RCMP Security Posture, Parliament Hill, October 22, 2014

OPP Review & Recommendations
March 2015

OPP crest

Notes:

  1. Throughout the document ***** denotes where content was redacted as per the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.
    Due to the content redactions, the report was reformatted and therefore differs from the original version submitted to the RCMP.

  2. Confidential - This record and the information contained therein, is being provided in confidence And shall not be disclosed to any person without the express written consent of the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

  3. OPP Review & Recommendations – RCMP Security Posture at Parliament Hill. The contents of this document are to be considered PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL and are not to be released, reproduced in whole or in part without consent of the originator. It is not to be used in affidavits, court proceedings or subpoenas or for any legal or judicial purpose without consent of the originator.

Executive Summary

On November 24, 2014, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike CABANA requested the assistance of OPP Commissioner Vince HAWKES in conducting a review of the RCMP's involvement in relation to the shooting incident on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

More specifically, the scope of the review requested to examine the actions of RCMP officers from the moment Michael ZEHAF-BIBEAU entered the grounds of Parliament Hill to the moment he accessed Centre Block. The areas to be examined are:

  • The RCMP's security posture on the grounds of Parliament Hill at the time of the incident including compliance with Standard Operating Procedures; and
  • The RCMP's initial incident response including actions of RCMP officers, operational communications and compliance with Operational Preparedness Plan.

This request also supported any recommendations that would enhance the RCMP's cooperation with security partners.

Review Process

The team of OPP members involved in this review consisted of police officers from the Criminal Investigation Branch, Field Support Bureau (Emergency Response Team Coordinator and Critical Incident Command), Security Bureau, East Region (Support Team and Russell County Detachment Crime Unit), Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau, Communications and Technology Services Bureau, and Forensic Identification and Photographic Services Section.

As part of the Review Process, the RCMP provided OPP members with a guided visit of the grounds of Parliament Hill including the Vehicle Screening Facility and a visit of the RCMP Operational Command Centre. OPP members were also provided with a guided visit of Centre Block and a presentation on the events of October 22, 2014 by the House of Commons Security Service.

The members of the review OPP team conducted several interviews of RCMP officers, the Directors of both the House of Commons Security Service and Senate Security Services and Incident Commanders from the Ottawa Police Service involved in the incident on October 22, 2014.

Further interviews were conducted of federal employees from Parliament Hill and a retired House of Commons Clerk.

Numerous reports and related documents were also collected and reviewed. Many of these documents referred to previous reports and recommendations on Parliament Hill Security matters. These documents were provided by the RCMP, the Parliament Library Service, House of Commons Security Service, Senate Security Services, Ottawa Police Service and open public sources.

Assessment of Current Parliament Hill Security

In order to complete this review, it is important to understand the RCMP's responsibilities on Parliament Hill and the numerous complexities associated to providing proper security to this area.

Security Responsibilities

First and foremost it is necessary to understand the security responsibilities for Parliament Hill; including both inside the buildings and the grounds.

The RCMP is responsible for the security of the grounds surrounding the buildings on Parliament Hill. There are ***** full time RCMP officers assigned to the Parliament Precinct for this purpose.

The House of Commons Security Service and Senate Protective Services are responsible for security on the interior of the buildings. Both Services have a combined total of ***** security officer positions for this purpose.

These three separate agencies work with different communication systems, separate training and limited interactions between their members, operating in silos to provide security to Parliament Hill.

To add more complexity, the Ottawa Police Service is responsible to respond to any violations on Parliament Hill and is also responsible for the jurisdiction surrounding the area.

After the incident on October 22, 2014, the House of Commons Security Service and Senate Protective Services announced that they would work collaboratively to unify their services on the interior of the building with plans to equip all their officers with firearms. The target date for this is the spring of 2015.

On February 4, 2015, the Federal Government announced that the RCMP will take over operational command of all security on Parliament Hill.

This proposed unification is the most important change required in improving security on Parliament Hill, supported by this review and as recommended in numerous other reviews.

Security Concept of Parliament Hill

The approach to the security and protection of Parliament Hill is highly inadequate. *****

The following related issues are some of the main concerns identified with the security of Parliament Hill:

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  • Unrestricted Public access to the grounds of Parliament Hill.
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  • Parliamentarians views on unimpeded access to Parliament Hill.
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  • Security challenges with the ongoing renovation and construction on the grounds of Parliament Hill for the next 15 to 25 years.

These security issues not only make this area vulnerable but are a concern for officer safety as well.

RCMP's Security Posture on the Grounds of Parliament Hill at the time of the Incident

The RCMP posture on Parliament Hill has been challenging due to the limited amount of resources available; which are reflective of budget cuts in 2012. The level of resources assigned has been maintained through internal funding, relying on reservists and overtime to meet the proper staffing levels for the required posture.

In January 2013, the RCMP's threat assessment of Parliament Hill was determined to be at a *****. This proved to be even more challenging in maintaining the level of resources required for this area.

Further, with the present security structure of Parliament Hill, the RCMP is unfortunately limited *****.

The following are issues identified with the RCMP posture:
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RCMP Initial Incident Response

On October 22, 2014, ***** RCMP officers were on duty on Parliament Hill. At approximately 9:52 am, a lone gunman ran onto the grounds of Parliament Hill through the East Block gates pedestrian access. He proceeded to a parked vehicle near the East Block, removed the driver and drove the vehicle up to the front entrance of Centre Block. He exited the vehicle with a long gun in hand and entered Centre Block.

Some of the RCMP officers observed the gunman on his way to Centre Block but were unable to stop him before he breached the doors of the building.

Once inside, the gunman was confronted by House of Commons Security Officers and there was an exchange of gunfire.

RCMP officers responded to the front steps of Centre Block soon after the gunman had entered the building. Several Officers gathered at the front door of Centre Block and hesitated entering the building due to directives to never enter the building armed. Once a supervisor arrived, he ordered the officers to enter. Approximately ***** officers entered Centre Block and assisted in eliminating the threat.

Issues identified in the RCMP initial incident response:
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Collaboration with Security Partners

The working relationship between the House of Commons Security Service, the Senate Protective Services and the RCMP is inadequate. All three agencies work as separate entities, with limited interaction or sharing of information. Aside from meetings with the Master Security Plan Committee, all three agencies independently focused on their areas of responsibility. There are numerous issues associated with this lack of cooperation, which should be resolved with the proposed Unified Force.

The relationship between the RCMP and the Ottawa Police Service is excellent. There is good cooperation and exchange of information between both agencies. It was noted that there is no consistency in calls for service to the Ottawa Police Service on Parliament Hill. The Ottawa Police Service should be included on the Master Security Plan Committee and participate in training exercises with Security Agencies on Parliament Hill.

Recommendations

This report contains several recommendations and proposals to address many of the issues identified in the review. Some of the recommendations will require significant change and are aimed at providing the ultimate approach to the Security of Parliament Hill, while maximizing the use of available resources.

There have been numerous reviews and reports previously authorized by the RCMP, the Office of the Auditor General, Parliamentarians, other departments and individuals focusing on the Security of Parliament Hill. All of these reports have resulted in numerous recommendations similar to those proposed in this review. Unfortunately, few of these recommendations have been implemented.

Key Recommendations of This Report

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Consideration for the implementation of these recommendations should focus on prevention and providing a safe environment.

Although the financial considerations were not evaluated as part of this report, the cost of providing a security service to Parliament Hill will undoubtedly be reduced with the restructuring and expected reduction of resources required. The initial cost of new security equipment will be recuperated in a short period of time.

This review did not focus on any political motivation, historical or traditional ideology. The escalation of terrorism threats and the ability for these terrorists to successfully utilize new technology supports the need for updating security measures on Parliament Hill.

Members of the OPP review team commend the actions of the responding RCMP officers on October 22, 2014. This is a day that will not only remain in Canadian history, but will remain in the hearts and minds of those that responded.

Parliament Hill is a symbol of Canadian democracy. If Canada is to remain vigilant and proactive in dealing with threats directed to this country, there has to be a willingness to implement changes to protect this area.

RCMP Review

Incident Overview

The actions of Michael ZEHAF-BIBEAU on October 22, 2014, are considered to be the most serious security breach on Parliament Hill in history. The incident raised concerns worldwide about the effectiveness of security measures in place at the Canadian Parliament Buildings.

The fact that a lone gunman accessed the grounds of Parliament Hill with a long gun, commandeered a vehicle and entered Centre Block without being intercepted may appear to be implausible. *****

On October 22, 2014, Parliament was in session and there were approximately ***** people in Centre Block, including ***** Parliamentarians made up of Members of Parliament and Senators, government employees, media and visitors.

After the shooting incident at the Cenotaph, the gunman drove westbound on Wellington Street, abandoned his car just outside the East Block gates of Parliament Hill and entered the grounds through the pedestrian access. The shooter then ran to a Parliamentarian's vehicle parked near the East Block. The shooter forced the driver out of the vehicle and drove up to Centre Block near the Clock Tower. The shooter then entered Centre Block with a long gun in hand through the main doors.

RCMP officers observed the gunman as he made his way to Centre Block, but they did not intercept him before entering the building.

Video Footage: Parliament Hill Shooting

Drone Photo of Parliament Hill Centre Block

Parliament Hill Map with Measurements

Approximately ***** RCMP officers converged at the front entrance of Centre Block but did not enter the building. An RCMP supervisor arrived shortly thereafter and entered Centre Block with the other RCMP officers already at the scene. The gunman was quickly located and eliminated inside Centre Block but several reports of other gunmen sightings followed. In the time period that followed, up to 13 different suspects had been reported in the vicinity of Parliament Hill.

There was a massive Police response from various agencies. Police Command Centres were set up and lockdowns put in place. The search for other suspects was completed and police eventually confirmed there was only one gunman involved. The Parliament Buildings were cleared by police and the lockdown lifted.

Assessment of Current Parliament Hill Security

From the onset of this review, it was clear that there are many facets and influences that impact the ability to deliver proper security service to Parliament Hill. It is crucial to have an understanding of the RCMP's responsibility on Parliament Hill and the challenges involved in service delivery.

There are many historical and political influences involved in regards to the security of Parliament Hill that have been the catalyst in resisting changes in security recommendations in past reports, reviews and audits.

The framework for the security evaluation is based on a protective system to integrate physical protective measures. It also identifies procedures to protect personnel and assets against threats. These threats may be vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, man portable improvised explosive devices, active shooter, public disorder, and other criminal activity. The tenets of this integrated security system are:

  • Deterrence - A potential aggressor who perceives the risk of being caught may defer from attacking. The effectiveness of deterrence may vary based on the perpetrator's sophistication and intent i.e. ideological, criminal and mental health.

  • Detection - *****

  • Reaction - Includes the abilities of security forces to delay, deny and respond to an attack. To achieve this they must have pre-incident training and establish best practices to ensure the protection of life and property. The reaction must be capable of stopping the threat through interdiction and control/mitigate the threat of first contact. This will be achieved through:

    • Pre-incident planning.
    • Training.
    • Equipment and infrastructure.

Security Responsibilities

There are three Agencies responsible to provide security on Parliament Hill. The RCMP is responsible for security on the exterior grounds. The House of Commons Security Service and Senate Protective Services are responsible for security of the interior of the buildings.

The RCMP Parliamentary Precinct has ***** full time Police Officers. In order to fulfill the daily minimum security requirements, the RCMP utilizes the Reservist program to augment its services.

The House of Commons Security Service and Senate Protective Services have a combined total of ***** security officer positions assigned. Only plain clothes officers of the House of Commons Security Service are armed.

There are a total of ***** full time security positions in place to provide security to Parliament Hill.

All three agencies operate in silos, using different communication systems with no interoperability. There is separate training with no formal joint training exercises and limited interactions between their officers.

Additionally, the Ottawa Police Service is responsible for any police related calls for service on Parliament Hill. The Ottawa Police Service is responsible for the jurisdiction surrounding Parliament Hill including the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River.

On November 25, 2014, the House of Commons Security Service and Senate Protective Services announced that they would unify their services to have one security service on the interior of the Parliament Buildings. All of their officers would be trained and armed to carry firearms. The unification was set to occur in the spring of 2015.

On February 4, 2015, the Federal Government announced that the RCMP will take over operational command of all security on Parliament Hill, including security oversight and command of security of the interior of the Parliament buildings.

Security Concept of Parliament Hill

The security framework and focus for both the grounds and buildings of Parliament Hill makes it extremely difficult for all three agencies involved to provide a proper service, leaving this area vulnerable and very difficult to protect. The focus on layers of Security is strengthened from the interior to the exterior. The vast majority of security resources are stationed inside the building(s). *****

Parliament Hill Security Recommendations

Three Agencies Providing Security Services to Parliament Hill

Unification is by far the greatest issue that has been identified and studied. It has been the primary focus of several reviews and recommendations in the past. The House of Commons Security Service, Senate Protective Services and the RCMP are working separately to provide security to a small area which is not conducive to achieving positive results.

There are many concerns associated to this issue such as the lack of interaction, communication, intelligence sharing and different training. There are also different radio systems and Officers from each agency are unfamiliar with one another.

Some examples of related issues are:

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  • There are no joint training requirements.
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  • ***** RCMP officers involved demonstrated excellent firearm discipline.
  • ***** topic was the main focus in relation to the Greenpeace incident of 2009 but was never resolved.
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These are only a few examples of the many related issues with the lack of collaboration and interoperability between these agencies.

Recommendation

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Access to the Grounds of Parliament Hill

Pedestrian Access

There is unlimited pedestrian access to the grounds of Parliament Hill through various openings in the fence on the outer perimeter. The fence surrounding the grounds is useful for preventing vehicular traffic *****

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One of the biggest concerns repeatedly expressed by officers is their lack of legal authority ***** Due to previous public complaints and to maintain the concept of "Open public access" *****. ***** when a VIP is present at an event like the Canada Day Celebrations. Ironically, anyone can walk to Centre Block, enter the building through the visitors' area, where they are asked to identify themselves, have their bags searched and go through a metal detector. *****

Recommendations

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Vehicular Access

This issue has been raised through several reports in the past and was unresolved. The access to a vehicle on October 22, 2014 was a clear factor in the inability of officers to intercept the attacker.

Video of Parked Car Taken by ZEHAF-BIBEAU

Photo of Parked Car Taken by ZEHAF-BIBEAU

There is a clear expectation from Parliamentarians and some employees on Parliament Hill that their vehicles should not be subject to any verification and should be simply waved through the vehicle screening facility. *****

Further if a vehicle is denied access to Parliament Hill at the Vehicle Screening Facility; it is directed through the VSF with access to the grounds of Parliament Hill, in order to exit back onto the street. The RCMP has a vehicle blocking access to the grounds *****

Recommendations

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Outdated and lack of Security Equipment

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Recommendations

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Evacuation Plans

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Recommendations

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Airspace Monitoring

The monitoring of restricted airspace over the grounds of Parliament Hill is conducted at the Ottawa Airport. *****

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Recommendation

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Parliamentarians' Views on Unimpeded Access to Parliament Hill

The issue of Parliamentarians having the right to unimpeded access to Parliament Hill is historic and has been subject to various interpretations. This ideology has been well documented in a book written by Joseph Maingot.

Parliamentary Privilege in Canada by Joseph Maingot

The original purpose of Parliamentarians having unimpeded access to Parliament was to prevent authorities from controlling votes in Parliament by temporarily restricting access to Parliament. There have been a couple of incidents in the recent past where Parliamentarians have been delayed by the RCMP for security reasons in accessing Parliament. This has raised the issue of impeding access of Parliamentarians to Parliament.

In an interview with a retired Clerk of the House of Commons, it was explained to officers that "Parliamentary Privilege is a very important power and will also be the biggest hurdle to overcome to make significant security changes. Any new security force that will be put in place needs to first and foremost capture the trust of the Government and Parliament. This is the only way that any change will be accepted."

Recommendation

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Construction on Parliament Hill

The ongoing construction on Parliament Hill is expected to last another 15 years and possibly up to 25 years. This brings several challenges to providing proper security and the majority of the recommendations in this report will be impacted by this issue. The access to Parliament Hill by commercial vehicles and numerous construction workers will elevate the need for Security to adapt as construction expands to various areas of Parliament Hill.

Recommendation

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Additional Recommendations for Parliament Hill Security

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RCMP Posture on Parliament Hill

The security posture on Parliament Hill on October 22, 2014 was consistent with the procedures as outlined in the Parliament Hill Security Unit Standard Operating Procedures dated January 3, 2014. However, the response was limited because of pre-existing deficiencies in training, pre-incident planning, and equipment. A great number of these deficiencies were identified in reports and recommendations such as:

Further, maintaining a proper security posture on Parliament Hill has been challenging for the RCMP due to the limited amount of resources available which are reflective of budget cuts in 2012. The level of resources assigned has been costly, maintained through internal RCMP funding, relying on reservists and overtime to meet the proper staffing levels for the required security posture.

In January 2013, the RCMP's threat assessment of Parliament Hill was determined to be at a *****. This proved to be even more challenging in maintaining the level of resources required for this area. The RCMP posture was maintained and the resources assigned to this location had not increased.

RCMP Parliament Hill Posture on October 22, 2014 Recommendations

Operational Preparedness

One of the main issues raised by persons interviewed during this review was the fact that the RCMP was not prepared to deal with this type of threat due to lack of planning, training and resources. The vast majority of the other issues identified in this section of the report can be linked to operational preparedness.

Recommendations

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Radio Communication

Radio Communication is always at the forefront of any debrief with recommendations to resolve related issues. There were several communication issues identified in this review:

  • Radio interoperability with other police agencies does not exist within the RCMP. Currently all communications with multi-jurisdictional partners occurs over the Operational Command Centre phone system. The lack of communication interoperability between agencies and other units was a major issue during this incident. The House of Commons Security Service, the Senate Protective Services and the RCMP all operate on different radio systems. The House of Commons Service Plain Clothes officers operate on a different channel than their uniform counterpart. ***** Agencies and units could not communicate with each other as events quickly unfolded, which caused a delay in relaying information effectively. This led to the inability to deploy resources efficiently. Radio interoperability would have been required in this multi-jurisdictional event. *****
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  • The RCMP permits officers to communicate in both French and English through radio communications. During this incident, one officer who responded to Parliament Hill noted that he heard the word gun over the air, but did not understand the context in which it was used. This is a definite issue, especially when other agencies are involved *****
  • The Operational Command Centre is also dealing with staff shortages that impact operations and are managed by providing overtime shifts for coverage. *****
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Recommendations

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Monitoring of Security Cameras

*****As previously noted, on October 22, 2014, there were several reports of multiple active shooters. *****

Recommendations

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Officer Training - Joint Training

There are a number of training issues that were identified in this review. This includes training specific to officers assigned to Parliament Hill and joint training with other agencies such as Ottawa Police Service and other emergency responders.

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Recommendations

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Long Guns

The RCMP officers on Parliament Hill need access to a long gun that has a multi- purpose capability. Currently, trained officers have access to an MP-5 rifle.

Recommendations

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RCMP Support Units Availability

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Recommendations

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Selection of officers Assigned to Parliament Hill

There are two types of officers stationed at Parliament Hill: Regular full-time officers and Reservists. These officers are generally stationed at Parliament Hill for a three (3) to five (5) year period. The practice of posting officers at Parliament Hill for a specified time frame is encouraged to maintain a highly skilled workforce at this location.

It is common for RCMP officers to request a transfer to Parliament Hill to enable them to return to the Ottawa area. Being assigned to Parliament Hill is not looked upon as a favourable position by most officers due to the perception of this being a "Security Guard" position. The majority of these officers are capable of performing full unrestricted work duties. There are some officers that have certain performance of duty restrictions due to their medical profile. These officers should be given work relative to their functional abilities and should not be placed in a role where they may have to respond to an incident such as the one that unfolded on October 22, 2014.

Much of the support for the House of Commons Security Service and Senate Protective Services Officers are based on the fact that these officers have a good working relationship with other employees and Parliamentarians.

The belief of many Parliamentarians is the RCMP officers on Parliament Hill are unhappy with their assignment and are only posted there temporarily.

The implementation of specific training and support referred to in this report should improve working conditions, making the Parliament Hill Precinct a sought after position.

Recommendations

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Master Security Plan Meetings

The Master Security Plan meetings are an excellent venue for exchange of information. Unfortunately, these meetings have been of limited value due to the lack of information sharing. The Ottawa Police Service is not invited to these meetings.

Recommendations

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Additional Recommendations for Parliament Hill Security Posture

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RCMP Parliament Hill Response on October 22, 2014 Recommendations

RCMP Initial Incident Response

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 started like most business days on Parliament Hill. Parliament was in session and there were approximately ***** people in Centre Block, including ***** Parliamentarians consisting of Members of Parliament and Senators, government employees, media and visitors.

The RCMP had ***** officers strategically deployed to Parliament Hill. All of these positions were assigned to static posts, with the exception of ***** mobile patrol. The events that precipitated that day ***** This portion of the review will focus on the officers' response to the shooting, related training and available equipment.

After the shooting incident at the Cenotaph, the gunman drove up Wellington Street, abandoned his car just outside the East Block gates of Parliament Hill and entered the grounds through the pedestrian access. The shooter then ran to a Parliamentarian's vehicle parked near the East Block, forced the driver out of the vehicle and drove up to Centre Block near the Clock Tower, where he entered Centre Block with a long gun in hand through the main doors.

Interactive Map of RCMP Response to Shooting Incident on Parliament Hill

RCMP Officer Response

Elements of the RCMP Security Force were in position to interdict the armed gunman prior to entering the Parliament Building but did not. Photos of ZEHAF-BIBEAU's Approach to Centre Block on Parliament Hill. RCMP officers identified the armed subject entering the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, in fresh pursuit, however paused at the entrance until the Shift NCO arrived. The Shift NCO led the entry into the Parliament Building ***** RCMP officers reacting took initiative *****

This review is not critical of the officers' response and actions. The officers responded based on what they deemed was the correct course of action. Officers are not subject to any mandated training to address threats such as this on Parliament Hill. They acted in a manner that they deemed was proper.

The RCMP site supervisor made the conscious decision to enter Centre Block with the officers that were waiting at the door. *****

Recommendations

(Changes have already been implemented since October 22, 2014 to address some of these recommendations)
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Incident Command and Control

After the threat had been eliminated, on October 22, 2014, the supervisor on scene requested assistance *****
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Recommendations

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Collaboration with Security Partners

House of Commons Security Service & the Senate Protective Services

The collaboration between the House of Commons Security Service, the Senate Protective Services and the RCMP is limited to minimal interaction. The Master Security Plan Committee meetings are an excellent opportunity for interoperability; however, all three agencies believe that the results of these meetings are focused on complaints rather than a healthy exchange of information. The recommendations for a Unified Security Force in numerous reports have caused a sense of self preservation and an "us against them" attitude between these agencies. Aside from a few training exercises in the past, all three agencies work independently. All the agencies are quick to find fault with each other as opposed to working together to provide a superior service. The implementation of a Unified Security Force will eliminate the issue of competing interests and allow one agency to focus on providing security.

Ottawa Police Service

The Ottawa Police Service and the RCMP have a very healthy working relationship and their collaboration is excellent. They support each other at various events on Parliament Hill and have an ongoing exchange of information when dealing with similar issues of interest. As the police service of jurisdiction for Parliament Hill, the Ottawa Police Service has noted that its calls for service are inconsistent in this area. The RCMP will handle some of the calls for service and call Ottawa Police Service for other similar incidents. This hasn't caused any issue other than the noted inconsistency to the Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies. Ottawa Police Service also noted that it would benefit from joint training exercises with the RCMP on Parliament Hill and its officers visiting the interior of the Parliament buildings on a regular basis. The Ottawa Police Service is not represented on the Master Security Plan Committee and advises that it should be included to take part in those discussions and decisions.

Other Security Breaches On Parliament Hill

In addition to the incident on October 22, 2014, there have been other concerning incidents resulting in breaches of Security on Parliament Hill such as:

  • May 18, 1966 - Paul Chartier, an unemployed man from Toronto, accidentally blew himself up in a public toilet in Parliament's Centre Block. His intention had been to throw the bomb onto the floor of the House of Commons that was in session. Police later found personal notes in which he expressed his desire to "exterminate as many officers as possible." The explosion took place around three o'clock in the afternoon and the House was immediately adjourned.

  • April 7, 1989 - A Greyhound bus with 11 passengers en route from Montreal to Plattsburgh, New York was hijacked by an armed gunman named Charles Yacoub late on a Friday morning and then driven to Parliament Hill's East Block. Yacoub released one female hostage with a note around 2:25 p.m. and then proceeded to fire two shots out a bus window before pulling it up onto the front lawn. After firing another shot towards the U.S. Embassy, that was then located across the street on Wellington Street, Yacoub released several hostages as he negotiated with police. By 7:50 p.m., he had surrendered. Yacoub's motive was reportedly frustration over his inability to bring his parents to Canada from Lebanon, a country in the midst of a civil war. The 33-year-old Lebanese-born man was sentenced by the Ontario Supreme Court to a six-year jail term.

  • February 7, 1997 - Roger Lamoureux, a 35-year old man from Cantley Quebec, drove his Jeep up the staircase in front of Parliament Hill's Centre Block, coming to a stop just short of the main entrance. He was subsequently restrained by security guards upon exiting his Jeep. Having been diagnosed with paranoid delusion disorder two years earlier, he believed "white supremacists were on a mission to recruit him to commit hate crimes." He stated he was trying to warn fellow Canadians. An Ontario Court of Justice found him not guilty by reason of a mental disorder.

These incidents all demonstrate how vulnerable and easily accessible this area is to attacks.

Previous Security Reviews and Recommendations

This report encompasses several recommendations and proposals to address many of the issues identified in the review. Some of the recommendations will require significant change and are aimed at providing the best approach to the Protection and Security of Parliament Hill, while maximizing the use of available resources.

Consideration for the implementation of these recommendations should focus on prevention and providing a safe environment.

There have been numerous reviews and reports by the RCMP, the Office of the Auditor General, Parliamentarians, other federal departments and individuals focusing on the security of Parliament Hill. All of these reports have resulted in numerous recommendations similar to those proposed in this review.

Unfortunately, few of these recommendations have been implemented. List of Previous Reports Reviewed:

Recommendations consistent in all six (6) Reviews:

  • Improve Interoperability with Other Services.
  • Improve Tactics and Training.
  • Increase Staffing.
  • Pedestrian Screening and Access.
  • Review and Improve Communications.
  • Unified Security Force.
  • Update and Add Electronic Monitoring Technology.

Report Recommendations Categorized

Conclusion

The unfortunate incidents of October 22, 2014 at the Cenotaph and Parliament Hill are a grim reminder that Canada is ill-prepared to prevent and respond to such attacks.

Fortunately, the attacker was unorganized. The end results could have been much worse with the likelihood of many more casualties. If we consider the organized attack in France that occurred in January 2015, anything similar at Parliament Hill with the present security in place would have devastating results.

There have been other terrorist related incidents worldwide and in Canada since October 22, 2014, that are indicators that similar attacks are possible and probable.

On October 22, 2014, the RCMP security posture and response to an active shooter on Parliament Hill could have been more effective. However, when consideration is given to the many complexities of the overall security on Parliament Hill, the RCMP security posture on the grounds of Parliament Hill was reflective of the expectations and influence of several other parties and agencies involved. The RCMP officers who responded to Centre Block should be commended for their actions in assisting to eliminate the threat.

Unfortunately, with the security structure of Parliament Hill at the time of this incident, the RCMP's ability to provide any proactive policing was limited.

The changes and recommendations in this report would provide the tools and support for the RCMP to improve its ability to prevent similar attacks. The recent announcement of a Unified Security Force will have a significant impact on improving security on Parliament Hill.

There have been a number of security breach incidents on Parliament Hill in the past and numerous reports focused on Parliament Security with several recommendations but few have been implemented. The mindset in providing adequate security and public accessibility needs to change to provide a strategic approach to protect our Nation's Capital.

Appendix A - Related document links

Note:

The content of the tabs was redacted as per the Access to Information Act.

  1. Tab 1 Video Footage re: Parliament Hill Shooting
  2. Tab 2 Drone Photo of Parliament Hill Centre Block
  3. Tab 3 Parliament Hill Map with Measurements
  4. Tab 4 *****
  5. Tab 5 *****
  6. Tab 6 *****
  7. Tab 7 Video of Parked Car Taken by ZEHAF-BIBEAU
  8. Tab 8 Photo of Parked Car Taken by ZEHAF-BIBEAU
  9. Tab 9 *****
  10. Tab 10 Parliamentary Privilege in Canada by Joseph Maingot
  11. Tab 11 RCMP Review: Video Surveillance Security Measures
  12. Tab 12 Background Information: Perimeter Pedestrian Screening
  13. Tab 13 RCMP Proposal Parliamentary Precinct Security Force
  14. Tab 14 Interactive Map of RCMP Response to Shooting Incident on Parliament Hill
  15. Tab 15 Photos of ZEHAF-BIBEAU's Approach to Centre Block on Parliament Hill
  16. Tab 16 1992 OAG Auditor General Report
  17. Tab 17 2012 OAG Auditor General Report
  18. Tab 18 2014 Final Draft Action Review Parliament Hill Incident External Engagement & Co-Ordination
  19. Tab 19 2006 Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
  20. Tab 20 2009 Security Recommendations: Greenpeace Incident
  21. Tab 21 2013 Parliamentary Precinct Security Force RCMP Recommendations
  22. Tab 22 Report Recommendations Categorized
  23. Tab 23 Drone Video of Parliament Hill

Appendix B - Recommendations

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