Politicians in Paris pay tribute to terrorist victims- Telegraph Journal, 8 December 2015
article by Chris Morris
originally printed in the Telegraph Journal, 8 December 2015
“The people of Paris are hurting after these attacks and it was important to me to leave something to represent the solidarity of the Canadian people with those in Paris.” – David Coon
New Brunswick politicians in Paris for climate talks took time away from meetings on Tuesday to visit scenes of tragedy from the terrorist attacks that scarred the city of light last month.
Premier Brian Gallant, Progressive Conservative MLA Brian Keirstead and Green Party leader David Coon are in Paris this week for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The conference is aimed at completing a binding framework for post-2020 emissions reductions.
But the three New Brunswick representatives put climate on the back burner for at least a few moments Tuesday as they paid tribute to the 130 people who were killed when gunmen and suicide bombers attacked cafes and a concert hall on Nov. 13.
It was the second terrorist attack in the French capital this year.
Coon carefully laid his hat, bearing the Team Canada logo, on the vast array of flowers, balloons and other momentoes stretching in front of the Bataclan theatre where most of the victims were killed.
“The people of Paris are hurting after these attacks and it was important to me to leave something to represent the solidarity of the Canadian people with those in Paris,” Coon said in an email statement from Paris.
“We share their pain and admire their determination.”
Keirstead struggled to put his feelings into words in a lengthy email he sent after visiting the Bataclan.
“Flowers upon flowers upon flowers; personal notes of condolences; lit candles shimmering; teddy bears; wreaths and much much more,”the Albert MLA wrote.
“The cafe where this attack took place is closed, as are most of the other attack sites. We drove around and viewed where other shootings took place. In one case,there were two establishments of opposite corners. Another was very near a McDonald’s. These were in a local residential neighbourhood … These were normal Parisians who were only guilty of living life. They were victims in the truest sense of the word. Nothing could have been more of a random act of violence.”
Gallant said he laid a wreath at the Bataclan“on behalf of New Brunswickers to offer our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the victims,the people of Paris and France.
“France is part of New Brunswick’s history,”he added,“and the cultural ties between us go back centuries.”
France remains under a state of emergency that gives authorities special powers to prevent potential attacks.
The government has deployed nearly 10,000 soldiers and police in and around Paris to help maintain security.
Premier Brian Gallant took time out from the climate talks in Paris on Tuesday to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of Nov. 13 that left 130 people dead.