McMorris condemns Washington riot

·2 min read

As a mob of rioters attacked and ransacked the United States Capitol building on Jan. 6 during final certifications of the 2020 presidential election, Saskatchewan politicians say they looked on with horror.

“It’s very shocking and disappointing,” said Saskatchewan’s government relations minister and Indian Head-Milestone MLA Don McMorris. “You see that in other countries, not on this continent. You don’t see that in North America and it’s disturbing. Everybody has the right to protest, but when it gets to that level, that’s just not acceptable whatsoever.”

As of Monday five people — including two police officers — had died as a result of the rampage, which saw legislators hustled into secure locations while the U.S. Senate chamber was breached and several of their offices were looted and destroyed by extremists.

McMorris added that our democratic system and way of life is “cherished,” and that last week’s events in Washington have also united government and opposition MLAs alike as they speak out against those who threaten democratic institutions.

“Everybody has denounced what has happened, as well as the vast majority of the American people,” McMorris said. “The violence is just not acceptable.”

Regina-Wascana Plains MLA Christine Tell, who also serves as the province’s policing minister, declined an interview request for this story. A spokesperson from the provincial government’s executive council instead supplied a public statement from Premier Scott Moe in lieu of a response from Tell.

“The United States of America is Canada’s closest ally and has been a beacon of freedom and democracy for generations. The events that occurred today in Washington, D.C. were deeply disturbing and nothing short of an affront to the democratic values that we hold sacred,” the online post reads.

Regina-Qu’Appelle Member of Parliament Andrew Scheer, who served as Speaker of the House in 2014 when Parliament Hill was attacked by a lone gunman, also did not respond to an interview request for this story.

However, McMorris said the possibility of a similar event closer to home does emphasize the importance of engaging with constituents.

“There’s all sorts of hypotheticals, but that’s why we try and work so hard to stay in touch with all communities in the province as we can,” McMorris said. “We just went through a very orderly election here in Saskatchewan. The people spoke and we are very fortunate here. We only have to look at incidents like that to see how fortunate we are to be living in Canada, and most importantly here in Saskatchewan.”

Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum