As MPs return to Hill, some still worry about safety despite enhanced security

·1 min read

OTTAWA — With a week until MPs return to Parliament Hill, the issue of safety is still top of mind for some as the threat of political violence has been on the rise.

In October 2020, the House of Commons board of internal economyapproved funding for several initiatives that would add supports and protections for members, such as evaluating the security at their residences and providing mobile panic buttons.

These initiatives came after Parliament's security service ramped up their presence on the precinct following reports of harassment against politicians, including NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh being followed by a man who attempted a citizen's arrest.

Jenny Kwan, NDP MP for Vancouver East, says she opted in to an expert security assessment of her home and it made her feel safer knowing the measures are up to par not just for herself but also her family.

While some MPs say the measures have helped, not all say they feel as reassured.

Michelle Rempel Garner, Conservative MP for Calgary Nose Hill, says she is not even comfortable talking about specific security measures she has taken, out of concern for her own safety.

Canada's federal election campaign saw acts of vandalism against candidates and vitriolic protests, including an incident where demonstrators threw gravel at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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