Parliament shooter's video to be released Friday
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is seen in an undated picture from the Vancouver Police Department released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police October 25, 2014. (Reuters/Vancouver Police Department/Handout)
A video made by gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau that explains his motives for killing a soldier at the National War Memorial and storming Parliament in October will be released Friday, RCMP confirm.
Commissioner Bob Paulson will appear before the Commons public safety and national security committee (SECU) to show and discuss the video.
"At that time, committee members will be provided an update on the investigation arising from the events of Oct 22, 2014, in Ottawa," RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox said via e-mail Wednesday.
Last month, the committee voted to invite Paulson to screen the video publicly. The RCMP seized the shooter's video as part of its criminal investigation but has kept the recording under wraps, saying its release would interfere with the ongoing probe.
Conservative Sen. Daniel Lang and Liberal Sen. Grant Mitchell repeated the request for its release in a private letter to Paulson last week.
The pair, who head the Senate's national security and defence committee, urged Paulson to make the video public so "that all Canadians can understand the motivations behind the terrorist attack on our seat of government." Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot and killed unarmed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, at the National War Memorial. He then crossed the street and stormed Parliament's Centre Block, where security gunned him down.
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is "pleased" with the decision, according to ministry spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue.
"This terror attack remains a significant example of why we need to pass our Anti-Terrorism Act - to ensure police and our national security agencies have the tools they need to keep Canadians safe," said de Le Rue.
NDP public safety critic and SECU vice-chair Randall Garrison said he's "been clear since the start" the video should be made public.
"Obviously, the police investigation is the priority in terms of handling evidence like this video," he said. "But at a time when Parliament is considering sweeping changes to our laws, there is significant public interest in better understanding what led to this tragic attack.
"After months of conflicting messages, it's important that there is finally some clear indication that the video will be released."
Liberal public safety critic and SECU vice-chairman Wayne Easter is hopeful the video will provide some insight into the motivation for the attack and could help prevent future acts of domestic terrorism.
"What it allows is some transparency for Canadians on this one tragic event, given the high-profile nature of the event," said Easter. "There's no question it was a terrorist act, but what was the thinking behind this individual? Was he influenced by others?
"The video will give the committee and give Canadians reason to pause and (consider) what we need to do in terms of Canadian safety and security, and to possibly prevent other individuals from being radicalized."
-- with files from Aedan Helmer