Parliament Hill has been reopened to the public after Wednesday’s shootings and I couldn’t be happier to hear the news.

People who have never been to Ottawa, and certainly people from outside of Canada don’t understand what this space is.

The Parliament buildings surround pathways and two large lawn spaces. Parliament Hill belongs to us, the people of Canada, and we use it like our town square here in Ottawa. People gather there.

We’re allowed there to celebrate, protest and mourn.

When Jack Layton died and people in Ottawa wanted to pay tribute, we all ended up on the hill. It’s the most obvious place to express ourselves. Today, the Saturday after the shootings, the first day that the Hill has been open since it happened, people went down and milled around, took pictures. We did.

It’s a beautiful place. It’s a public space. If we were to lose that, that would be a terrible end┬áto this tragedy.

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