Rivers on violence: Quebec’s Premier and Canada’s Prime Minister, have not bowed to this false populism of divide and conquer politics.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 3, 2017



An act of hatred and violence. It was 1989 when another mad man slaughtered 14 female students at a University of Montreal engineering school before turning the gun on himself. In this case he was driven by his fear of ‘feminism’. So long as we have guns, guys on the edge and an issue that evokes fear and hatred we can never take our security for granted.

Given all the racist hatred emanating from so many people these days, It was only a matter of time for something like this latest tragedy to happen – the massacre of innocent worshipers in a Mosque in Quebec City.

Quebec mosque


And the responsibility for the event lies partly at the feet of the new leader in America’s White House, a position we used to refer to as the leader of the free world.

In his phone call to Trudeau, Trump offered his condolences, characterizing the massacre as the kind of actions his recent executive orders were intended to prevent. Except they weren’t. Make no mistake Trump incited this act of terrorism. His language and actions served to radicalize this young misguided Quebecer, much as ISIS has radicalized the very ones that Trump was hoping to keep out by his ban.

Rivers graphic for Feb 3And the Muslim ban. This was as poorly considered as so many of his other actions since becoming president. None of the people living in those seven banned countries are known to have committed acts of terror in America over the last quarter century. And yet almost three thousand Americans have been killed by citizens from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon – Muslim countries where Trump has business interests and which are therefore exempt form his ban.

But it’s not just Trump.  He’s not the only crazy mixed-up reactionary, leading his followers out of what we once considered the new world order into a new frontier of chaos.  Russian president Vladimir Putin is the ring leader, the lead conductor of this mad band of, dare I say faux -Nazis,  striving to take the world back in time.  His goal is the re-assembly of the Soviet Union and there is no international law or agreements that can block him in his quest.

France’s Marine Le Pen is one of our Quebec shooter’s internet heroes, along with Donald Trump. She is also a contender for presidency in this year’s elections in that confused nation. Her goal is to break up the European Union, with a Frexit, then to stop immigration and kick out Muslim immigrants. Her political party has been funded in part by Russia’s Putin, of course.

The people of Holland go to the polls this year and their far right-wing politician, Geert Wilders, another ultra-nationalist Eurosceptic, is intent on tearing apart the EU and playing nice with Mr. Putin. And then there is Brexit, an historical accident that was driven by British ultra-nationalists including a lying cabal led by former British EU representative Nigel Farage, the man Mr. Trump asked to be made British ambassador to the USA.

And Canada is not exempt from this global movement of leaders into hate and chaos. Conservative leadership contender, Kelly Leitch, who along with other leadership contender, Chris Alexander, set up the barbaric practices snitch-line prior to last year’s election. And Leitch has made the politics of division a touchstone of her campaign, demanding proof of adherence to sone kind of undefined ‘Canadian values’ – first from immigrants – and eventually from the rest of us.

The Parti Quebecois had once claimed the moral high-ground, the social conscience of Quebecers, until it too pushed the intolerance button demanding Muslim women show their faces and everyone strip themselves of those icons they’d wear for the sake of their gods and saints. This massacre lies on their doorstep too.

But at least the real leaders of Canada, Quebec’s Premier and Canada’s Prime Minister, have not bowed to this false populism of divide and conquer politics. “We will grieve with you, we will defend you, we will love you and we will stand with you,”

Ray Rivers

Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington in 1995.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

The Other Massacre

Quebec Massacre 

Meryl Streep


More Quebec

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3 comments to Rivers on violence: Quebec’s Premier and Canada’s Prime Minister, have not bowed to this false populism of divide and conquer politics.

  • John Birch

    We’ve always known there’s a bog here too, a tiny minority of slimy racist imbeciles and hate mongers. However, we do not shape our welcome mat to accommodate the idiot fringe. We do what is right and good.

    Thank god we have small magazine limits up here though. The carnage could have been so much worse.

    My Canada includes people from all walks of life – except Nazis, we can do without Nazis thank you.

  • Thank you for this courageous assessment. It again makes me wonder if the concept of State level society has run its course. These entities, often defined only by their boundaries, turn on each other and on themselves in orgies of ill conceived “nationalism” or some other purportedly unifying banner when in fact they have grown into ideologically amorphous masses desperate only for what they can subjugate and consume next. The individual acts such as you cite are prisms through which we see the spectrum of interior division.

  • Gary

    I would take that chart with a large grain of salt. It describes Americans “killed” on U.S. soil. It does not mention attempts that were foiled. Six Iranians, six Sudanese, two Somalis, two Iraqis, and one Yemeni have been convicted of attempting or executing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during that time period. Secondly, although it is true that Iran has not directly attacked the U.S. homeland, it certainly was active in battling U.S. troops in the Middle East through military aid, training, funding and weapons for proxies. It offered a bounty of $1000 to any Taliban fighter who killed an American. A 1,000 American soldiers died from Iranian involvement. It had four weapons factories turning out armour piercing munitions which were effective against U.S. transports. As far as I know, they still pray every Friday in the mosques across Iran for the destruction of the Great Satan (America), despite Obama asking them not to do so.

    In your list of those responsible for the murders in Quebec you left out Frauke Petry (Germany) and Matteo Salving (Italy). My goodness, with so much collective guilt from around the world it is likely Alsexandre Bissonette will only be found 10% guilty.

    Europe is facing a cultural, societal, legal and political crisis with so much large scale immigration from countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Even Angela Merkel who started the stampede last year has regretted what she brought to Germany, and by extension the E.U. which is in peril. There is nothing wrong with political parties in European countries who cry ‘enough’ and want to take back control over there national boundaries. If some loner in Quebec takes that as a license to kill, that is on him.

    As to Mr. Trump, he has seen his predecessor make many friendly gestures to Islamic nations, only to have them turn into ashes. He is trying a different approach. He should be given time to see how it works out. He at least is trying to make good on his election promises, unlike Prime Minister Selfie in Ottawa, who has yet to a make headway on any single major issue he promised to address during his election campaign.