Sex, Drugs, and Violence: The Top 2014 Canadian News Stories

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Reprints of Bruce MacKinnon’s editorial cartoon “Shooting on Parliament Hill” are available from A portion of the proceeds goes to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

I’ve been the de facto “Canadian correspondent” for PJ Media for awhile now.

No doubt some readers wonder why they have one, given the old “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative” joke and all.

They still have an old-fashioned “Canuckistan” view of the Great White North, even though our economy and other leading indicators place us ahead of the U.S.

Anyway, here’s a roundup of the Canadian stories I’ve covered this year, starting with everyone’s new favorite crack-addict big city mayor now that Marion Berry is dead:

Rob Ford.

If you haven’t heard much about Ford lately, that’s because Toronto has a new mayor, a sort of anti-Ford/Mitt Romney type who’s too boring to make the news, even up here.

Following a stint in rehab over the summer, Ford ran for re-election, but pulled out of the race after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. (That didn’t stop him from running for, and winning, a city council seat.) His brother Doug ran in his stead, but Doug isn’t Rob.

The old political cliche “it was just time for a change” has rarely been so apt.

Word has it that Ford is responding well to treatment (even though he doesn’t look it). He may even run for mayor again five years from now, but I have a feeling his time has passed.

Sorry, Jimmy Kimmel!

So let’s move on from drugs to sex.

Ford ceded the international spotlight to CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi, who has been accused of so many sexual assaults I’ve lost track and can’t be bothered looking up the number.

Ghomeshi’s position in the Canadian liberal cultural firmament (not that we have any other kind) was somewhat akin to Jon Stewart’s in the U.S.

From behind his CBC microphone, Ghomeshi oozed predictable platitudes against racism, sexism and other liberal fixations, all the while (allegedly) treating women he worked with, and dated, like punching bags and/or sex toys.

He’d been a known weirdo for decades, but that didn’t stop his rise to the top.

Nobody said anything because nobody wanted to disrupt the smug, self-congratulatory, progressive multi-culti narrative about a young-ish, smart, talented brown immigrant boy made good.

And there’s another reason, as I wrote here:

We’re told that Ghomeshi-quiddick proves how daunting it is for a woman to navigate the workforce, even in 2014; that Ghomeshi’s targets stayed silent because they hesitated to trigger the wrath of a powerful man who could destroy their careers before they’d even begun.

Except that a close reading of these stories reveals that Ghomeshi didn’t always promise these women professional favors. Rather, he told many girls that they might be “the one,” that he really, truly wanted to start a family. Someday.

That’s why, his violent outbursts and weapons-grade nuttiness aside, a goodly number of them dated Ghomeshi for months, or even years.

You see, despite a lifetime of feminist brainwashing, they didn’t really want “careers in the media” at all. They wanted a husband with a career in the media, preferably one as famous and respected as Ghomeshi.

Some of us are hoping that an internal investigation will reveal the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a seething cesspool of hypocrisy and incompetence, and finally get it privatized after all these years.

Sadly, acts of violence must top this “stories of the year” list, as I’m sure they do in almost every nation in every era.

In October, Canada witnessed two Muslim terror attacks in 48 hours.

Their small scale, relative to something like 9/11, didn’t diminish the sense of outrage and sadness we, and many people around the world, felt as events unfolded.

First, a Muslim convert:

…ran over two members of the Canadian Armed Forces with his car, killing one. This was after the RCMP had “met repeatedly” with the guy, “his family and the imam at the mosque he attended, trying to talk him down from his newfound obsession with Islamist extremism.” So much for “community outreach.”

But that shocking incident was quickly overshadowed by a harrowing attack on Parliament Hill:

Since I have so many non-Canadian followers, I thought it would be helpful to try to put the breaking news into American terms:

Imagine, I tweeted, someone killing the honor guard at Arlington National Cemetery, then getting into an action-movie shootout in the marble halls of Congress, while the president and his Cabinet met in an unlocked room a few feet away.

It was harder to explain to Americans that the guy who took down the terrorist, the sergeant-at-arms, is best known for wearing a funny, archaic getup during government ceremonies. It’s a fancy-pants job given to a distinguished older fellow — Kevin Vickers is 58 — as a kind of pre-retirement honor. Luckily, yesterday, Vickers had a handgun in his desk drawer…

Most readers know what happened next — and credit to Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert for telling the story so well on his program…

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, leftists everywhere wasted little time trying to underplay the “Muslim” part of this story.

We were told that the shooter was “just a lone wolf” with “mental health issues.”

I appreciated Canadian blogger Kate McMillan’s response to that talking point:

Anyhow, in the spirit of the season, let me leave you with an excerpt from Maclean’s magazine (of Mark Steyn fame).

They interviewed the ordinary people who rushed to comfort Corporal Nathan Cirillo as he lay dying at the foot of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

While still chilling and deeply saddening, their stories remind us that we never know when or how we might be called upon to help someone else, even at some risk to our own safety.

One of those ordinary people was Barbara Winters, a Justice Department lawyer on her way to work:

The nurse who was there had her hand on one wound and the corporal who had been with them had his hand on another wound. The person at his feet was holding him. I loosened his tie. The fellow at his head was talking to him, so there was not much to do. So I started praying. I just recited the Lord’s Prayer. I am not even religious. That’s what came to mind.

I told him that he was a good man and that he was a brave man. I told him that his family loved him and his military family–I meant his brothers-in-arms–loved him and that his military brothers were right there with him, and that they were working to help him, and all these strangers, “We’re just here trying to help you.” I kept telling him his parents would be so proud of him and that he was a good man and to remember that he was standing guard, that he was at the War Memorial and he couldn’t have [been doing] a more distinguished thing when this happened. Mostly, I kept telling him he was loved that he was a good man and a brave man. I just kept repeating that.