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Senator proposes strengthening Parliament Hill’s outer perimeter

Posted in Canada, Featured, Talking Politics


Published on January 16, 2015 with No Comments

One of the co-chairs of the advisory group looking at security in the wake of the Oct. 22 shootings has said that  last week’s attack in Paris won’t change the plans for Parliament Hill.

Conservative Sen. Vern White, a former police chief, has suggested that the new security plan will consider a range of scenarios — from a “lone wolf” incident to a co-ordinated, well-planned assault like the one on Charlie Hebdo last week.

“We are reacting and considering all possibilities,” White said during a lunch-hour panel program on an Ottawa radio station.

“Everyone knows Michael Zehaf Bibeau’s bloody rampage in Ottawa could have been much worse, and security planners recognize the need to protect against better-armed, more co-ordinated attackers”, he added.

White said that ought to include reinforcing Parliament Hill’s outer perimeter, which extends at least the length of a full city block away from the front doors of the Centre Block, the iconic building that includes the Peace Tower.

“To be blunt, you need to kill them at the gates, you need to kill them on the lawn, you need to kill them outside the building,” he said.

“You can’t afford to let them get inside the building. So, whatever the plan looks like to make that reality is what you have to work towards.”

Improved security at the edge of the property could involve RCMP officers restricting the number of access points to three from five and conducting searches at those entrances, White suggested.

He said he’s proud of the fact Parliament Hill is so publicly accessible, but noted there are lots of opportunities to improve security without disrupting the public’s access to the country’s seat of democracy.


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