Minister calls out misogyny, but PM says too soon to talk motive in van attack

Alek Minassian is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder

All the answers Canadians are seeking about this week’s deadly rental-van attack in Toronto may not be forthcoming, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, as he once again offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

But one of his cabinet ministers said it is time Canadians speak up about what she described as a troubling trend of hate directed at women.

While questions still persist about why a man used a rental van to ram pedestrians on a busy stretch of Yonge Street sidewalk, killing 10 and injuring 14, the families of the victims might not get the answers they want to questions of motive, Trudeau said.

“Obviously, the investigation is ongoing and I’m not going to comment on various aspects of it,” the prime minister said as he entered the weekly caucus meeting on Parliament Hill.

“But a lot of people have questions as to why, and there may or may not be actual answers,” he warned.

READ MORE: Toronto van attack accused was briefly in Canadian Armed Forces

READ MORE: Trudeau calls van attack ‘horrific and senseless’

Police are investigating a message allegedly posted by the 25-year-old suspect, which suggests the attacker may have been targeting women.

Alek Minassian is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder, with a 14th attempted murder charge possible, pending further investigation.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, who was at the caucus meeting along with Trudeau, said people are too silent about misogyny and it’s time society spoke up.

“From my perspective, we have to have a conversation about misogyny, about the rise in hate and the connection to what some call the alt-right,” said Hajdu.

“I think it’s a conversation that’s just not being had loudly enough in our society.”

Authorities have not yet released the names of the 10 people killed in the attack.

Trudeau wouldn’t say whether he would attend a weekend memorial for the victims, but does plan to visit once he feels he would not distract from the investigation.

The Canadian Press

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