Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Ottawa shooting notebook: O Canada indeed

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This column courtesy of runs here with complete permission.

“It’s so incredibly sad, and should not happen in Canada. We’re such a peaceful and loving country that for somebody to violate us like that, and try and take our innocence. The greatest thing we can do is stay Canadian and stay who we are. And just say to the people that want to harm us, don’t mistake civility for weakness. You do so at your own peril. We’re very tough people, we’re very sane people, and very fair people. And I’m very, very proud of my country.” — Mike Myers

Scott Oake interviewed the Canadian comedian before the 3rd period of the Maple Leafs game Saturday night. When Americans ask me what I like and appreciate about Canada, I give my best impressions. What I liked about Myers’ answer is that it fits the emotion of what happened in the last week and why I like Canada.

I love the civility that Canada offers. Staying Canadian is the one thing that the terrorists don’t want. Canada is tough, sane, and fair.

Myers is one of those Canadian entertainers that has crossed over into Hollywood. Yet he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Myers should be very proud of Canada’s reaction to a heart wrenching tragedy.

The singing of O Canada has been a source of nurturing as the country recovers from the two tragic shootings. The huge Canadian flag accompanied a robust anthem at the CFL game in Ottawa Friday night.

The Saturday night anthem at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata was simulcast to the crowd at the Bell Centre in Montréal and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The video above showcased the three anthem locations. The anthem ran on CBC, City, Sportsnet One, and the NHL Network in the United States.

Coming on the heels of the anthem in Pittsburgh Wednesday night, O Canada had never sounded better. Maybe this will encourage more showing of the anthems on both sides of the border long after the attacks have slipped out of the spotlight.

The morning after the attack in Ottawa, U.S. cable news showed us coverage of the Canadian Parliament. We saw a speech from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair.

The coverage even stayed when the party leaders switched to French. Having the translator tell the audience what was being said definitely helped.

I watched the MSNBC coverage. They stayed with the prime minister and offered a little bit of Mulcair’s speech. Trudeau had the disadvantage of being the leader of the current third party in the House of Commons.

Harper did huge the two other major party leaders in Mulcair and Trudeau. The prime minister also went over to Kevin Vickers, sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons. Vickers was the one who shot the assailant who entered Parliament.

Would love to see C-SPAN carry Canadian Parliament. Nice to see coverage of Canada but still afraid the extra attention is more about hyping terrorism than appreciating Canada.

The Ottawa shooter had several reasons why he couldn’t get a gun legally. Yet the guy, who was sleeping in an Ottawa homeless shelter, got a long gun — a Winchester .30-30 caliber rifle.

Canada used to have a long-gun registry, a way to track long guns in the country in case they were used in a crime.

The Harper Government campaigned on getting rid of the long-gun registry and successfully eliminated the registry. Quebec, the province where the first soldier was killed and just across the river from Ottawa, fought hard in the courts to keep its long-gun registry but lost that fight.

Yes, it’s entirely possible that the gun was stolen from a private citizen. But without the registry, we don’t know the path of the gun. Since the Ottawa shooter is deceased, we can’t ask him.

It is standard practice in Canada for courts to issue a lifetime gun ban to almost anyone convicted of a violent offence.

Even where such bans are not imposed, Zehaf-Bibeau would have found it virtually impossible to legally obtain a gun in Canada.

The Highway of Heroes lived up to its name as the body of Nathan Cirillo was driven back to his home in Hamilton.

The pictures and video of the crowds of people were breathtaking.

I noted in my original thoughts that Remembrance Day will be a much bigger deal in Canada this year. This may be an understatement.

Don Cherry devoted all of Coach’s Corner to Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent as well as soldiers who are suffering from injuries and need help they aren’t getting.

Given Cherry’s sensibilities, this wasn’t a surprise. He struck the right tone on the subject. Cherry was on such a roll that Ron MacLean, who sat beside him during the entire segment, didn’t say a word.

video credit: YouTube/Chris S


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