Courtesy of House of Commons photographer
Pat Davidson thanks Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers in the House of Commons after he stopped a gunman in his tracks in the halls of Parliament.
Sarnia-Lambton MP Pat Davidson says the government needs to have the laws in place that allows the police to keep Canadians safe.
Two weeks ago, a man stormed Parliament Hill with a gun. He shot and killed Reservist Corp. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial and then ran through the halls of Parliament shooting while MPs were beginning their weekly caucus meeting.
The gunman, who the RCMP said had been radicalized and made a video before his attack praising Allah, was killed by Sergeant At Arms Kevin Vickers before he harmed anyone inside Parliament.
A week later, MPs returned to the caucus rooms they were hold up in for eight hours and Davidson says though it went “very well” and “everything seemed to be back to normal” some MPs were apprehensive.
“Once everyone was in the caucus room and got down to business, everyone seemed to be doing well.”
Davidson says counseling is being offered for those who have been traumatized by the events. “There has been a conscious effort right from the very start encouraging people to go (to counseling).”
But Davidson says she finds comfort in talking to the other MPs who were in the room with her at the time. “It does make a difference when you have gone through the same thing,” she says. The concern of the community has been great, Davidson says, but there is “nothing like speaking with someone who was with you.”
In the wake of the shooting, the Conservative government has talked about giving the RCMP and Canada’s spy agency CSIS more power to try to deal with “home-grown terrorism.” NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has said the police have the powers they need; they simply need to enforce the current laws.
Davidson agrees police have some tools and it is “up to the police force to enforce them.”
But she believes more powers may be necessary. “We need to give police forces all the tools they need,” she says. “We have to remember government puts rules in place that are there to protect the public; we need to have laws in place that allow police to do their work.”