Terror plot: Christy Clark urges people to be vigilant, but not to change
July 2nd, 2013 - 11:42am
BY JONATHAN FOWLIE, VANCOUVER SUN
VICTORIA — News that police had foiled a terrorist plot to bomb Canada Day festivities at the B.C. legislature hit particularly close to home for Victoria MP Murray Rankin.
The New Democrat, one of Parliament’s few experts on national security issues, had been on the lawn of the B.C. legislature Monday, playfully joining others in making a human flag.
“It’s absolutely sobering to think in a place like Victoria, which generally is so peaceful, that something like this can happen,” Rankin said Tuesday.
He agreed with Premier Christy Clark that people should not alter their routines as a result of what took place.
“Prudent measures to tackle terrorism is one thing, but letting ourselves succumb to the paralysis of fear is something I certainly don’t want as we go about our daily lives,” he said.
Before winning a 2012 byelection, Rankin was the only B.C. lawyer designated by the federal government as “special advocate” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. That role allowed him to represent those permanent residents or foreign nationals who have been deemed inadmissible in Canada on grounds such as national security, serious criminality, or human rights violations.
Clark struck a defiant tone during her news conference, saying no one in the province should be afraid after learning about an alleged plot to set off explosives at the B.C. legislature.
“We will not let (alleged terrorists) win. We will not let them strike fear into our hearts,” Clark told reporters at a news conference in the shadow of the legislature building after RCMP announced the arrests of John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody.
“It’s profoundly shocking, I think for everyone in the province,” she said of the alleged plot.
“They hope to change us. We will not change. We will remain Canadian, bound together by open hearts and optimism for the future of our country, our towns, our cities, our province, our families and all of those we love.”
Clark’s comments were echoed by several public figures Tuesday, including NDP Leader Adrian Dix -- whose family has been touched by terrorism. A cousin on his father’s side died in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and his wife, Renee Saklikar, lost her aunt and uncle in the bombing of Air India 182.
“In our family we’ve had some experience with terrorist attacks on innocents. One can only say how grateful we are that people weren’t injured (Monday), that lives weren’t lost here and that people will be held accountable in a court of law for their actions,” he said. “Had bombs gone off (Monday) on Canada Day here it would have been a terrible and horrendous situation.”
Legislature Speaker Linda Reid told reporters Tuesday that no new security measures will be introduced at the Legislature as a direct result of the incident, but said her office is always reviewing security to determine if improvements are ever needed.
“We constantly update practice, we deliver on best practice, and we will certainly continue that conversation,” said Reid.
Clark told reporters that authorities were confident there was no risk to the public, and so there was no need to interrupt Canada Day celebrations on the legislature lawn.
“Let me say this about those who would resort to terror: You will not succeed,” Clark said.
“You will not succeed in damaging our democratic institutions. But just as importantly, you will not succeed in tearing down the values that make this country strong.”