It’s been five years since I worked for CBC in Ottawa. I’m on a different path, now, swiftly approaching the viva for my doctoral thesis at the University of Edinburgh, and although my past work is a part of the work that I’m doing now, it is only in the last couple of weeks that both the “CBC” and the “Ottawa” parts of that past have been so forcefully top of mind.
The way Canada has made international headlines recently, people would be forgiven for wondering if the docility that weaves into our fundamental fabric has been rent or replaced. We watched the shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo whilst on duty at the war memorial and the subsequent and bizarre attack on Parliament Hill and think, This is not the capital of Canada, surely. To those who say Canadians, Ottawans, parliamentarians were complacent, I say I think it was something more subtle than that: we always knew it was possible that Canada would be the target of an attack; we just didn’t believe it would actually happen. It’s a head and heart thing.
Anyway, I was gutted watching the news on Twitter, and fearful for my friends and colleagues. The places where I had worked were locked down, and the people I had worked with were out on the streets, unsure if there were any more angry people with guns about and transmitting what little they knew to us, the interested public.
Enough about that. The other headline–one that is perhaps less interesting globally but, like the Tragically Hip, a point of peculiar and perhaps obsessive importance in Canada–concerns former radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Continue reading