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Heroism during Ottawa shooting leads to free beer for Alain Gervais

10/30/2014 01:50 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST
Some grateful MPs have ensured House of Commons guard AlainGervais won't have to pay for beer for a long time in thanks for his work securing the NDP caucus in last week's shooting. 

​Gervais used his body to block the door to the hallway where Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fought a gun battle with security officials. MPs say a bullet hole in the door serves as a reminder of the risk he took. The bullet went through the first set of wood doors and entered a second interior door but stopped there, around the place where Gervais's head was.​

The MPs applauded Gervais yesterday during their caucus meeting, exactly one week after the shooting, but NDP caucus chair Glenn Thibeault said there was another way he planned to show his gratitude.

"We just need to constantly make sure that that person never has to pay for a beer at any pub in the country for the rest of his life," Thibeault said.

"To see that officer stand there with bullets hitting the door — holding the door together with his arms, willing to give up his life for us — is something that I will never, ever forget.… Because he has a family as well."

The comment was picked up on Twitter, eventually reaching Gavin Thompson, who works for Molson Coors Canada in corporate affairs. Gervais's wife tweeted that he drinks a Molson brand of beer.

"We will take good care of Alain," Thompson tweeted. "We will make sure he gets a good supply of his fave beer!"

Thompson told CBC News that a company rep will be paying Gervais a visit today to follow through.

Some New Democrat MPs tweeted photos of Gervais at their caucus meeting, calling him their "hero."

Speaker thanks security staff

House Speaker Andrew Scheer on Wednesday thanked all the security staff for protecting MPs during last week's shooting.

"I want to ensure that each and every one of you are aware just how grateful we are for the job that you did last week and indeed the job that you do each and every day, keeping us all safe within the precinct. When the first shots were fired, the immediate instinct of our constables was the protection of this building, all those who work here, and the Canadian citizens and international visitors who were here to take in this building’s great beauty," Scheer said in a memo.

"In the coming weeks I look forward to an opportunity to further thank you at an official appreciation event."

Scheer noted parliamentary officials are reviewing what happened to allow a gunman to make his way from the National War Memorial, where he shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, into Parliament's Centre Block.

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