This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Overreacting to heinous acts is what the terrorists want.

This week’s topic:

Does the massacre in Paris justify further expansion of spy powers in Canada?

In the days since the terrorist attack in Paris, I’m concerned about how this is all unfolding as I look at the response from the public and those like myself who are paid to share our opinions. One expects a visceral reaction to such a barbaric attack, in particular because those killed were simply doing what they loved.

The thought of being murdered is perhaps the worst fear for many who share provocative commentary or satire that offends others, and support for those walking at the edge of our right to freedom of speech and expression is part of what spawned the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie. There is a world of debate in this issue alone, perhaps for future Duels.

To some extent, one comes to expect the rhetoric that inevitably and sadly follows in reaction to such a heinous act, and is often used to promote everything from limiting immigration to enacting new anti-terrorism legislation. Fear is a powerful thing and it isn’t only terrorists who use it to manipulate and dominate. Look around the world and it’s easy to see that fear has been something world leaders have often used to affirm involvement in wars, limit freedoms, and pass questionable laws or policies.

Read Brent Stafford’s columnhere.

In response to the attack in Paris, Canadian political leaders rightly denounced the actions and Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to expedite and bring in new anti-terror legislation. Yet even as his promises remained fresh and stark in the implication that what legislation we currently have isn’t enough to keep us safe, two brothers from Ottawa were arrested Friday on terrorism-related charges…

Read the rest of this weeks column, comment and vote at

14 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Overreacting to heinous acts is what the terrorists want.

  1. Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. -George Orwell


  2. Other than the normal clandestine spy-ops conducted by the police already, I don’t think anything should change. Certainly no overt increased security measures. Let life go on. Remember, we kill 5,000 people every year just in traffic accidents. Life is dangerous but made little more so by so-called terrorists. Not here, anyway. So far, Canada has not suffered a single casualty to real terrorism, only pseudo, quasi-wannabe, copy-cats whose membership was with the lonely and rejected, not Al Qaeda. Any measures that restrict our increasingly limited freedoms should be rejected 100%. Bear in mind also that, for all their spying and confiscating of shampoo, neither the French, the English or the Americans seem to catch many of them! Last observation: how is it that Harper felt so free as to sit in a public place (World Junior Hockey Championship) wearing a red Canadian hockey jersey while surrounded by Russians and assorted riff-raff without being blanketed by security? I’ll tell you why: he knows there is no threat here in Canada but he (and they) are fear mongers who benefit politically from scaring the public.


  3. Terrible, terrible actions. And a plea for help.

    ” ‘Sadness’
    Archbishop Kaigama said facing down Boko Haram required international support and unity of the type that had been shown after last week’s militant attacks in France.

    “We need that spirit to be spread around,” he said. “Not just when it [an attack] happens in Europe, but when it happens in Nigeria, in Niger, in Cameroon.

    “We [must] mobilise our international resources and face or confront the people who bring such sadness to many families.”


  4. I am perhaps a little too cynical, but let’s face it, Harper was front and centre to take advantage of the situation. Harper does a lot of fear mongering and really only wants to enhance his position.
    The situations in Paris and elsewhere are very bad but most countries can handle what is going on. France has done very well and really doesn’t need outside help unless they ask for it. I would wager that the French Foreign legion is as tough as any of Canada’s military and have the experience of fighting in the middle east – Algeria, Tunisia etc.
    As far as Harper being alone in that hockey game – you can bet your bottom dollar that he was surrounded with special service and RCMP personnel. Harper won’t take questions on his own with out some sort of control.
    Lets not forget that fear, hatred, religion and racial discrimination fuelled Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930’s and will probably be repeated again, if we don’t learn from history.


    1. Oh, I am sure he was ‘covered’ by security but he was still front and centre at centre ice. And only because he knew there was no real threat. Except to his image – thus the Canadian jersey. He is very vain. Harper won’t eat in public ’cause he thinks he looks stupid! This doofus is our leader!


      1. I agree completely, but have to laugh at him because he doescome across as a big “butthole” IMHO 🙂
        I sure hope that the next election is fraud free and he gets ejected by the public.


        1. The only problem is “Who will replace him?”. I’d have no problem if it were Muclair. I’m probably voting NDP, even though I disagree with alot of how Muclair has run things. The only way I won’t is if Penticton has an independant in the running. Harper is evil, Trudeau is stupid and Muclair is a party hack. Given this, I could weep for the future of Canada.


  5. I certianly hope everyone remembers polls from the last provincial election….just vote people,thats how democracy works…stop relying on B.S. and the people that are peddling it


  6. I am disgusted at this. It reminds me of the overblown reaction the politicians all had to a mentally unstable man shooting Corporal Cirillo. I hear of people wanting even further restrictions on what hunters are allowed to do (as if Bill Bennett and his reaction wasn’t bad enough). Restrictions on personal freedoms will not do us any good. All it will do is justify the efforts of radicals whether they be militants or political aparatchiks.


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