Snippets from Canada: 9/11 and more on border security

Hundreds gathered in Ottawa on Friday to remember area firefighters who have died in the line of duty and to pay special tribute to firefighters lost in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Ottawa Fire Department Band was followed by about 150 firefighters in dress uniforms. The procession began at the Elgin Street police headquarters and marched to the Ottawa Firefighters Memorial, on Laurier Avenue, opposite City Hall.

Ottawa Fire Chief John deHooge, Mayor Jim Watson and U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson were in attendance. Here are some of Jacobson’s remarks as reported in this Ottawa Citizen article:

“Today I am truly humbled to be among some of Ottawa’s bravest. Shortly after Sept. 11, wrestled among the cards, flowers and Teddy bears outside my embassy someone left a firefighter’s jacket. And written in that jacket was a thank-you to the firefighters who had lost their lives in New York. It said ‘you rushed in so that so many others could rush out’.

“To those of you who rushed in and never rushed out and to all of you who risk your lives so that so many others may live I can only say thank you,” said Jacobson.

(NOTE: I suspect Jacobson said “nestled” not “wrestled” but the article is all I have to quote directly.)
At the City Hall event, Jacobson helped unveil a plaque and sculpture honoring fire fighters, featuring two figures cast in bronze. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center is embedded in the memorial.
Jacobson will be in Gander, Newfoundland on Sunday, to thank that community for the remarkable hospitality shown to stranded air passengers in the days that followed 9/11.
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As detailed in an earlier blog post and by Todd Moe on Thursday’s 8 o’clock hour, the National Arts Centre’s “9/11 concert of Hope and Remembrance” will take place in Ottawa, this Sunday morning. It is free and all are welcome. Those unable to attend in person might be interested to learn the concert will be carried by CBC Radio Two, from 8:40-10:00 am.

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And, speaking of border security after 9/11, the Globe and Mail is reporting the key points for the next U.S.-Canada security agreement have been negotiated.

This is one of those ‘according to unnamed sources’ stories. Nothing is official until details are formally announced, probably by month’s end. With no specifics yet at hand, the article addresses general concerns:

Opponents have raised alarms that an agreement would cost Canadians both sovereignty and personal privacy. But failure to implement the agreements could further impair the world’s most extensive trading relationship, and put manufacturing jobs across the country at risk.

Details of the agreement are closely held. But goals outlined earlier include specific proposals to co-ordinate and align such things as biometrics on passports, watch lists, inspection of containers at overseas ports and other security measures.

Here is a video from the Canadian Press with Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Department of Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano, speaking on Monday in Winnipeg.

Barring spectacular public opposition, any security accord favored by the current Conservative government stands a good chance of being enacted. (Once elected by voters, the power of majority government in Canada is such that the ruling party may usually do as it pleases.)

On the U.S. side, obviously, border states care a great deal about new policies. But I’m not sure the rest of the nation pays much attention.

Is this a situation where the will of the country as a whole – guided by concerns about security – should trump all?

Or should the most-affected regions be able to shape policy to a larger degree than seems to be the case at present?  What do you think?

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1 Comment on “Snippets from Canada: 9/11 and more on border security”

  1. PLEASE INVITE YOUR FRIENDS & MEMBERS TO JOIN THE CANADIAN BOYCOTT! STARTS TODAY! Official nation-wide boycott of stores, companies & products owned by members of the CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHIEF EXECUTIVES (CCCE) for the 9/11-related annexation of Canada into the North American Union. http://tinyurl.com/3vymj3s

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