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Ottawa shooting: 15 minutes of terror in the Conservative caucus room

Written By doni icha on Kamis, 23 Oktober 2014 | 21.16

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative MPs pinned themselves against the walls of their barricaded caucus room after piling furniture against the door to prevent a gunman from entering during Wednesday's chaotic attack on Parliament Hill.

Several Conservative sources spoke of a terrifying 15-minute period when they stripped flags off flagpoles to arm themselves while the gunman exchanged fire with security forces mere metres away.

Conservative caucus sources told CBC News they heard the shooting and threw things against the doors to barricade the doorway in the caucus room.

The prime minister was in the room at the time.  

Conservative Party caucus room barricade Oct 22

The Conservative Party caucus room, with furniture piled up against the door, is shown shortly after the shooting began on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday. (MP Nina Grewal/Reuters)

The Opposition New Democrats, who face off across from the Conservatives in the House of Commons, were on the other side of the hallway, diving under chairs while they heard multiple gunshots. 

As the gunman moved down the hallway, one security person inside the Conservative caucus room told MPs to get up against the walls.

People started grabbing flagpoles to use as spears.

"We thought it was over," one source told CBC News.

"We couldn't tell good shots from bad shots," said another. "So the sheer number of shots could lead to a conclusion that the good guys lost the battle outside, and we were going to be rounded up and killed for being members of the government."

After a tense 15 minutes, RCMP officers outside the room tried to get in to tell the MPs they were safe.

Suspicious, they at first wouldn't let officers into the room and demanded identification.

Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers

Kevin Vickers, sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, walks through Centre Block with his sidearm drawn after a shootout with an armed man who attacked Parliament Hill Wednesday. The gunman was shot dead. (Mike DePaul/CBC)

They got confirmation via radio that the officers trying to get in were in fact Mounties.

Kevin Vickers, the House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, entered the caucus room and explained what happened.

Vickers told the room he engaged with the assailant. "I put him down," the former RCMP officer said.

It's believed that in the flurry of shots, the fatal one may have been fired by a Mountie.

At one point, Vickers returned to his office to reload his sidearm.

By the time Vickers spoke, the prime minister's security detail had entered the caucus room carrying long guns.  

The prime minister was ushered out of the room, and everyone else locked down for the day.

MPs were able to start leaving Parliament Wednesday evening.


21.16 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ottawa attack: 5 questions about the shootings on Parliament Hill

Ottawa was under attack on Wednesday after a man with a rifle killed a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial near the prime minister's office, before seizing a car and driving to the front entrance of Parliament Hill.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist from Hamilton, died a short time after the attack despite frantic efforts to revive him at the base of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the suspected gunman who was later shot dead, had a criminal record in B.C. and Quebec.

While it will no doubt take some time to piece together what led to Wednesday's events in Ottawa, here are five pointed questions that need to be answered.

1. Open House

After shooting the soldier at the National War Memorial, the gunman jumped into a car parked on Wellington, steps away from the Prime Minister's Office at the Langevin Block, which is across the street from the Parliament Buildings. He then made his way to Parliament Hill, where he abandoned his car in front of the Parliament Buildings on Wellington St.

Once inside the Parliament Hill lawn, he hijacked a ministerial vehicle and drove towards the building. There, he walked right inside, where Conservative and New Democrats were holding their weekly caucus meetings. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in one of those rooms.

How did the gunman get into Centre Block with a rifle?

2. Accomplices?

The gunman was shot and killed on Parliament Hill, but people also reported gunfire near the Chateau Laurier Hotel and then from the Rideau Centre shopping mall, both steps away from where the gunman first parked his car across from the National War Memorial.

What led authorities to believe there was more than one gunman?

3. Police preparedness

Police said the shooting caught them by "surprise" but earlier this week, another soldier died in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., after Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau, a man police describe as "radicalized," rammed his car into two soldiers killing one of them.

Did police in Ottawa take any safety measures following the incident south-east of Montreal?

4. Threat level

Canada's threat level had recently been elevated from low to medium, but officials said there was no intelligence on any imminent threat.

What additional precautionary measures were taken after the threat went up?​ 

5. Tracking 90 Canadians 

The RCMP has said it is investigating 90 Canadians as part of 63 current national security investigations.

Was the gunman in Ottawa on the radar of Canadian authorities?


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Ottawa shooting: How Parliament will carry on

Industry Minister James Moore vows that the House of Commons will sit at 10 a.m. ET today as usual, despite the shooting that shook Ottawa the day before.

"Our democracy cannot and will not be intimidated by today's events," Moore tweeted Wednesday night.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday night Canada will not be intimidated.

"In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home," he said in an address to Canadians.

Parliamentarians, staffers and others will return to work one day after a gunman walked into the building just metres from the room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with his caucus.

The question on many minds is: How will it be different.

Will the stone walls and marble floors bear the pockmarked scars of the shooting? Will the broken glass, shattered when police burst through doors to search offices for intruders, be swept up? And, if security is tightened, how will it change how things work?

Security stepped up in recent years

RCMP said Wednesday afternoon that the threat level on Parliament Hill won't change, but that doesn't mean security measures won't.

Indeed, while parliamentarians want to sit as usual Thursday — Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella also said he expects senators to be in their seats at the normal time — the Hill will be closed to visitors.

In the 13 years since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., Parliament Hill has dramatically increased security while keeping the grounds around the buildings wide open.

There's even an open yoga class every Wednesday during the warm summer months where participants spread their brightly coloured mats around the front lawns. Canada Day sees tens of thousands of revellers crowd the area, and a sound and light show entertains people every night at the height of tourist season.

In the past few years, security has been stepped up even more, with the grand stone wall along Wellington Street extended to close off some entrances and retractable bollards — essentially big concrete cylinders — installed to control the remaining ones.

The number of surveillance cameras has quadrupled and all visitors, even those escorted by someone with a Hill pass, have to go through security at the entrance to Centre Block.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said criminals will not dictate how Canadians govern the country.

"They cannot and will not dictate our values. And they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces," he said in prepared remarks Wednesday night.

Country blessed by peace

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May urged calm while law enforcement officials investigate what happened.

"Today is not a day that 'changes everything,'" she said in a statement.

"It is a day of tragedy. We must ensure we keep our responses proportionate to whatever threat remains."

It's hard to tell in the immediate aftermath of a shocking event just how much will change. It's just as hard to know whether those changes will last.

There were moments Wednesday where some of it seemed routine: journalists waited outside with the same colleagues with whom they've staked out dozens of closed doors and public events. The newsrooms, albeit locked down, throbbed with the energy that only comes with the biggest of breaking stories. 

For the staffers locked inside their offices, advised to stack furniture to block the doors, hearing the police smash through neighbouring rooms to ensure no one was hiding, heading to work will likely feel a lot different.

After all the chaos and horror, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair sounded a reassuring note.

"Canada is shaken today but we shall not waver. We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace. And tomorrow, we will do the same."


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Ottawa Parliament shooting: We've known this day was coming

Perhaps the shock of Wednesday's attack in Ottawa will prove shorter than we expect because, let's be frank, we've all known something like this was coming, right?

We've been warned for years by our combined counterterrorism apparatus that it will stop many plots, but cannot get all. In short, the hits are coming. Brace yourself Canada. Time to be resilient.

The federal government's own  "Counterterrorism Strategy," unveiled three years ago, laid out the reality in words few could question. "Terrorism," it said, "will remain a dominant feature of the national security landscape for the foreseeable future."

As Canadians, we've been lucky up to this point, but inevitably the threat escalated to near certainty when Canada joined the armed coalition against ISIS in Iraq at a time when scores of jihadist supporters and angry wannabes are said to be in Canada.  

Our Western allies in the coalition all braced for attacks as ISIS called on its supporters to go on the offensive inside our very heartlands. Monday's car attack that left a soldier dead in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., looks to be cut from that cloth, at least in the prime minister's view. It is too soon to say about Wednesday's rampage on Parliament Hill, though it has many of the same features, in particular the attack on an unsuspecting soldier.

Ottawa Shooting

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, shown in this screen grab from an online video from the PMO, making a statement on the attacks in Ottawa on Wednesday. He said Canadian would not be intimidated by a 'brutal and violent attack.' (The Canadian Press)

Almost three weeks ago, the U.S. army's threat centre warned its members and their families to be extra vigilant, and soon after, Washington broadened warnings to include "lone-wolf attacks on police, government officials and media figures inside the U.S." 

Since August, Britain's terrorist threat level has been pegged at its second highest level — "severe," while another coalition partner, Australia, went to "high" alert for the first time since 9/11.

So what now?

In the days ahead, there will undoubtedly be questions as to why Canada's domestic threat level remained at "low" until it was nudged up to "moderate" just days before the Quebec attacks.

There is no guarantee, however, that increased alertness would have stopped any freelance attack, and no certainty that staying out of the coalition against ISIS would have kept us attack-free. 

In any case, the pressing issue for the country right now is how well we respond to the shock of these events, and at the same time how we can best use our police and intelligence assets to thwart future attacks. 

There will be changes to the landscape, of course, and we will certainly see more guards around potential targets in both government and private sectors, while below the surface, more counterterrorism surveillance will be launched.

But we shouldn't want too much to change. Government, police and our intelligence agency, CSIS, have together long studied how society should react after such shock attacks and the underlying theme comes down to that word "resilient."

"A resilient Canada is one that is able to mitigate the impacts of a terrorist attack, ensuring a rapid return to ordinary life," the official counterterrorism strategy declares.

That's not a bad mantra, and it may be useful to remember that Canadians have not always shown the required restraint when our sense of values have been brutally abused by terror attacks.

I will never forget how, during the October Crisis of 1970 in Montreal, the Pierre Trudeau government responded to two kidnappings and vague rumours of an insurgency by throwing nearly 500 people in jail under the notorious War Measures Act, all without due process or access to such legal basics as habeas corpus. 

The vast majority of these "suspects" were later released without charges, and the ones I knew personally were totally innocent.

At the time, most Canadians strongly supported the crackdown, yet only a few years later it was looked on as a national shame more suited to a classic police state. Parliament eventually overwrote the WMA to ensure such extremes were never repeated.

We have the resources

I've sometimes used this example to remind myself that even democratic societies can panic after horrible incidents and then go too far in response.

They can grow fearful, even paranoid about certain groups in their midst, in the process trampling on common notions of justice and making life miserable for any voices of dissent. 

A country that appears badly shaken ensures terrorists win an easy round. So does a society that looks like it can be provoked into extreme responses.

At this time, we need to remember our strengths. Counterterrorism is extraordinarily difficult, but we're likely better at it than we think, and we have more resources committed to it than is generally known.

The regular police complaints of limited resources have some merit, but in reality there's a very large force of thousands of agents and officers available for counterterrorism in emergencies. And that is not just in the RCMP, for they work alongside specialists from CSIS, military and foreign affairs intelligence, our border services agency, financial intelligence (FINTRAC), to name just some. Plus, there are all the provincial, territorial and city police intelligence units.

There are weaknesses, of course. Intelligence analysis by certain bureaucracies have been found to be sluggish and disjointed, and Canada probably does need more agents abroad looking for threats headed our way.

But the law needs to be considered along with everything else, and Parliament should very carefully test the need for any change in open debate, free of any attempt to use a crisis to stampede a decision. 

That kind of calm approach needs to provide one of those clear moments that stand out from the darkness that envelopes this kind of security breach. 

From the massive international news coverage of the Ottawa attack, it is clear the rest of the world — both friends and enemies — are watching to see how we react. One hopes they see determination without overreaction, or, in a word, resilience. 


21.16 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ottawa shooting: MPs sing O Canada at National War Memorial

Members of Parliament met at the National War Memorial this morning to honour fallen soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo before parliamentary business resumes, a day after the Ottawa shootings.

Cirillo was shot and killed while standing guard at the war memorial and the tomb of the unknown soldier on Wednesday morning, just before 10 a.m. ET.

Sunrise at war memorial

(Andrew Foote/CBC)

The MPs gathered close to the memorial and sang O Canada before hugging and wiping away tears.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, arrived at the heavily guarded memorial to lay a wreath. The memorial is still closed off to the public by yellow police tape.

There was a commotion across the street in front of a popular pub, where a man crossed the yellow barrier when Harper was at the memorial. Police had their guns drawn, but didn't fire any shots, and arrested the man. 

"One male arrested this morning for disturbing the crime scene at the Cenotaph. No further information at this time," the Ottawa police tweeted minutes later.​

The flag on Parliament Hill, as well as all other federal buildings, is being flown at half-mast "to commemorate the tragic events that occurred in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, on October 20, 2014, and Ottawa, Ontario, on October 22, 2014," according to the Canadian Heritage website, referring to the death of another soldier after he was run down in a parking lot.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other leaders are expected to speak in the House of Commons about the attacks, when it resumes sitting at 10 a.m. CBC News will livestream the proceedings.

Other MPs are ready to get back to business.

Follow our live blog for the latest updates:


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Canadian officials grapple with passport seizure dilemma

Written By doni icha on Rabu, 22 Oktober 2014 | 21.16

Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau's passport was seized by authorities who feared he wanted to go overseas to take part in terrorism, blocking him from leaving Canada and highlighting a dilemma facing security officials dealing with the threat of militants on home soil.

Couture-Rouleau was arrested at the airport in July while on his way to Turkey, RCMP Supt. Martine Fontaine said at a news conference in Montreal. 

He was identified as a high-risk traveller and had his passport taken away, but there wasn't enough evidence for police to charge him and detain him. Fontaine said police had several interactions with him after that and were in contact with his parents. Police spoke with him as recently as Oct. 9.

Couture-Rouleau, 25, was fatally shot on Monday after hitting two soldiers in a parking lot of a commercial plaza in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a city about 40 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

One of the soldiers, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, died of his injuries Monday evening. Police said the other soldier doesn't have life-threatening injuries.

The case highlights the problem for officials who stop citizens from leaving Canada because of terrorism fears: those persons remain in Canada, perhaps with the intention of causing harm to others.

One more person to watch in Canada

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson touched on the problem Tuesday on Parliament Hill: asked whether it was possible Couture-Rouleau became more dangerous after his passport was taken away, Paulson said "certainly that's what follows from the analysis."

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu Martin Rouleau SQ

An officer with Quebec provincial police attends the scene of a police shooting in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu involving hit-and-run suspect Martin Couture-Rouleau. (Radio-Canada)

"He was part of our investigative efforts to try and identify those people who might commit a criminal act of travelling abroad for terrorist purposes. So in that respect we were working him along with other suspects," he added.

A top official at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, speaking at a Senate committee meeting Monday, put the dilemma more bluntly.

"For every individual that we prevent, every extremist that we prevent from going overseas to engage in extremist activity, is one more individual that we have to investigate closely because they're radicalized to the point that they want to leave," said Jeff Yaworski, CSIS deputy director of operations.

"There's nothing more that we can do with the budget that we have, except to prioritize internally as effectively as we can and I think we are doing that."

Yaworski said the agency's success rate "has been quite good."

"I'd be foolhardy to say that we have all the bases covered. We do what we can with the budget that we have, sir," Yaworski told senators.

The federal government has raised its internal threat level to medium due to an increase in "general chatter" from organizations like ISIS, but not because of a specific threat.

One of 90 people under investigation

Couture-Rouleau was one of 90 people being monitored by the RCMP as part of 63 current national security investigations, the RCMP confirmed to CBC News Monday night. Paulson first reported the investigations to MPs on the House public safety committee earlier this month. 

That covered "both people who intend to go [abroad] or people who have returned and have been referred to us by the service," Paulson said on Oct. 8.

It included people suspected of being involved with extremism-related activities, including financing, not specifically to fighting alongside militants.

Legal documents show Couture-Rouleau converted to Islam in 2013. He went by Ahmad Rouleau on some social media sites.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who has said his department is revoking the passports of those suspected of planning to travel abroad to commit terrorism, wouldn't answer questions as he left a cabinet meeting. 

On Tuesday, Paulson said the RCMP are investigating along with Quebec provincial police to determine the "breadth" of this incident and pursue every avenue.

Paulson said the RCMP don't think Couture-Rouleau was connected to other sympathizers.

"We don't suspect that, but we're open to that and we're concerned about that. So we're going to be pursuing every investigative avenue to satisfy ourselves that we've eliminated that possibility," he told reporters on his way out of the committee meeting.

'Despicable'

A Quebec police spokesman said the RCMP are handling the investigation into the suspect and his motivations.

Martin Couture-Rouleau

Martin Couture-Rouleau, pictured holding the Qur'an, had changed the name on his Facebook account to Ahmad the Converted. (Facebook)

​On Monday, the RCMP said the integrated national security investigations team in Montreal, along with other authorities, worried Couture-Rouleau "had become radicalized."

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement Tuesday, reiterating that federal authorities had confirmed certain elements clearly indicated Couture-Rouleau had become radicalized. Canadians should remain vigilant, the statement read.

"This was a despicable act of violence that strikes against not just this soldier and his colleagues but frankly against our very values as a civilized democracy," Harper said in the House.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggested there may not be more that law enforcement officials could have done, praising their work.

"I'm trying to think though what you could possibly could have done to stop someone who has not been arrested or not been accused of any specific criminal offence," Baird told Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics.

"You can't stop him from getting into a car. And I don't know whether, had he been under full surveillance, that that would have had any impact. We've got to be realistic as to what we can and cannot do. The fact he was someone who had radicalized but had yet to commit any criminal offence is important."

'Terrorist ideology'

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, speaking in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu Tuesday, said what took place "is clearly linked to terrorist ideology." 

"This is a terrible act of violence against our country, against our military and against our values," Blaney said.

Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson said the safety and well-being of Forces members "is a primary concern."

"Security measures are in place at every Canadian Armed Forces installation across Canada. We continually adapt these measures to meet the demands of an evolving security environment, and we will remain vigilant against possible threats," Lawson said.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said in a statement that he felt "tremendous sorrow" over Vincent's death.

"Our CAF members represent the best of Canada, and to have one die in a senseless act such as this only strengthens our resolve. We will not forget," he said.


21.16 | 0 komentar | Read More

Justin Trudeau vulnerable on Iraq, but has it hurt him?

Two new polls suggest Canadians remain broadly supportive of Canada's mission in Iraq as well as the prime minister's judgment related to the fight against ISIS.

But while the polls also indicate that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau could be vulnerable on the issue over his opposition to Canada's mission, the results are mixed on whether or not it has hurt his party's support.

A survey by EKOS Research (see methodological statements below) suggests 58 per cent of Canadians either strongly or somewhat support the mission in Iraq, compared to 39 per cent who say they are opposed. 

But when EKOS gave respondents the choice of options, 42 per cent favoured a "non-military response such as aid and assistance to refugees." Another 21 per cent of Canadians preferred limiting involvement to airstrikes, while 23 per cent favoured a "fuller military response including airstrikes and ground combat."

Combined, support for a military deployment to the region of some kind stood at 44 per cent. This suggests that, while the mission as is meets with the support of Canadians, opinions are mixed on the kind of mission they would prefer. 

Nevertheless, a second poll conducted by Abacus Data found 54 per cent of respondents thought Stephen Harper had shown good or acceptable judgment in dealing with the threat posed by ISIS, with just 23 per cent saying he had shown poor judgment.

This compared quite favourably to the opinions Canadians expressed concerning the opposition leaders: 39 per cent thought both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau had exercised good or acceptable judgment. But while just 19 per cent thought Mulcair's judgment was poor, 28 per cent said the same for Trudeau.

Whither Liberal support?

This may put the Liberals in the most delicate position of the three major parties. EKOS found that 90 per cent of Conservative voters supported the mission in Iraq, while 60 per cent of New Democrats were opposed, aligning with the parties' respective positions. Opinion among Liberal supporters was mixed, with 53 per cent in favour and 45 per cent opposed.

Abacus's numbers on judgment point to bigger problems. Among supporters, all three party leaders found broad support for their judgment on the ISIS threat. But among those that Abacus identified as "persuadable" voters (i.e., those who expressed a willingness to consider voting for a party), Trudeau had the highest percentage of those thinking he had shown poor judgment: 22 per cent, compared to just 12 per cent for Harper among persuadable voters and nine per cent for Mulcair.

Whether or not this has hurt the Liberals' support levels, however, is unclear.

The same EKOS poll put Liberal support at 39 per cent, virtually unchanged from where the party stood in the company's previous two surveys, including the one conducted before the Iraq debate unfolded. EKOS also showed support for the Conservatives and New Democrats to be holding relatively steady — suggesting the Middle East mission has had no effect on national voting intentions.

But the Abacus poll showed a significant drop in Liberal support, to 32 per cent this week from 38 per cent in mid-September. This is especially remarkable as Abacus has been showing a steady trend line since the beginning of the year, with no party gaining or losing more than three points between any two surveys.

Liberal support fell particularly steeply in Ontario, where the party slipped nine percentage points to just 32 per cent (two points up on the Tories). The New Democrats made a nine-point gain to reach 28 per cent, the highest result for the NDP in Ontario in any poll since February. To put that into context, the Liberals have averaged 43 per cent in polls conducted in Ontario over the last five months, with the NDP averaging 18 per cent.

Notable shift

So is this notable shift in support from the Liberals to the NDP an anomaly or a sign of things to come?

It should be noted that although the EKOS poll painted a very different picture of the race in Ontario (the Liberals were at 49 per cent, followed by the Conservatives at 32 per cent and the NDP at 16 per cent), it was conducted before Abacus's survey. Both were taken after the vote on the mission had been held, but as Abacus's survey is the more recent it could be registering any impact that criticism of Trudeau's position has had.

His comment about "whip[ping] out our CF-18s to show how big they are" may not be behind any of this recent change, however. While Abacus's polling found that 30 per cent of Canadians had seen or heard about this statement, after watching a video clip of the comments a majority said they mostly or strongly agreed with him (including 62 per cent of "persuadable" Liberals).

And on the question of whether it would make voters more or less likely to cast a ballot for his party, the result was a wash.

Will the mission in Iraq be a turning point on the road to 2015? More data in the coming weeks may give us a better idea.


EKOS Research surveyed 1,511 Canadians online and 160 via the telephone between Oct. 10 and 15 for iPolitics and Radio-Canada. As the poll included random online and telephone interviews, EKOS assigns to its results a margin of error of +/- 2.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The questions asked in English and French were as follows: "If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?", "As you may have heard, Canada will be sending aircraft and personnel to Iraq and Syria to join in coalition airstrikes against ISIS (the Islamic State), but they will not be involved in ground combat. To what extent do you oppose or support this mission?" and "Of the following options, which do you think would be the best Canadian response to the ISIS problem in the Middle East?"

Abacus Data surveyed 1,248 Canadians online between Oct. 15 and 17. As the poll was conducted online, a margin of error does not apply. The questions asked in English and French were as follows: "If a federal election was held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you vote for in your constituency?", "For each of the three leaders of the main political parties, please indicate if you think they have been showing good judgment, acceptable judgment, or poor judgment when it comes to how to deal with the ISIS terror threat.", "Have you seen this clip or heard about it before today?", "Do you agree or disagree with the point Mr. Trudeau was making?" and "Does Mr. Trudeau's comments make you more inclined to support him, less inclined to support him, or do they have no impact on your likelihood to support him?"


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Malala Yousafzai, Nobel-winning activist, gets honorary citizenship today

Teen being recognized for bravery and her fight for better education for women and girls

The Canadian Press Posted: Oct 21, 2014 5:18 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 22, 2014 9:31 AM ET

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Harper reads Malala honorary citizen motion RAW 2:59

Harper reads Malala honorary citizen motion RAW 2:59

The House of Commons has unanimously supported bestowing honorary Canadian citizenship upon Pakistani teenager and co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai.

The honour comes on the eve of Yousafzai's visit to Canada where she'll participate in an event on women's rights in Toronto.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says she's being made an honorary Canadian in recognition of her bravery in her fight for the rights of women and girls to go to school.

Yousafzai was the target of Taliban assassins after she became an outspoken advocate for her right to attend class and she's since gone on to become an international spokesperson on the issue.

The Conservatives announced their intention to make her Canada's sixth honorary citizen in last year's throne speech.

While there's no official procedure involved in granting the title, precedent has been for the House of Commons and Senate to approve a motion.

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.


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Soldier shot at National War Memorial in Ottawa

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    Terrorism, Ebola: Managing the fear factor on Wednesdays with @Kady

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    Join our live chat with blogger Kady O'Malley at noon ET

    By Kady O'Malley, Janyce McGregor, CBC News Posted: Oct 22, 2014 9:28 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 22, 2014 9:28 AM ET

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