Trudeau, Poilievre, Singh react to Bourget shooting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said police are being killed in the line of duty “far too often” and it “has to stop,” following an early morning shooting just east of Ottawa on Thursday that left one Ontario Provincial Police officer dead and two others injured.

“It has happened far too often, over the past many months across this country, that we’ve lost police officers in the line of duty, serving their community,” Trudeau said, addressing reporters from Rideau Gate, where he was meeting with Moldovan President Maia Sandu.

“I’ve been working with the minister of public safety and with the minister of justice to see what more we can do to keep them safe, but this has to stop. We need to be there to protect the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect the rest of us. That’s something we continue to look at.”

Thursday’s shooting happened in the village of Bourget, a small community 50 kilometres east of downtown Ottawa.

OPP say the three officers were called following a report of gunshots at a home and within minutes “ambushed and shot” after arriving on scene at approximately 2 a.m.

Alain Bellefeuille, a 39-year-old man, was taken into custody “without further incident” and later charged with first degree murder and two charges of attempted murder.

The three officers were taken to hospital in Ottawa, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique told reporters during a midday update.

One of the OPP officers, 42-year old Sgt. Eric Mueller, was killed and two other veteran OPP officers were injured.

As of Thursday afternoon, one officer remained in hospital in “stable but critical condition.” The other officer was released and is now recovering at home.

The prime minister said the federal government is extending its deepest condolences to all of those impacted.

“We need to do everything we can to support the community as they go through this time, and to make sure that their colleagues get the support they need as well,” Trudeau said.

Since September 2022, 10 police officers—ranging from members of the RCMP to local police forces—have been killed in Canada, according to Carrique. The top OPP official noted that five of those killed were members of the OPP.

Trudeau’s comments about the growing number of police officers killed on the job across Canada in recent months echoed those of Emergency Preparedness Minister and former police officer Bill Blair.

Speaking earlier in the day, Blair called the shooting a “very difficult situation” while expressing his condolences during a press conference on Parliament Hill. He said the issue of police deaths is an important conversation to have, across the country.

“We’ve seen a number of incidents where police officers have lost their lives in the service of their community. I spent 39 years in a police organization. And I love those men and women very dearly, and I think the work that they do is important in our society. And we need to do what is necessary to make sure that they can protect us and they can do it in a way that is safe,” Blair said.

“The tragic loss of these officers, often to gun violence, is something that I think we need to respond appropriately to, and be there for them.”

Federal opposition leaders also commented on Thursday’s shooting. 

“We mourn with the family of the OPP officer killed in the line of duty early this morning, and pray for the other two officers who were shot,” posted Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. “Most of us will never know the risk police officers take every single day when they say goodbye to their families and go to work. We must never take their sacrifice for granted.” 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also said in a social media post that he is sending his “deep sympathy” to the family, colleagues, and loved ones of Sgt. Mueller.

“We are hoping for a quick recovery of the other two officers who were injured,” Singh said. 

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Michael Woods

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