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Canadian leaders take 'sober satisfaction' in bin Laden's demise

In B.C.: Prime Minister Stephen Harper comments on the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, following US President Obama's announcement in Abbotsford, B.C. on Sunday May 1, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

News of Osama Bin Laden's became part of Canada's election campaign Monday as the three national party leaders interrupted their vote-getting efforts to react, characterizing it as a turning point but also warning that Canada must remain vigilant against the threat of terrorism.

Speaking shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement early Monday, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said Bin Laden's death provided "sober satisfaction."

Twenty-four Canadians died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington orchestrated by Bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network.

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Mr. Harper said his death "secures a measure of justice for these Canadians and their families." He also praised Canadian troops for their efforts in Afghanistan where they are attempting to "cut terror at its root."

But he cautioned that Bin Laden's death "does not end the threat of international terrorism. Sadly, others will take his place."

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff - campaigning early Monday at a subway stop in his Toronto riding - echoed that sentiment. He said he hoped the terrorist mastermind's demise would make the world "safer" but warned that everyone must remain on guard.

"There is a network out there, it is still out there and Canadians need to be vigilant," he said. "But I think there is simply no question it is a moment of victory for everybody who loves democracy and loves freedom."

The Liberal Leader added that Bin Laden was "mass murderer who had to be caught and found and punished."

NDP Leader Jack Layton also issued a statement calling the deadly U.S. strike in Pakistan a "turning point in the war on terrorism."

He, too, praised Canadian troops but said that as citizens remember the Sept. 11 attacks "we re-commit ourselves to promote Canada's role in the international community as a leading contributor to the world's peace, security and prosperity."

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About the Author
Ontario politics reporter

Jane Taber is a reporter at Queen’s Park. After spending three years reporting from the Atlantic, she has returned to Ontario and back to writing about her passion, politics. She spent 25 years covering Parliament Hill for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. More

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