Capitol police officers in riot gear push back demonstrators who try to break a door of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is again condemning violent rioters he says were incited by U.S. President Donald Trump and other politicians on Capitol Hill this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jose Luis Magana

Capitol police officers in riot gear push back demonstrators who try to break a door of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is again condemning violent rioters he says were incited by U.S. President Donald Trump and other politicians on Capitol Hill this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jose Luis Magana

Democracy takes work, Trudeau says in condemning ‘violent rioters’ incited by Trump

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Wednesday’s events an ‘assault on democracy’

Canadians and their elected leaders have a shared responsibility to protect and defend the principles of democracy, which need constant tending to remain strong, Justin Trudeau said Friday.

It was only the prime minister’s latest repudiation of this week’s stunning and deadly attack on Capitol Hill — a violent incursion that he blamed squarely on Donald Trump.

In an opening statement during a news conference in Ottawa, Trudeau called Wednesday’s events an “assault on democracy” that was clearly incited by the sitting U.S. president.

“As shocking, deeply disturbing, and frankly saddening as that event remains, we have also seen this week that democracy is resilient in America, our closest ally and neighbour,” he said.

“Violence has no place in our societies, and extremists will not succeed in overruling the will of the people.”

He acknowledged that Canada is “not immune” to the forces responsible for the unrest in the U.S.

“We have a responsibility as Canadians to continue to lead with respect, to engage substantially with different points of view and to never resort to violence as a way of impacting public discourse,” he said.

“The choices we make as leaders, as politicians, have consequences. What we choose to say, what we choose not to say, how we choose to say it does have an impact on Canadians.”

Trudeau said he discussed the issue during his call Thursday with provincial and territorial premiers, reminding them that despite its strengths, preserving democracy takes work.

He called it an accomplishment to have and maintain a political system where the party that loses an election “gracefully concedes” and where rivals work together for everyone.

“We have this in Canada because Canadians make it possible,” he said.

“Canadians expect their political leaders to protect our precious democracy by how we conduct ourselves.”

They also expect elected leaders to engage in rigorous debate, that it be grounded in the facts, and that its enemies be identified and strongly repudiated.

“Canadian democracy didn’t happen by accident and won’t continue without effort,” Trudeau said.

“We must always work to secure our democracy, and not give comfort to those who promote things that are not true or give space for hate and extremism.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin
Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is the largest protected area in southeastern B.C. Photo: B.C. Parks
Province adds land to Valhalla and Purcell parks

Both additions enhance the parks’ ecological values, the province says

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

Nelson is holding a municipal by-election to replace former councillor Brittny Anderson, who resigned in December. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson by-election nomination deadlines set

Candidacies must be registered between Feb. 9 and Feb. 19

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read