OTTAWA - Gerald Keddy is rarely late for work, but on Wednesday the South Shore-St. Margaret’s MP was just that - late.
When a gunman attacked Parliament Hill yesterday morning just before 10 a.m. Ottawa time, the veteran Conservative backbencher was still rushing about to get ready for the weekly caucus meeting. Keddy was alerted by a news report about the incident on TV.
Dozens of his caucus colleagues and several members of Keddy’s staff were locked down in their offices for hours. Some staff members were not allowed to leave until after 8 p.m.
Despite the attack, which killed a soldier and injured several others, Keddy said politicians and staffers were going back to Parliament Hill the next day determined to get back their everyday business.
“It is absolutely imperative we go back today to do the business we were elected to do,” he said.
The MP said the challenge for security officials is to find a way to better protect Parliament while keeping government open and accessible for Canadians.
Keddy said his thoughts and prayers were with the family of the soldier who was killed by the attacker while serving as a member of the honour guard at the National War Monument.
“This isn’t something we Canadians are used to or would expect to happen,” said Keddy.