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

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

Marysville Arena will not open right now. Bulletin file
Marysville Arena to remain closed for now, Kimberley Council decides

Kimberley City Council voted unanimously on Monday night to keep the Marysville arena closed for the start of the ice season.

An example of the entrance to Marysville, where Sustainable Kimberley says a few trees could make a world of difference.
Sustainable Kimberley makes presentation to Council

Group looking to increase urban green space

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Slippery roads led to this crash in West Trail on Friday morning. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in Kootenays causes multiple crashes; one suspected of involving alcohol

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

Most Read