Contrary to the predictable platitudes on the editorial and op-ed pages of newspapers across the country, Canada did not lose her innocence yesterday, nor has our nation been forever changed.
If a brazen terrorist attack on a national symbol is the criteria for a seismic shift in the Canadian experience, the country would have changed on Monday, when a homegrown jihadist killed a Canadian soldier in a hit and run in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu. But Parliament Hill has an infinitely greater media presence than a strip mall in the Richelieu Valley, so yesterday's tragedy becomes the seminal moment, if only as defined by the earnest scribblers of the fourth estate.
Anyone who was completely shocked by yesterday's events hasn't been paying attention. The lunatics-in-chief of the Islamic State have been publicly clamoring for their brainwashed adherents abroad to kill the infidels where they live, and it's been well-documented and widely reported that Canada is home to dozens of known radicalized Islamic extremists. Factor in the unknown and their ranks could number in the hundreds. On the basis of two attacks this week alone, rooting them out without further violence seems improbable. But root them out we must, while at the same time remaining militarily committed to the anti-ISIS coalition attacking the poison at its source in the Middle East. The violence at home is a terrible price to pay, but Canada is doing what's right and good, as we have always done.
The day we acquiesce to evil on evil's terms will be the day we lose our innocence and are forever changed.