Spin Doctors Make "House" Calls on Parliament Hill

On October 22nd, one man's actions landed a deadly blow to the inner fabric of our democracy, striking at the heart of all Canadians and dropping Parliament Hill to its knees. Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and RCMP Commissioner Paulson got it right when they labelled the incident a "terrorist attack". The Leader of the Official Opposition, The Honourable Thomas Mulcair had a different perspective on the Parliament Hill attack stating, "I don't think that we have enough evidence to use that word." when referring to the word "terrorist". In my opinion Mulcair's comment comes off as asinine and most likely leaves many people scratching their heads.

Mulcair's opinion appears to be remarkably at odds with the Criminal Code which defines a terrorist act as the commission or omission in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause" with the intention of intimidating the public with regard to its security. It includes death or bodily harm with the use of violence, endangering life, property damage, interference with essential services, facilities or systems.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's speech writers were also hard at work word-smithing a speech for the Prime Minister to provide comfort to Canadians. Harper made the comment, "Let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated". His actions, however, told a remarkably different story. At the time of the shooting in The Centre Block, PM Harper was forced to abandon his caucus members in the chamber and took shelter in what some reports have indicated was a closet. His Members of Parliament remained at risk to the shooter and were forced to build a barricade by stacking chairs against the door. PM Harper later apologized for abandoning his MPs.

Despite the political spin doctoring on Parliament Hill, a dictionary is not required to define the many brave and unsung heroes who's actions need very little interpretive reference. The passers-by who frantically administered first aid while an active shooter remained at large; the security personnel who pursued the killer; and the emergency responders at the scene and hospital are all heroes. Their heroic actions are what truly define our democracy. These heroes live among us and their strength will always overpower terror.

Mel Young,

Retired RCMP Staff Sergeant

November 3rd, 2014