Here are the three things you should not have missed:
Conservative MP Ryan Leef, who was participating in the Boston Marathon, told Power & Politics that he didn’t see anything as he had already crossed the finish line and was being moved through the finishing chutes with some two thousand other runners at the time, and was about four blocks away when the emergency personnel started racing to the scene. He said the atmosphere was already loud so he wouldn’t have been able to hear the explosions, and didn’t have any indication about the severity of the incident until he was changing clothes and getting ready to head back to Ottawa when the messages started flooding in. Leef said that the explosions were timed for the four-hour mark, which was a worst-case scenario as most runners finish at that time, and that it was a miracle more people weren’t injured as a result.
Evan Solomon spoke to an MP panel of Chris Alexander, Randall Garrison, and Francis Scarpaleggia to try to get some reaction to the events. While Solomon tried to get a sense if security in Canada had been heightened, Alexander wasn’t certain, but said that he was saddened by the incident. Garrison noted the Boston Marathon’s iconic status, and that he was relieved to have heard that Ryan Leef was in touch and was okay, and he thanked the emergency responders and security personnel. Scarpaleggia said that one doesn’t expect these kinds of incidents at an outdoor event, and that governments need to constantly be vigilant, and to investigate in order to plug any holes in security that there might have been.
More on the Boston Marathon bombings:
Evan Solomon spoke with Ray Boisvert, former Assistant Director of Intelligence at CSIS, to get a sense of what kind of reaction security and intelligence services in Canada would be undertaking at this time. Boisvert said that the initial investigation and the physical evidence on the scene would kick-start the investigation and generate leads, but it would then turn to the communications – sifting through telecommunications, emails, and trace checks from other agencies as a number of special security warrants are issued. Boisvert said that those billions of communications bits would have to be sifted through by analysts at agencies like CSIS to look for any possible leads or connections. Boisvert also said that while CSIS can often act as an early warning system in Canada, the RCMP’s national security component will activate their sources at a time like this, and CBSA will also play a role as the border invariably thickens. In his estimation, Boisvert said given the nature of the explosions, he would be inclined to look at extremist groups, but not necessarily from an organization like al-Qaida, or from a state-sponsored group.
Note: There was no Power Play in favour of continued coverage from Boston.