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

Lorne Lake, 69, is urging local, provincial and federal governments to find ways to do whatever it takes to make sure smaller cities have the medical help they need. He is currently without a family doctor. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Doctor shortage weighing heavily on Williams Lake senior

Lorne Lake said it is up to the City, provincial and federal governments to find ways to attract doctors

Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch homeless outreach worker Wayne Lucier said there is no affordable housing presently available in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lack of affordable housing concerning for agencies tackling homelessness in Williams Lake

Agencies in town are stretched and our resources are not infinite

Laurel White, Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District harm reduction co-ordinator holds a fentanyl drug testing strip. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake drug overdoses triple in September

Total overdose call volume has already surpassed the last few years

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Michelle Stoney carved this pumpkin on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at her brother's home where their family gathers each year to carve pumpkins for Halloween. (Michelle Stoney, Gitxsan Artist Facebook photo)
Gitxsan artist carves culture in Halloween pumpkin

Michelle Stoney spent more than three hours on her latest holiday creation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Most Read