Sergeant-at-arms ‘flabbergasted’ at police inaction on harassment of MPs at convoy

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The sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons says he was “flabbergasted” at how the Ottawa police allowed the harassment of members of Parliament and staffers to go on through the protests towards COVID-19 restrictions within the capital earlier this yr.

Patrick McDonell, who works carefully with the pinnacle of the Parliamentary Protective Service, advised a Commons committee Tuesday that MPs and their staff confronted harassment practically on daily basis on Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa, which is beneath the jurisdiction of native police.

McDonell’s remarks come as MPs are being given panic buttons to extend their private safety in response to threats and rising considerations about harassment of politicians.

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Canadian MPs to get panic buttons amid threats, minister says

The process and House affairs committee is finding out whether or not to develop federal jurisdiction for the safety of the precinct round Parliament Hill to incorporate components of Wellington Street, the place automobiles parked for 3 weeks through the “Freedom Convoy,” and Sparks Street, which features a pedestrian strip.

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McDonell mentioned there was a police automobile “well within viewing distance” of the occasions he was describing and that the incidents have been reported to Ottawa police “every day.”

One particular person would block the automobiles of some staff as they arrived at a close-by car parking zone and if the worker was a lady, the person would “bang their car” earlier than shifting apart, he mentioned.


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Ottawa residents specific aid after police filter out convoy protest


Ottawa residents specific aid after police filter out convoy protest – Feb 20, 2022

A lady worker was accosted by a person who tried to throw what gave the impression to be a bag of human feces at her earlier than one other worker arrived and pushed the person to the bottom, McDonell added.

When Ottawa interim police chief Steve Bell appeared earlier than the committee in May, he was requested about what number of incidents of harassment of MPs and workers he was conscious of through the blockades.

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Bell mentioned he didn’t have that data instantly obtainable, and steered the query could also be higher suited to RCMP Deputy Commissioner Michael Duheme, “who would be responsible for the initial response to those incidents.”

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned Tuesday there’s a “significant amount of anger and frustration” directed at authorities and officers.

“We need to make sure that anyone who steps up to serve their community at any level of politics is safe and that’s what we’re taking very seriously,” mentioned Trudeau.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino mentioned after a cupboard assembly Tuesday he thinks many components are at play which have made a panic button useful for MPs, corresponding to rising on-line extremist expression that “clearly crosses the Rubicon into criminal content where people receive death threats.”

In an earlier interview, Mendicino revealed he has been the topic of loss of life threats on social media in current weeks after presenting a invoice curbing gun possession.


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Mendicino assured utilizing the Emergencies Act was the ‘right call’


Mendicino assured utilizing the Emergencies Act was the ‘right call’ – May 1, 2022

Carolyn Bennett, minister of psychological health and addictions, mentioned after the cupboard assembly that since final summer time there have been growing considerations concerning the safety at the residences of MPs and extra protests at the places of work of MPs.

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Bennett additionally referenced final yr’s federal election, the place at a marketing campaign occasion, a handful of gravel was thrown at Trudeau exterior a political rally.

“People are executing their anger in ways that I don’t think we’ve seen before,” she mentioned.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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