Discussion:
Elizabeth May's statement on the Parliament Hill events
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Sid Shniad
2014-10-23 21:41:36 UTC
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Raw Message
*http://elizabethmaymp.ca/lock-your-office-door-and-stay-away-from-the-windows
<http://elizabethmaymp.ca/lock-your-office-door-and-stay-away-from-the-windows>October
22nd, 2014 ** “Lock your office door and stay away from the windows
” *
*We must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not used to justify
a disproportionate response. *

*It is up to all of us to ensure that, to the extent we encounter demands
for change, we keep in the forefront of our minds that once we surrender
any rights it is very difficult to restore them. Let’s demand answers,
sensible policies and proportionate responses.By Elizabeth May, M.P.*
<https://www.addtoany.com/share_save#url=http%3A%2F%2Felizabethmaymp.ca%2Flock-your-office-door-and-stay-away-from-the-windows&title=%E2%80%9CLock%20your%20office%20door%20and%20stay%20away%20from%20the%20windows%E2%80%A6%E2%80%9D%20%E2%80%93%20elizabethmaymp.ca%20%E2%80%93%20October%2023%2C%202014&description=Wednesday%20October%2022nd%20was%20set%20to%20be%20a%20typically%20busy%20day%20in%20the%20House.%20From%20my%20first%20meetings%20in%20Centre%20Block%20on%20Parliament%20Hill%20starting%20at%207%20AM%20to>

Wednesday October 22nd was set to be a typically busy day in the House.
From my first meetings in Centre Block on Parliament Hill starting at 7 AM
to heading to my Confederation Building office for staff meetings,
reviewing our amendments to try to stop the legislation to dismantle harm
reduction sites (like In-Site), improve legislation aimed at increasing
hiring of veterans, and then on to meeting with the other MPs who fall into
the category of representing small parties or independents. At 2 pm sharp I
had been prepared to make a statement in the House honouring the Dalai
Lama, whom I will be seeing on Friday in Vancouver, and calling for China
to respect human rights in Tibet. By 4 pm I was to be testifying in the
Senate committee studying my private members bill for a National Lyme
Disease strategy. At 6:30 PM I was to be debating climate policy with the
Parliamentary Secretary for the environment. The evening was a series of
meetings including with former Parliamentarians at their annual meeting.

Well, that was what was supposed to happen.

Instead it has been a day of tragedies and shock
<http://elizabethmaymp.ca/shooting-incident-ottawa>. As I write this, I am
still in lock-down. With seven of my staff in Confederation Building, our
office door is locked and we are staying away from the windows. The
security officers are still monitoring our hallways. We were told eight
hours ago to lock the office door and stay away from the windows.

It doesn’t feel real and I wish it were not. Right now I feel we have more
questions than answers.

What we do know is that a member of our Armed Forces has been killed at the
War Memorial located a stone’s throw from Parliament Hill. We also know
that the Sergeant at Arms, my friend Kevin Vickers, was responsible for
shooting and killing the armed man inside Centre Block. There are reports
of a second shooter, but that remains unconfirmed.

On Monday a soldier was killed in a small community in Quebec,
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu south of Montreal. Martin Rouleau, the driver of
the car, had deliberately taken aim at members of our armed forces who were
off duty in a shopping centre parking lot. He was killed shortly afterward
by police. Rouleau was known to the police because his parents became
alarmed about his erratic behaviour and sudden conversion to radical
beliefs. The description of his circumstances suggest mental health issues
may have played a role. We know nothing right now about the assailant (or
assailants) in Ottawa today.

So, while it is too early to jump to conclusions, I intend to hold fast to
the following: we must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not
used to justify a disproportionate response. We must not resort to
hyperbolic rhetoric. We need to determine if these actions are coordinated
to any larger group or are the actions of one or two deranged individuals.
If it is the latter we must develop tools and a systematic approach to
dissuade our youth from being attracted to violent extremist groups of any
kind. We need to protect our rights and liberties in a democracy.

We do know that through history these kinds of events open the door to a
loss of democracy. Naomi Klein details the elements of seizing the
opportunity created by tragedy or tumult in Shock Doctrine. The title of
her new and important book on climate, This Changes Everything, is correct
– the threat of the climate crisis changes everything. The shootings on
Parliament Hill do not change everything. It is up to all of us to ensure
that, to the extent we encounter demands for change, we keep in the
forefront of our minds that once we surrender any rights it is very
difficult to restore them. Let’s demand answers, sensible policies and
proportionate responses.
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