An interesting take on Canadian values does emerge from the aftermath of the rampage. The death of Cirillo has been treated with extraordinary pomp and ceremony by our federal government—flags at half-mast across the country, wreaths at the war memorial, the prime minister at the funeral, a hero's commemoration for a man who had in fact done nothing heroic.
The same day as the tragedy in Ottawa, a young woman was found beaten to death on a bike path in Longueuil, Quebec. Understandably her murder received less attention than the excitement in the nation's capital, but why one wonders does her remembrance deserve so little, the soldier's so much?
"Terrorist" murder, if that's what Cirillo's death was, is no threat to Canadian values, but violence against women most certainly is, particularly against aboriginal women. An RCMP report detailed 1,181 cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women since 1980. They are three times more likely to become victims of violence than other Canadian women. All the premiers, the Assembly of First Nations, and the UN’s special rapporteur on indigenous rights have all asked for a national inquiry. The federal government flatly refuses.
So, what Canadian values are displayed here? The death of one soldier merits lavish ceremony, but the deaths of hundreds of Native women merit not even an inquiry. A threat to this set of values would be welcome.