Word that the shadowy group Soldiers of Odin have been on two walks on Maple Ridge streets twice now is disturbing and disconcerting.
While the national president says the group has no racist agenda, is peaceful, non-violent and stands for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and just wants to help people out, there is a potential for violence anytime large groups gather at night, more so when they’re clad in black, leather jackets with mythological symbols on the back.
Apparently, when the group was here, they helped people, carried first-aid kits, and are helping a family struggling at Christmas time.
Laudable goals, but all of the above can be done without gathering in large and basically intimidating groups.
If the Soldiers of Odin, (whose national Facebook page has a passage titled, “Islam – A Religion Based on Terrorism”) feel they want to keep Maple Ridge streets safe, what’s to stop another group from doing the same?
And what if they happen to meet?
The biggest threat posed by such groups is anarchy and the disruption of the social order and a society based on the rule of law. Such groups present or pose a pseudo authority, which they have not been granted by Canadians.
Democratically controlled institutions, such as the police and military, all under the tight constraints of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are the only legitimate institutions of force or authority in Canada.
It can’t be any other way.
For those who are concerned about Maple Ridge’s streets, the RCMP’s Block Watch or Citizens on Patrol offers plenty of opportunity to help.
Maple Ridge, and Canada, can solve its own problems without such groups.