July 2, 2013 · Updated 3:20 PM

Legislature security guards watch as Premier Christy Clark comments on arrests in apparent terrorist bomb plot targeting Canada Day ceremonies at the B.C. legislature. / Tom Fletcher/Black Press

VICTORIA – An attempted terrorist attack using homemade bombs placed around the B.C. legislature was apparently an effort to do maximum damage as thousands gathered for Canada Day ceremonies, Premier Christy Clark said Tuesday.

"My suspicion is they wanted to do as much damage as they possibly could," Clark told reporters in front of the legislature. "They want to take control of our streets, our cities and and our institutions."

Clark said she heard about the plot to place pressure-cooker bombs on Monday, as police were monitoring the placement of devices they had already disabled. Police assured her there was never a threat to the 40,000 people who gathered in downtown Victoria for Canada Day concerts and fireworks.

As tourists filled the hallways of the legislature Tuesday, Clark said the intents of such attacks is to instil fear and anger in the public.

"We cannot let this change who we are," Clark said. "We will not let them win."

Surrey residents John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody were arrested in Abbotsford Monday afternoon in a surveillance operation co-ordinated by the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Charges and dates indicate the pair were being observed as they prepared three pressure-cooker explosives similar to those used at the finish area of the Boston Marathon April 15.