(JNS.org) In the wake of last week’s terror attacks in Ottawa, Jewish-Canadian Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler said his country must find the right balance between tightening security and protecting democracy and freedom. Cotler made his remarks before 500 Russian-Jewish participants of the inaugural Limmud FSU Canada conference, which took place Oct. 24-26 in Huntsville, Ontario.
On Oct. 22, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a 32-year-old convert to Islam, shot and killed Canadian reserve soldier Nathan Cirillo near the country's war memorial and then went on a shooting spree inside the Canadian parliament, before he was shot to death by Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.
“Canada is a country that takes pride in its openness, freedom and democracy, but at this point, the Canadian government needs to take the right measures to ensure that it remains not only peaceful but also secured in a way that we combat the threats. Security has to be expanded, but not at the expense of freedom. We need to protect democracy, but also to protect our citizens,” Cotler said.
Other notable figures to speak at Limmud FSU Canada included Israeli Minister of Culture & Sport Limor Livnat as well as author and media personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
“I salute the prime minister of Canada on his strong support of Israel. The recent terrorist event in Ottawa was not only directed against the Canadian Parliament. It was also directed against the democracies of the free world,” Livnat said.