Is Ottawa prepared for a terrorist attack?

Is Ottawa prepared for a terrorist attack?
Posted on August 23, 2013 | Earle Rheaume | Written on November 30, 2009
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

I wrote this letter nearly four years ago. Since the situation continues to be neglected, I thought I would share it now in the hope that it will be addressed by federal and municipal authorities before it is too late.

Dear Ottawa residents,

Based upon the mismanagement of the Glen Cairn flood situation and the present H1N1 pandemic, I don’t believe for a second that my tax dollars are protecting me and my family from even minor emergencies let alone major disasters.
The city has done a commendable job developing policies and procedures on its web site that cover most potential emergencies. But, the problem is such that none of those (procedures) were acted upon during the flood.
While no one wants to think about, let alone talk of a possible terrorist strike on our city. It needs to be discussed and debated for the welfare of our citizens.

Consider the following “fictional” account summary of a horrible and devastating regional emergency.
Tuesday February 3/09
11:00 a.m.
While most adults and school children were busying themselves at work, play and school, three explosions occurred. The first destroyed the National Defence Headquarters building; the second made a direct hit on the Peace Tower and the third took out most of the main City Hall Lisgar Street complex. All electrical, natural gas and other power sources were lost. And communications via phone, fax e-mail and cell phone were brought to a halt. There was an eerie stillness in the air that was gradually replaced with the increasing high scream of trucks, ambulances and police sirens. And then chaos took over as friends saw other friends and fellow workers, confused, hysterical, bloody and dead.
11:30 a.m.
Additional explosions knocked out all runways at Ottawa International Airport. The city filtration plant was also hit.
12:00 Noon
As firefighters and paramedics were tending to the most critically wounded, other even more shocking news was received. The explosions may have released one or more chemical weapons into the air and water supply…
My research concluded there are few if any actual rehearsals conducted, by our network of emergency measures organizations.
In a quarterly report then Auditor General Sheila Fraser highlighted waste, skirting spending rules and bureaucratic bungling across several government departments, and fingering Public Safety Canada for putting human security and critical infrastructure at risk, by failing to put a plan into action.  It is unfortunate but fact that Ottawa’s Community and Protective Services Branch is in exactly the same mess.

About The Author

Earle Rheaume's picture

Looking back over 72 years I had the good fortune to have had a wonderful mom, a great wife and family, a successful career in business and excellent health. Sure there were ups and downs but they were too few to... More