I am very concerned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is manipulating the recent tragic killings to erode further precious Canadian democratic freedoms.
Media reports are that a lone shooter, suffering from mental illness and substance abuse problems, as well as being homeless and angry at Canadian foreign policy, committed the horrific shooting of a young Canadian reservist standing guard at the National War Memorial. Earlier, another uniformed Canadian soldier was killed in a hit-and-run by a similarly disturbed young man, this one apparently on the Canadian terror “watch” list.
These incidents raise many questions and require a full review to determine exactly what happened and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent such terrible killings.
Instead of a calm and measured approach after gaining all the facts, the prime minister has announced that he will fast-track new anti-terrorism laws that will give yet more draconian powers to police forces and spy agencies – including expanding their power of so-called “preventive” arrest. Yet even the prime minister’s own former legal advisor, Professor Benjamin Perrin, has publicly stated no new laws are necessary.
What Canada needs now are cool heads, not Harper’s overreaction and new police powers.