All eyes are on Paris in the wake of a series of horrific explosions and shootings killing more than 120 people in the French capital.
Worldwide, “Peace For Paris” started trending on social media networks last weekend.
Many international landmarks, including Toronto’s CN Tower, lit up in blue, red and white — the colours of the French flag — after Friday night’s deadly attacks.
“Terrifying,” said Qualicum Beach’s Deborah Grey, former chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC).
“It’s scary,” she told The NEWS from her Qualicum Beach home. “I’ve done a fair bit of security work and it makes you very nervous… It was like 911 — what’s going to happen next?”
Grey retired from her position with SIRC earlier this year, where she was in charge of the committee overseeing Canada’s spy service, CSIS.
“We made sure CSIS was following the law,” she said. “And I have nothing but utmost respect for CSIS, they work very hard and are very busy.”
MP Gord Johns called the attacks “an absolute tragedy” vowing to stand in solidarity with Paris and the people of France.
“It’s devastating,” Johns told The NEWS from Ottawa Saturday. “Like all Canadians and people across the world, my heart goes out to the people of France. We will certainly be watching very closely.”
Premier Christy Clark issued a statement Friday saying she was “shocked and sickened” by the tragic series of events. “For centuries, France has been a beacon of light and example for the world, and remains one of our closest friends and allies.”
“Tonight, all Canadians and British Columbians stand with them, both in grief for those who were killed, but also in resolve. Those who commit such acts of violence want to change us, and our shared values. They will fail,” Clark said in the statement.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and with security personnel who put their lives at risk to keep others safe.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Friday saying “Canada stands with France at this dark time and offers all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with the international community to help prevent these terrible, senseless acts. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France and we mourn their loss.”
— With files from Black Press