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Is there a hierarchy of victimhood in Canada? Are all lives seen as inherently valued? The answers to those questions lead to another question: Why do our politicians claim that some tragedies are moments for ‘nationwide reflection’ and ‘change,’ while others pass away into the news cycle and disappear? What is the difference between those events that are exploited by politicians, and those that are dismissed or downplayed? Consider how — in the wake of the terrible events in London, Ontario, politicians across the political spectrum (especially the NDP & Liberals), acted as if this was somehow something all Canadians were responsible for, rather than the horrible actions of one individual. We were called to ‘reflect’ on the ‘role we all played’ in creating an ‘environment’ that led to such a horrific act, and governments moved swiftly to hold conferences, summits, and enact new legislation in ‘response’ to what took place. Yet, as crime continues to surge — particularly violent gang crime in many of Canada’s cities — somehow the near-daily string of tragedies, shootings, and deaths doesn’t seem to elicit that same desperate response from those in power.

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