Wilks’ instincts kicked in when gunfire erupted

Kootenay-Columbia MP describes Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Parliament in Ottawa

Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament David Wilks is seen on the right of this photo standing beside a barricaded entrance. Graham Richardson of CTV News posted this shot of the Conservative caucus room shortly after Wednday’s shooting at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament David Wilks is seen on the right of this photo standing beside a barricaded entrance. Graham Richardson of CTV News posted this shot of the Conservative caucus room shortly after Wednday’s shooting at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

MP David Wilks was in a meeting in the House of Commons as gunfire erupted during Wednesday’s events in Ottawa.

An armed attacker made his way into Centre Block Parliament Hill after shooting and fatally wounding Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial.

The doors to the national caucus meeting were already closed — a normal procedure – said Wilks, but gunshots could be heard from the meeting room.

“It was going on in the Hall of Honour, which separates the House of Commons from the Senate,” Wilks said.

“After hearing the gunshots, my police instincts kicked in right away and the first thing I did was hit the ground and look to see what was going on.

“About 30 seconds later, I made a decision that we needed to secure one of the doorways where the majority of the gunfire was coming from. So myself and a number of my colleagues just starting grabbing a whole bunch of chairs that we sit in and piling them against the door.”

Wilks said the impetus behind piling chairs was not to stop the gunman, but to slow him down should he try to enter. The door was the only thing that separated them from the hallway where the shooter was.

“After that myself and a number of my other colleagues who were former policemen more or less tried and were successful in calming everyone down and making sure that we were quiet,” he said. They then waited for security, which arrived shortly after.

“Then we were in lockdown and waited until security said that it was okay for us to leave,” Wilks said, adding that was several hours.

Security, which included the House of Commons security, Senate security, the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police, would periodically stop by to provide updates once the scene was secured. Then they arranged transportation for the MPs and their staff.

One of the problems Wilks noted was with the door closed, you could hear gunfire, but there’s no way to tell who is shooting.

“My assumption is always, until told otherwise, it’s the bad guy, and you act accordingly,” Wilks said.

On Thursday morning, Wilks said he had no apprehension about heading back into the House of Commons.

“Today was much more normal, with the exception that no visitors were allowed into the House today,” he said. Part of the House of Commons was still a crime scene, so the only ones allowed in were members of parliament and their staff.

“Other than that it started off at 10 o’clock and we continued with business at hand,” he said.

“Security here was amazing,” he said. “Hats off to not only the House of Commons and Senate security, but also the OPP and RCMP. I was able to get to my office this morning and then get to Centre Block. There were RCMP there and we were ID’ed to make sure we were members of parliament.”

Wilks said he hopes this doesn’t have an affect on Canada’s openness.

“This is referred to as the People’s House. Since 1867 anyone could come in here. Although under normal circumstances they go through security.”

He said certain aspects of security will likely be beefed up a bit.

“Their job is to protect us. They do a very good job at it and they have my highest regard for that.”

Wilks noted that things changed as a result of Wednesday’s events.

“What I’ve always said is that it seems that there is a little bit of complacency on the part of not politicians, but Canadians in general,” he said. “With regards to the fight is over there, as in Iraq, Syria, Iran and those areas in the Middle East, but it has moved here and the game changed. So we can’t say anymore that it can’t happen here, because it’s happened twice this week.”

Wilks was referring to the hit-and-run attack that killed a soldier in Quebec on Monday.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read