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'You will not succeed': BC Premier Clark to Canada Day bomb plotters

People who planted bombs around the British Columbia legislature before Canada Day crowds celebrated will not succeed in making the public fearful, said Premier Christy Clark.

"Let me say this to those who resort to terror," said Clark in a news conference in front of the legislature. "You will not succeed in damaging our democratic institutions, but just as importantly you won't succeed at tearing down the values that make this country strong."

RCMP announced in Surrey this morning that they had foiled a plan to explode three pressure cooker type bombs, similar to the ones used at the Boston marathon in April.

John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody have been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and possession of explosive substance. They were arrested in Abbotsford on the afternoon of July 1 and appeared in court in Surrey today.

The Victoria Times Colonist newspaper reported in 2003 and 1996 on Nuttall's criminal record, which included hitting a man on the head with a rock to steal his briefcase and acting as an enforcer for a drug dealer, according to a post on reporter Tom Hawthorn's blog.

"They want us to be governed by fear," said Clark, who thanked the RCMP and its anti-terrorism unit, the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. "They want us to view each other with suspicion. They want us to be seized with anger. They want this because they hate the things that make us Canadian. They hate the values that make BC and Canada the envy of the world."

Clark said the RCMP told her yesterday about the plot. Nuttall and Korody acted alone and have no ties to any terrorist groups inside or outside of Canada, she said.

Speaker Linda Reid will launch a review of legislature security, said Clark. "We cannot let this event change who we are and how we use our public space," she said. "We will not let them win. We will not let them strike fear into our hearts. These public spaces belong to us, the people, and we're going to keep them."

After the news conference Clark spent a few minutes talking with people visiting the buildings, posing for pictures with some of them or exchanging hugs.

"I think it is crucial we ensure people have access to these buildings," said NDP leader Adrian Dix, who noted that on Canada Day the legislature lawn would have been full of children. "We have to oppose violence in all its forms and we need to continue to do that."

Attorney General Suzanne Anton declined to take questions from reporters, saying she would make a statement in the legislature. "It's obviously a very concerning event," she said. "I think the RCMP have done a terrific job. They've kept the public safe."

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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