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Will increasing political polarization in Canada lead to an assassination? Not so fast

By Phil Gurski      

We would be well-advised to look in the mirror as well. We are witnessing a worrying ascent of anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic feeling in the Great White North.

A convoy of protesters driving trucks from Alberta in the 'United We Roll,' pictured in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2019. The tuckers and supporters protested the Liberal government's pipeline program and the lack of support for the oil patch and resource jobs in the Prairies. The group was also joined by Canadian Yellow Vest movement members and right-wing extremists and racists. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—There is a small plaque on Queen Street in Ottawa, two blocks south of Parliament Hill. It is not that prominent and easy to miss. It commemorates the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, “considered one of the eloquent of the Fathers of Confederation” (that is what is on the plaque), who was shot nearby on April 7, 1868. The event remains, to the best of my knowledge, the only political assassination in Canadian history. Some would cite the murder of Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte by the FLQ in 1970, although that is perhaps better described as an act of terrorism (not that terrorism and assassination are mutually exclusive).

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