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article imageCanada's biggest 2014 news stories both came from shocking crimes

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 28, 2014 in Crime
The two biggest news stories in Canada in 2014 each came after most of the year was up and were stories of crime. The death of two Canadian soldiers in lone-wolf terror attacks and the scandal involving broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi top a lengthy list.
2014 Canadian news stories
Both stories were shocking to Canadians. The country had to wake up to the threat of terror attacks on its own soil when Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 52, was run down by a car and killed (another soldier was injured) by a man espousing jihadists sympathies. It happened in the parking lot of a military building in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on October 20.
Two days later, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 25, was killed while on ceremonial guard duty in Ottawa, also by a man espousing jihadists sympathies, one who had a criminal record and was a drug addict. Each perpetrator was killed by security officials and both were home-grown Canadians.
The stories were named as Canada’s 2014 News Story of the Year.
While some feel the death of Vincent and Cirillo had more to do with mentally ill persons than terrorists, most Canadians do not. And the stories were among the most followed in Canada during 2014. Canadians may have known terror on their soil could happen, but when it arrived it was still shocking.
The rise and fall of Jian Ghomeshi
Perhaps equally as shocking was the downfall of CBC broadcaster Ghomeshi, and the accusations of criminal, violent and highly-immoral conduct which lead to his fall. It was so shocking in part because of the great heights he had climbed to, one of the most popular journalists in the country's history.
It was equally shocking because of the crimes, choking women and punching them in the head, for which he now stands accused in a court of law. If there was smugness in the Canadian psyche borne of a feeling that sexual assault of women was a crime being fully dealt with, Ghomeshi's reign at the CBC radio show The Q and his private life dealt that smugness a serious blow.
There were other stories of particular note in Canada in 2014, including the June 4 death of three RCMP officers and wounding of two more by a crazed gunman in New Brunswick, the Keystone pipeline debate and allegations of harassment among elected officials on Parliament Hill.
But in terms of attention given to stories and potential repercussions in the country, the deaths of the two soldiers and Ghomeshi's downfall top the list. How these stories play out is still unknown. If those two attacks were a harbinger of things to come for Canada, then that story, in particular the reaction to the potential of attacks, will be ongoing.
And whether Ghomeshi, charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance by choking, ever feels the brunt of the law for his alleged offences, the story of sexual crimes against women in Canada will continue to resonate. The country must now seek solutions to a problem seemingly greater than many thought.
In each story, Canada was shown something it must now grapple with for years to come.
More about jian ghomeshi, Canadian soldiers killed in terror attacks, Nathan Cirillo, patrice vincent
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