Thoughts on Canada, democracy and tragedy

Source: CBC News
Source: CBC News

We interrupt our usual programming to bring some reflections on what happened on Canadian soil and at the heart of our parliamentary democracy this week.

On Monday, a man attempted to run down two soldiers with his vehicle. One soldier died, the murderer, a self-radicalized Muslim convert, was slain.

On Wednesday, a man shot and murdered a reservist, serving his country by standing guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. That man then got in his car drove to the Parliament Buildings and entered with the same weapon he used minutes earlier. He was gunned down as bullets ricocheted in the Hall of Honour separating the east and west blocks of the building.

Two soldiers slain. Two gunmen killed. Both gunmen known to police; both had their passports taken away as a result of their jihadist affiliations.

This is Canada, folks. A huge country with a small population. A country that has shared the enormous burden of two world wars and the Korean War. A country with a reputation as peacemakers. A country that sends troops on NATO missions, and heeds the call when coalitions are formed such as those in the former Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan and now in Iraq. We try to punch above our weight. A people who are as multi-cultured as you can imagine. We take pride in our calm, modest behaviour. We take pride in standing up for human rights, for the downtrodden, for those less fortunate.

Our democracy works – occasionally a bit strained at the edges. We have our share of internal squabbles but for the most part, our country of 10 provinces and 3 territories gets along. A historian once described our country as the ‘peaceable kingdom’.

The happenings of Monday and Wednesday will not weaken us. We will be strong and carry on.

Headlines in The Globe and Mail – one of our national newspapers – are striking:


We Canadians are steadfast and a bit phlegmatic. These are among our finest traits. We don’t get that excited, and we won’t be cowed into giving up our freedoms. Also, we can shoot to kill. So long as we retain these virtues, the terrorists don’t have a chance.


It was said Wednesday, in haste, that the drama and tragedy in Ottawa represented the ‘end of innocence’ for Canada. If so, it was the end only for the remaining innocents among us, because the struggle against militant Islam, which is an outgrowth of a much wider and deeper struggle within Islam itself, has been and will be with us for a very long time.


In light of this week, Canada may have to change. But whatever changes we choose to make should be done carefully and calmly, with an understanding of the limited scale of the threat, and the nature of tradeoffs between freedom and safety.

This morning our Members of Parliament, including the Prime Minister and leaders of our other two major parties, and our Senators went to the war memorial where the reservist was slain to lay wreaths and pay their respects. Afterwards, they sang our national anthem.

Canada, eh?

Share this post

About the Author

Picture of Meet M.K.Tod

Meet M.K.Tod

The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

All Categories

Subscribe to the Blog

Receive the latest posts on writing and reading historical fiction via email.

Join 2,216 other subscribers

4 Responses

  1. Students of history should be among the first to recognize what is happening here. We’ve seen it before.

    We saw it in Germany where only a fraction of the population were Nazis and yet we ended up at war with Germany. Why then are our leaders so eager to excuse Islam for the behavior of its extremists? Aren’t those extremists merely the tip of the spear?

    Indeed, here in the United States, our President insists that we are not at war with Islam? Does he expect to “contain radical Islam” as Truman attempted to “contain radical communism”? At least Truman didn’t invite communist agents to join his innermost councils as Obama has invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR to join his. Does he expect to balance Islam vs the rest of the world with a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction as Kennedy did with the communists? Sadly, radical Islam is bent on destruction, their own as well as ours believing that they will be rewarded in heaven as we are tormented in hell.

    Oh, Canada, I hope that your leadership is more enlightened than ours and that you will seek peace through strength rather than submission.

    1. Many thanks for your positive thoughts, Carol. More facts are coming out about the man who attacked our Parliament and shot the soldier. He seems to have been a Muslim with radical thoughts and a very disturbed man. People are still reeling with shock.

Leave a Reply