At what cost our freedom?

How much freedom should we relinquish following the two attacks on soldiers in Montreal and Ottawa last week.
The House of Commons always has been known as the place where the people could be heard and the people of Canada could watch their elected officials participate in shaping the country.
The fact that a person could have burst into Centre Block with a rifle is troubling.
I remember going into that same Centre Block with a publisher from Vancouver who had undergone a full knee replacement. We both went through the metal scanner and each time he was frisked because his knee set it off.
Each time he had to sit down and endure rolling up his pant leg to show the scar from surgery while a hand-held metal detector was run up and down his leg.
We were in and out of the Centre Block four times that day—and he went through the process four times.
Maybe the staff was less vigilant last Wednesday but clearly the gunman should never have been able to get into the big Centre Block hall.
Still, one incident should not close the building to the public. Security can be tightened but Canadians must retain access to the Parliament of Canada.
Meanwhile, should police forces and CSIS have more powers to detain potential Canadian radicals? That, too, will be debated in the days to come.
Knowing that there are some 90 individuals on the RCMP’s terror watch list, what should we expect from our government? We have learned that Patrice Vincent was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by a known person on the watch list.
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot from behind, while standing guard at the National War Memorial, by a person who was not on the watch list.
Both killers are considered radicalized Canadians with extremist Islamic beliefs. Both had sought passports to travel to the Middle East to join militant Islamic groups—and both had been denied.
But should we suspend a person’s freedom because of their religious beliefs? Should we place ankle bracelets on them to track all of their movements? Should we monitor all of their phone calls, texts, and e-mails?
If we permit the government to monitor those persons, how far will we permit the government to go in monitoring all the calls and movements of Canadians in this country?
As Canadians, we will have to make some tough decisions following the two individual terrorist acts of last week.
We will have to carefully balance out what it means to be free in a democratic country, and what freedoms our Canadian forefathers had that we are prepared to give up.
How much freedom do we wish to forfeit in order to feel safe, and will giving up those freedoms protect us from individual acts of terrorism?
Nov. 11 is coming up—the day we mark to remember the sacrifices our soldiers, sailors, and airmen have made to make us safe.
Will we be honouring those who died by giving up some of our freedoms?

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