympathies with the families affected and gratitude to the first responders.
As of 5:15 p.m. ET, two children are dead and six others are in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. According to police, the 51-year-old bus driver has been arrested and is facing first-degree murder, attempted murder, and assault charges.
“I can’t imagine what the families of the kids who were killed and indeed the ones who were seriously injured are going through right now,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, appearing emotional on his way into the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, when news of the crash first broke, Trudeau expressed hope that “the kids are alright, or that they pull through and get well soon.”
“I know there are no words for parents who have lost their children this way. All Canadians are grieving with them, and we’ll do whatever we can to support them in horrific pain through the coming days and months and years of grief,” said Trudeau.
Inside the House of Commons, MPs throughout the chamber rose and bowed their heads as a moment of silence was held on Wednesday afternoon.
Asking for compassion for Laval residents as more information about the cause of the crash emerges, and as those injured start to heal, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet rose in the House to express his condolences.
“The hearts of all parents in Quebec stopped today when they learned what happened in Laval,” Blanchet said. “Our hearts go out to all parents, children and staff of the Garderie éducative Sainte-Rose. We thank the first responders, nursing staff, and all those who mobilized at this time to help but the little ones. Today the nation of Quebec is in mourning. Our hearts are with all those in the community of Laval.”
Taking to social media to speak about what he called a “violent bus attack,” Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said he was “heartbroken.”
“My heart goes out to the family members who lost loved ones and those injured in this tragedy. No parent should ever worry about the safety of their child,” Poilievre said.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called it a “horrific tragedy.”
“I don’t have the words to express how horrible it is, I just want to acknowledge the first responders and send my thoughts to the families of the victims,” Singh told reporters in the House foyer.
“As a parent, as a mom, you can’t imagine dropping your child off at daycare and having something like this happen. So I just wanted to express my condolences and of course to express my gratitude to those who responded so quickly on the frontlines to this horrible, horrible tragedy,” said Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould on her way into question period.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said his thoughts go to the children, their families, and the daycare staff, speaking to how these facilities are supposed to be places where children can feel safe.
“This is obviously a very shocking and horrifying and traumatic moment,” Mendicino said. “I do want to take a moment to thank local police for acting very, very quickly. They’ve apprehended the suspect and, and that is a good thing.”
Directing questions about the investigation to local law enforcement, Mendicino said that as more is learned about what transpired, “it’s important at this moment to offer whatever assistance that we can.”
Mendicino said that he’s reached out to his Liberal colleague Yves Robillard, whose Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Que., riding is where the crash took place, to offer “whatever support that we can.”
Stopping briefly to speak to reporters, Robillard said that while there is limited information, what’s transpired is “really terrible.”
Laval-Les Iles, Que. Liberal MP Faycal El-Khoury said that he will do everything in his power to provide comfort and services to his constituents.
“We have to have their backs and we have to be present on the ground with them,” he said.
“We find it terrible… it’s a crazy event, and our thoughts are with the families,” said Conservative MP for Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles, Que., Pierre Paul-Hus.
Conservative MP for Louis-Saint-Laurent, Que., Gerard Deltell, said that as a father the situation was “very tough,” and that his thoughts and prayers are with those impacted.
With files from CTV News Montreal
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