By Maddy Simpkins
Canada is a great country. Being apart from my homeland, I’ve learned to appreciate the simple pleasures the nation has to offer. It is deeply upsetting, however, to be informed that my peaceful homeland has been interrupted and sent into a frenzy this past week. A series of traumatic events ensued at Canada’s capital on October 22nd, killing Corporal Nathan Cirillo and leaving others wounded. As a Canadian citizen currently living abroad, I can only send my prayers and condolences to the families affected and hope that communities across the country will connect to mourn their loss.
In his address to the nation cringing in fear, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated, “Canada will not be intimidated (…) In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and double our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats.” As my fellow Canadians wait like sitting ducks to be fed information from the news reports and radio broadcasts, many international on-lookers have already reduced the incident to its true nature. It is amazing that the Canadian public generally accepts the murder of a soldier in Canada as an act of terrorism. Meanwhile, Canada has been at war in multiple countries for well over a decade, fully supporting the US-Israeli war mongrel that is responsible for wreaking havoc and causing geopolitical terrorism of their own.
Much speculation has been drawn to the Conservative Party of Canada as this past week a deadly attack was made on a soldier of the Canadian Military at Parliament Hill in Ottawa by perpetrator Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Since the shooter was not apprehended, and instead shot point-blank, more questions are being raised at the investigative procedures following the incident. “Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.” This accusation from Harper’s national address creates a general mistrust towards those perceived to have ties with foreign enemies. Without proper judicial evidence and facts, everyday Canadians are left to assume the worst. When being given the wrong information, it can be simple for people to fall victim to a web of fear, spun out of control by corporate media. With the conviction of foreboding danger, it becomes easy to sell increased surveillance and national security, in the interest of protecting our free, safe, and democratic homeland.
Sure, the timing of this incident is incredible and may very well be motivated by the war against ISIS/ISIL, as many biased mainstream media outlets have reported; but there is, as per usual, a hidden government agenda behind it all. Harper’s emphasis on terrorism and Islam in his address to the country only forwards his Party’s increased military and surveillance motives. British Activist and comedian Russell Brand made a comment about this in his webcast on October 23rd: “The incidents in Ottawa are being used to advance a narrative that will not only entitle them to further wars abroad, but will entitle them to inhibit our freedoms.”
On the very same day terrorism was alleged in Ottawa, Harper’s Conservative government passed Bill C-13 with little scrutiny from the public. The Bill has seen perhaps the quickest passage through bureaucracy in the democratic world, taking the Parliament by storm without the media noticing or discussion from legislators. Bill C-13 will be used as a tool to create a warrantless surveillance system, employing data monitoring and stripping citizens of Internet privacy. As we have seen with Edward Snowden’s brave efforts at whistleblowing on the systematic supervision and control by government agencies, such as the National Security Agency, Canada has also risen to the ranks of unconstitutional spying by enacting Bill C-13.
We all know and love the Internet as a second home: a place of freedom, a land of free information and communication. As we continue moving forward into this modern age, we need to fight for the transparency of government hidden agendas, and for our own online authority. We need to hold responsible those in positions of power who contribute to war, whose destructive policies bring harm to other nations, and who seek to control and quell the efforts of those speaking out against them.