Albertans are reacting to the violent scenes that unfolded Wednesday first outside and then inside of the U.S. Capitol building in a stunning attempt to overturn the election, undercut the nation's democracy and keep Donald Trump in the White House.

"It's unfortunate. It’s certainly a black eye on American democracy for sure," said Edmontonian Steve McGowan, a U.S. Army veteran. 

He says he fears the country and the Republic Party have strayed too far from their roots. 

"What Trump has done to this party has devastated me," he said. "It's simply a small minority that’s been whipped into such a fervour."

VIOLENT SCENES

Rioters broke through barriers and in to the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon after thousands had rallied nearby earlier in the day.

During the incursion, the nation's elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building in one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. Washington's mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.

The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress' formal approval of Joe Biden's victory. Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.

One woman was shot dead and three other people died after suffering medical emergencies in the chaos.

Lawmakers later returned to the building and confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

CANADIAN REACTION

Canadian political leaders condemned the violence, with Prime Minister Trudeau calling the insurrection "'an attack on democracy."

"I was quite emotional," said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. 

"To see these stupid thugs violating one of the most sacred place not just in American democracy but world democracy." 

Despite those renunciations there were pro-Trump rallies staged in both Calgary and Red Deer

Political analysts say the extreme populist forces behind what happened Wednesday aren't as present in Canada or Alberta, but also warn they aren't entirely absent either.

"I think the same kind of rhetoric and sentiment around that kind of alienation from the centre and national capital resonates resonates with a lot of Albertans."

With files from the Associated Press