The Peace tower is seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday September 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Parliament Hill security boosted after reports of harassment

Video posted to social media shows Jagmeet Singh being followed down the street in front of Parliament Hill

The security service charged with protecting Parliament Hill says it has stepped up its presence in the area following several recent reports of harassment against politicians and others.

The Parliamentary Protective Service said it would not comment on specifics for security reasons, but the federal NDP said it reported one such incident on Friday.

Video posted to social media shows Jagmeet Singh being followed down the street in front of Parliament Hill by a man who asks if the NDP leader wants to be arrested. The man later tells Singh that the next time they see each other, the two will “have a dance.”

“We reported the incident to the Parliamentary Protective Service,” said NDP director of communications George Soule. ”Beyond that, we have nothing more to add.”

The protective service, which falls under the ambit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provides security for Parliament Hill and the surrounding parliamentary precinct, said it was aware of the incident involving Singh and “collaborating closely with its security partners.”

“The Parliamentary Protective Service continuously monitors threats, and we adjust our security posture on Parliament Hill and within the parliamentary precinct accordingly,” it added in a statement Sunday.

“As a result of recent incidents whereby parliamentarians and members of the press were harassed, the service has increased its presence and visibility around the precinct.”

Canadian Anti-Hate Network chair Bernie Farber on Sunday blasted what he described as “police inaction” when it comes to harassment against Canadian politicians.

“It’s not the first time and it simply encourages racists and bullies,” he said of the Singh video. “It has to stop. Police must do their jobs.”

Farber encouraged political leaders of all stripes “to speak up when their colleagues from any part of the political spectrum are being targeted by bullies and racists.”

The Singh incident followed another clip posted to social media that appears to show a man trying to conduct a “citizen’s arrest” on a Radio-Canada reporter on Thursday on the same street in front of Parliament Hill.

Concern about the safety of Canadian politicians has been on the rise following a series of incidents in reason months.

According to data from the RCMP, first reported by the Toronto Star, there has been an increase in the number of threats made against the prime minister and cabinet when compared to last year.

The RCMP say from January to July 2019, protective policing opened 100 investigations into threats, while from January to July 2020 there were approximately 130.

One headline incident saw a Canadian Army reservist from Manitoba arrested in July after a truck rammed through a gate at Rideau Hall, the traditional home of Canada’s governor general and where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have been living since 2015.

Correy Hurren faces 21 weapons charges as well as one of threatening the prime minister. Police said several guns and an illegal magazine were found in Hurren’s truck after he was peacefully arrested.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna last month called for more protection for Canadian parliamentarians and others from threatening behaviour after video of someone yelling obscenities at members of her staff in downtown Ottawa was posted on social media.

The Ottawa Police Service said it was launching an investigation into that incident.

McKenna on Friday condemned the actions of the man in the video of Singh, writing on Twitter: “This is not OK. And it is not what Canadians stand for. We are better than this.”

ASLO READ: End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Parliament Hill

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

county
After unsuccessful attempts to contact owner, Throne property going to tax sale

Bidding will be closed as of the first council meeting in February of 2021

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

Damien Kurek
COLUMN: Local MP Damien Kurek on ensuring that there is a plan for recovery

‘Canadians deserve answers, and the Official Opposition has been there trying to get them.’

Heart
Online sessions help participants improve heart health

Heart Wise offers effective strategies to manage cholesterol and blood pressure

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read