Parliament Hill adopts stiffer security measures
OTTAWA—Security is being tightened on Parliament Hill through additional screening, the arming of guards and the elimination of public tours during caucus meetings.
And House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer says more changes may be in the works as a result of an ongoing, comprehensive review of Hill security.
The review was initiated after a gunman fatally shot a soldier at the National War Memorial on Oct. 22 and burst into Parliament’s Centre Block before being killed in a hail of bullets.
Earlier this week, Scheer and Sen. Vern White announced the separate House of Commons and Senate security forces would be merged.
Members of the unified parliamentary security team are being trained to carry firearms.
They will continue to patrol the interior of buildings on the Hill, while the RCMP secures the parliamentary grounds.
In addition, Scheer outlined several other interim security steps already in place:
- Installing security posts outside the Centre Block to conduct preliminary screening of visitors;
- Doing away with public tours during caucus meetings on Wednesdays — the day the shooter stormed the Hill — and general limits on the size of tour groups:
- The locking of buildings after business hours;
- Enhanced security at MPs’ constituency offices if needed, including alarms and automatic locking doors.
“I think Oct. 22 was a very difficult day for everyone on the Hill,” Scheer told the MPs.
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