Rest in peace Corporal Nathan Cirillo

The events surrounding the regimental funeral for Corporal Nathan Cirillo have begun in his hometown of Hamilton.  The procession to Christ’s Church Cathedral is winding its way through the downtown of the city and Hamiltonians, as well as non-residents who wish to honour Corporal Cirillo are lining the streets in tribute.

The Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper will be in the Cathedral for the funeral, as will NDP and Liberal leaders Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau.  The Premier of Ontario, Lieutenant-Governor, members of parliament, senior military officers and of course family and close friends of Corporal Cirillo will all be attending the service.

As the procession is winding its way through the streets, it is heartbreaking to see Corporal Cirillo’s five year old son walking behind his Daddy’s casket.

The people of Hamilton are proud of their military sons and daughters.  I’ve talked about this on air. I lived and broadcast in Hamilton for many years and about 20 years ago, each November 11, we at 900 CHML began to air three hours of Remembrance Day tribute live from the cenotaph in the downtown core.  The broadcasts included airing the entire 11th hour ceremony.  Attendance was initially perhaps a thousand or so people wishing to pay their respects and in many, perhaps most cases honour the memory of family who fought in uniform to defend this nation and our values.

By our third year the downtown core surrounding the cenotaph was filled with many thousands of area residents and the two school boards in the city sent a delegation of one thousand students.

Today Canadians from coast to coast to coast will participate in their own way and pay personal respects.

This nation is in mourning for a young man who died while himself honouring those who lives ended in Canada’s military service, defending with their lives the ideals of freedom and democracy which have shaped who we are.

Rest in peace Corporal Cirillo. You will not be forgotten.

Federal government Minister Jason Kenney among our guests today. What are Ottawa’s thoughts about how to move ahead after this week of crisis in Canada?

I’m glad Minister Kenney will join the show today. He’s a straight talker who answers questions.  The Minister joins us at the beginning of hour 2.

Colonel Geordie Elms is the former commanding officer of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Hamilton.  Colonel Elms will speak to the loss of Corporal Nathan Cirillo from the Argylls and the loss of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent from the Canadian military family.  The funeral for Corporal Cirillo is planned for Tuesday in Hamilton.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and comrades in the military.

I’ll also be speaking with Imam Robert Muhammad Heft who converted to Islam in the 1990′s and who operates the Paradise Forever Centre in Toronto where he counsels against radicalizing and works with CSIS.  The Imam will join us from Qatar.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson returns to the show.  Dr. Mattson is a leading Islamic scholar at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Western Ontario. She is attending an interfaith conference on violence and non-violence in religious traditions.

I’ll also be returning to the question which generated a huge response yesterday on air and by email overnight.  Should Canada end its participation in the Coalition attack on ISIS out of concern for Canadians being targeted by radicalized individuals?   Remember, the spectre of mental illness was also raised by callers to the show yesterday.

Ebola developments continue with New York and New Jersey instituting mandatory 21 day quarantines for anyone entering the states from West Africa after having contact with an Ebola patient there.  Dr. Jay Keystone, tropical diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital joins us to speak to that and continue to update us on his thoughts on what is necessary to combat the Ebola threat.  Dr. Keystone was very blunt in his assessment last weekend, saying the world was in for a ‘s–t storm’ if Ebola isn’t controlled in West Africa.

A Texas caller yesterday argued Canadians should be armed like Texans.  Jim suggested Texans can protect themselves from terror and other attack because they may carry concealed firearms.  Lots of reaction to Jim’s call.  I’ll play it back, read one particular email from a listener who strongly challenges Jim and open the phone lines for your comments.

And finally, it wasn’t Ebola, but it was a nasty viral issue which plagued a cashier at a supermarket where I was checking out groceries on Friday.  I asked her from a distance if she had a cold or the flu and the answer was “oui.”  At that point I ….well, I’ll explain what I did on air and ask you for your comments and experiences.   And why is it that whenever I buy something to drink the cashier has the impulse to pick up the bottle by its neck to scan the thing.  That’s where my mouth is going to go and I don’t know where his/her hand has been.  I’ll raise that one with you as well.  Last item on today’s show.

There’s more ….join us.

A week unlike any other and what are its implications? What is the national response?

This week in October is truly one like no other in our Canadian history.  Yes, there have been crises previously and yes, the country did fight in two World Wars and participated in other conflicts, but the acts of this past week have served to create a demand for answers and action on behalf of the federal government.

How is it possible security at parliament could be so casually breached by the same individual who had just ambushed and shot and Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Corporal Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton?  Cpl Cirillo’s killer’s unimpeded entry into parliament where he engaged in a gun battle with the Sgt At Arms and parliament’s internal security team and had he known the geography of the place better, might easily have had opportunity to open fire on several member of parliament caucus meetings, demands answers.  As in, how was our parliament so open to such violence?  A day after the hit-and-run killing of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Quebec and knowing the threat was real, why wasn’t military security at the parliament buildings present?

Many questions.  I’ll be opening the phone lines to hear yours several times on today’s show.

Also joining me the Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina and Argyll and Sutherlands Highlanders Honourary Lt. Colonel Ron Foxcroft, to speak about Corporal Cirillo and the Corporal’s return to Hamilton last evening, marked by thousands of Canadians honouring the ambushed soldier, first along the Highway of Heroes and then in the City of Hamilton itself.

Major General Lewis MacKenzie will speak to the reaction within the ranks of Canada’s military, including the order about where and where not members of our Armed Forces may and may no wear their uniforms in public.

Liberal MP Scott Andrews will talk about Wednesday morning in the caucus room as the gun battle began outside the doors.  MP Andrews almost came face to face with the gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

Mubin Shaikh (undercoverjihadi.com) joins me to speak about the issue of radicalizing.  Mubin Shaikh was himself a jihadi before becoming an undercover agent for CSIS and the RCMP.

Former CSIS agent and snr manager Michel Juneau-Katsuya will talk about what CSIS options and limitations are and Scott Newark, former Crown Attorney and security advisor to the federal and Ontario governments will talk about how Ottawa can protect against individuals who are on the nation’s radar as threats.

And it’s Saturday, so former Liberal MP Michelle Simson (@michellesimson), Catherine Swift from WorkingCanadians.com and Linda Leatherdale (lindaleatherdale.com) join me as they do each Saturday.  Today we’ll hear their thoughts about this week.

and I’ll be opening the phone lines along the way for your reaction and the questions you want answered.