It’s going to be a day of unease in our town mainly because of what’s gone down in Canada overnight.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada.
It’s a city not unlike this one.
Although it’s the capital, it’s a relatively small city…it’s about twice the size of Canberra.
Things move slowly in Ottawa. It’s a well planned, beautiful, safe place.
Nothing happens in Ottawa.
A soldier has been shot and killed in Ottawa by a gunman who then entered the country’s parliament and exchanged gunfire with security officials.
Canadian police said they are investigating three shooting incidents in Ottawa, one at the Canadian war memorial, one at Parliament Hill, and one at a nearby shopping mall.
All three locations are within a few hundred metres of each other in downtown Ottawa.
This is not Nairobi…it’s not Mogadishu….it’s not Yemen or Bahrain or Riyahd.
This is Canada.
There are no confirmations, but I think it’s very clear to all and sundry that these are the acts of islamic extremists.
Everybody who has a connection to our Parliament House will be watching the events in Canada in meticulous detail.
This could be us…and indeed in the current climate, I think it’s highly likely that there are those among us who would be seriously planning to perpetrate similar crimes at the heart of our city. Security at Parliament House has been seriously ramped up in recent weeks because of the threats made by Islamic State. Those measures may be further enhanced following this Canadian attack.
Peter Leahy, the former head of the Australian Army speaks of the potential for a 100 year war between the West and elements of extreme islam. He’s right.
This is not a war as we know it. This is a war in which the other side will never ever play by the rules. We will never know what they’re going to do next. The only thing that we can sure of is that will be trying to strike fear into all of our hearts.
It’s really important that we don’t panic in Canberra this morning. Let’s not be frightened. Let’s just be aware. Let’s be as prepared as we can. And lets all understand that there are those who are challenged by our way of our life….challenged by our ideals. They will do what they can do to disrupt us.