Friday, May 27, 2016
Kevin Vickers: Hero or Embarrassment?
As you may or may not know, the Irish Republic is marking the 100th anniversary of the so-called Easter Rising.
The brutal battle in the heart of Dublin, which eventually led to the independence of that country.
An estimated 485 people lost their lives in almost a week of fighting between the republican rebels and British armed forces in the city. More than half of those who died were civilians, including 40 children.
And the theme is peace and reconciliation.
So in that regard I don't think this action by our Canadian ambassador was particularly helpful.
And as I'm sure you know, it has triggered a heated controversy over whether Kevin Vickers acted like a hero or a wild man.
Canada's ambassador to Ireland, the man hailed as a hero for shooting Ottawa gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau after he stormed Parliament Hill in 2014, tackled a protester at a ceremony in Dublin Thursday morning.
With opinion in Canada as divided as it is in Ireland.
Who does this Vickers think he is? He's not in Canada now. If there was a problem the Garda would have dealt with it. He should be reprimanded for not following protocol. We also have free speech in Ireland. Perhaps Mr. Vickers should be reminded of this.
Kevin Vickers is one of the true MEN left in this world. There are multiple ways you can protest legally, respectfully and peacefully. This protester broke all three and a stud like Vickers doesn't put up with that crap. Seriously, what if this person was trying to hurt people? Kevin Vickers was the only person there ready to protect everyone at that moment.
And while I realize that many people in Canada consider Vickers a hero, I don't think it's his job to provide security at events he attends.
And I think the larger question is whether Vickers should ever have been made an ambassador simply for the act of shooting Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
For his appointment may have been popular at a time when the country was in the grip of a terrorist frenzy.
But it was Stephen Harper's way of putting down the highly trained professionals of our distinguished Foreign Service.
Just like it was when he appointed his bodyguard Bruno Saccomani to be our ambassador to Jordan.
It was just another slap in the face to the men and women in our foreign service, who he knew hated him with a passion for what he was doing to Canada's once proud reputation.
But who would have known better than to get involved in the affairs of another country...
And overshadow with their actions what was for the Irish a solemn day of peace and reconciliation.
So yes, for me it was embarrassing. Canada needs more than men with guns to represent them abroad. We need to appoint trained diplomats again, and return to the diplomacy that once made us proud.
For I don't care what anyone says, that's not the way a Canadian ambassador should behave.
I'm sure that Vickers thought he was doing the right thing. But he was wrong.
And we can and must do better...
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