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

Doug Routley has retained his seat as Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA. (Photo submitted)
Routley retains his post as Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA

NDP stronghold in the riding continues despite a strong challenge from the Greens’ Istace

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Chemainus businessman Chris Istace is taking his first shot at provincial politics as the Green Party candidate in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Green Party pins Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding hopes on Istace

Leader Furstenau in town for the announcement of Chemainus businessman’s candidacy

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read