|Lining up for checkpoint inspection|
Today is Canada's 150th birthday and celebrations have been lavish all over the country. Canadians really know how to party.
Sadly, in days prior to this anniversary all the media talk was not about the country's many achievements, but about the many strict security measures placed in Ottawa and in other main Canadian cities.
Canadians should have been bragging about their beautiful country, but instead news reports were almost all focused on impending high security measures, and how the public would go through inspections like those at airports in order to prevent another Islamic terrorist massacre. People would have to line up for a thorough check, no backpacks allowed, concrete barriers would be placed in strategic spots to prevent vehicular terror, army snipers would stand vigilant on roofs, and much more.
A generation ago Canadians would have never thought that this momentous 150th anniversary of their independence would mean treating the citizenry as if they were in a war zone because of the country's changing demographics.
Organizers were expecting at least half a million people at the main celebration in Ottawa, but only 20,000 to 25,000 showed up. It was a bit rainy, but that would not have scared the famously tough Canadians. However, the prospect of going through long lineups and something akin to airport security may have deterred many people. Fear of gruesome terror and extreme security measures are now part of the new reality in the country.
Canada turns capital into fortress ahead of massive 150th anniversary - Much smaller crowds than expected, but huge backlogs
Continue reading about this and the giant yellow rubber duck rented out for $200,000 by the province of Ontario out to celebrate this anniversary.
UK Daily Mail - Canadian security forces are turning the nation's capital into a fortress ahead of a huge weekend sesquicentennial celebration set to attract a half-million people, including Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. Authorities have already shut down central Ottawa streets and will place concrete barriers across entrances into Parliament Hill to try to prevent fatal incidents like those in London, Nice and Stockholm, where attackers rammed vehicles into crowds.
CTV News - Earlier this week, CTV News obtained a national security memo saying ISIS explicitly mentioned Canada as a potential terrorist target, prompting increased security at Ottawa's celebration. A family from Edson, Alta. said they'd planned to go to Ottawa to mark the 150th, but instead travelled to Vancouver because of safety concerns.
CBC: 'An absolute fiasco': Disorganized security lines in Ottawa cause backlog - Some people waited 8 hours to be admitted to Parliament lawn on Saturday
Parliament Hill was the focal point of Canada Day, but many people say it was the very thing that ruined the festivities. Long security lines to get onto the Hill left many people huddled together for several hours. The crowd reached 25,000 by noon Saturday, and ebbed and flowed as the day progressed. But once the designated stanchions had filled, the line spilled into the streets causing chaos.
One woman waited in line for three hours before a police officer told her she wasn't standing in an official line. "(I) stood in a line for three hours to get on the Hill, where the police officer told us to line up, just to be told at the other end by another police officer that that line was closed now and go wait somewhere else for five hours. No thanks," said Shea Doyle on Facebook. Others said they braved the line only to be turned away at security because the lawn was too full.
Waiting in Canada Day lines is usually softened by the live broadcasts from the shows taking place in the area, but even those were glitching on Saturday. "When we got to the screen, the screen had no audio. So we couldn't even hear the show that we flew 3,000 kilometres to see," Dawson said. When the bags were finally checked and feet hit the lawn, a whole new set of challenges presented themselves.
Allie Woodley says she was starving after waiting four hours to set foot on the Hill, but she wasn't going to risk leaving to get food. There was only one snack tent set up on the lawn and she said the line was almost as formidable as the one beyond the fences. "Hopefully it's all worth it in the end, but we're still waiting in line because we don't want to leave to get food," she said.
"We're stuck here."
People standing in line to enter Parliament Hill weren't the only ones in Ottawa left waiting on Canada Day, with thousands of people across the city standing in wet puddles for buses that either drove past them filled to the brim or didn't show up at all.
Canada Gets Giant Rubber Duck For Its Birthday Because A Loon Is Too Expensive
A six-storey tall giant yellow inflatable duck is proving to be an easy target for ridicule after it was revealed Canada 150 funding would go toward paying its six-figure rental fee. The $200,000 price tag for the supersized waterfowl stirred some ruckus in the Ontario legislature Monday. Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls got cheeky and called the installation an “absolute cluster duck.” It’s so big it can be seen from space.
The duck will be touring Ontario waterfront communities as part of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and Ontario 150 tour. Organizers say the famous duck is meant to draw a family crowd to the festival, where they can also enjoy musical dance performances, a lumberjack show, and tours of a navy frigate.
Lea Parrell, co-producer of the festival and tour, told HuffPost Canada she would have loved to have a more patriotic animal blow up, such as a loon or a beaver — if there was money available.
“We wanted to do a loon,” she said, but the cost to commission that kind of project would have been “astronomically expensive.”
The touring giant duck is a replica of a version originally made by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. He’s known for constructing large playful installations set in urban areas.
Beautiful Canadian loon