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Shots were fired on Parliament Hill this morning. A soldier guarding the National War Memorial was shot. The gunman then seized a car and drove to Parliament, after which there were shots reportedly fired inside the Parliament Buildings. The Globe and Mail has some dramatic video footage:

There were also shots reportedly fired by another gunman at or near the Rideau Centre shopping mall, and/or near the Chateau Laurier. It’s still unclear whether there are two or more shooters.

Downtown Ottawa is on lockdown, with the RCMP advising people to stay indoors and away from windows and rooftops.

I know it’s trite to say this, but this kind of thing is not supposed to happen in Ottawa, of all places. There’s not much information yet to go on, but Ottawa is the sort of place where you’re usually more likely to get bored out of your mind than shot. And I mean that as a compliment.

CBC has an updated live news coverage feed here.

Stay safe, folks!

Update: 3:45pm: What we know right now is that the soldier who was guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dead, having succumbed to his injuries in hospital. He was a young reservist from Hamilton who was serving on guard duty this week. His name has not yet been released pending notification of next of kin, who are definitely in my thoughts today.

We also know that the gunman who then entered Parliament and started firing shots is dead, taken down by Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who reportedly showed incredible courage in preventing further injuries or deaths.

Beyond that, nothing else is hard evidence. Everything else is speculation. Initial reports of a possible second shooter appear to be false (as they usually are) and the police have been very careful about releasing information, as the investigation is ongoing.

In times like this, I think it’s worth noting that finger-pointing, blaming politicians, speculating, advancing conspiracy theories, or otherwise wreaking havoc and inciting panic is a very, very bad idea. Please, everyone, take a breath. We don’t know what we don’t know. This isn’t about ISIS, Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair, Pierre-Karl Peladeau, Rene Levesque, Barack Obama, George Bush, or your mom. This isn’t about the media making wild leaps and assumptions in order to fill air time and gain viewers. Please, think before you hit retweet!




  • The new Montreal transit chief – get this – actually uses public transit! What a concept! He’s even promised to ride the bus out to the west island to see for himself what a disaster the system is out there. Will it lead to improvements? Stay tuned.
  • Meanwhile in Ottawa, citizens who’ve been held hostage by the OC Transpo strike, now in its 51st day, might get a reprieve in the form of back to work legislation. For their sake, here’s hoping.
  • Back in Montreal, the snow removal crews walked off the job in the middle of a blizzard just in time for afternoon rush hour yesterday. They’re upset because of a payment dispute, and, as is typical for union workers, they believe that gives them the right to endanger people’s lives.
  • In more union news, York University students head back in class this week after the government passed legislation forcing striking CUPE members back to work after nearly three months. But, as new blogger Chris reports, this may be only the tip of the iceberg.
  • More strikes in France? So what else is new?


OC Transpo prepares to strike


Looks like there will be a transit strike in Ottawa. Barring a last-minute deal, workers are set to walk off the job at midnight. In the middle of snowy, blizzardy weather. With no alternate means of transport for the thousands of people who will be left stranded. The union workers are being offered a 7% […]

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More flags


Q: What’s red and white and red and white and red and white? A: Canada Day in Ottawa. Another first for me, as I headed up to Ottawa for the day yesterday to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Here in Montreal, Canada Day is sort of lame, usually overshadowed by the moving day tradition, and the […]

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I found Canada Day


A week late, but better late than never. Went to see Great Big Sea at Ottawa Bluesfest last night, and finally found all the maple leafs, cheesy t-shirts, and Canadian pride that had been sorely lacking from last week’s Canada Day festivities at the Old Port. The guys put on a great show, as usual, […]

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Random musings from my weekend in Ottawa


It’s friggin’ freezing out there!!! Remind me again why I choose to live in this part of the world? Week before Christmas + SAQ strike = long lineups at the LCBO. On the plus side, LCBOs have great selections that include items like this… and they give you Air Miles. On the minus side, seems […]

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Back soon


Spent the weekend in Ottawa and just got home. Regular posting to resume tomorrow.

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Ottawa bans Leafs sweaters


Oh, grow up! Ottawa city councillors, keen to boost their local Senators NHL ice hockey team, are proposing to ban fans of their hated rival Toronto Maple Leafs from wearing replica team sweaters at games here. The tongue-in-cheek measure, due to go to a vote next week, could force any Leafs fans who transgress to […]

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Power outage


The power outage that has shut down New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit, Cleveland, and virtually everywhere in between somehow managed to escape us in Quebec, for once. Maybe the gods of power figured we paid our dues with Ice Storm 98? Like a lot of people I’m sure, my initial reaction was to ask whether […]

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Canadians rally to support US


Today, several pro-American and pro-war in Iraq rallies were held across Canada, the largest of which in Ottawa attracted over 5,000 people: (Peter) Goldring said the fact that people were marching in favor of the United States on Saturday showed that a “silent majority” actually supported the war. “We do have a new world reality […]

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