Video: An ambulance was called to the Prime Minister’s residence on Saturday night to treat an 18-year-old for alcohol poisoning. Vassy Kapelos has the details.
OTTAWA – Paramedics were called to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s official residence last weekend, reportedly to attend to an 18-year-old female with suspected alcohol poisoning.
The RCMP confirmed that Ottawa Paramedic Services were called to 24 Sussex Dr. on the weekend, but provided no other details.
According to Jenna Zeisig, whose cousin was at the residence, there was an 18th birthday party for Harper’s son, Ben, at 24 Sussex on Saturday.
“She said (the party) was really big,” Zeisig said.
Quebec’s Cogeco News reported Wednesday that the woman suffered from what was suspected to be alcohol poisoning after attending a party at the residence and was transported to hospital.
A spokesman for the paramedics said they responded to a call on Sussex Drive early Sunday morning. “Due to confidentiality reasons we cannot comment further on the specifics of the call,” spokesman J.P Trottier wrote in an email.
The RCMP said the call was not related to anyone in the Harper family.
“The RCMP’s role is to ensure the personal protection of the Prime Minister and his family. The RCMP is also responsible for security at their official residence,” spokeswoman Cpl. Lucy Shorey wrote in an email.
“This was a medical call and not a police matter. It did not involve any of our protectees.”
A spokesman for the prime minister’s office said he had nothing to add to the story.
Harper’s son, Ben, is a student at a downtown Ottawa high school.
The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19.
WATCH: Questions being raised about what’s really going on behind closed doors at 24 Sussex Drive
In Ontario it is legal to serve your own underage children alcohol, but not other peoples’ children, even with parental consent, said Andrew Murie, chief executive officer of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Canada.
If parents know there is underage drinking in the home and don’t do anything about it, they could be civilly liable upon accident or death, he said.
“If you even had any awareness there was underage people there, you can’t turn a blind eye to it,” said Murie.
But the difficulty is proving the parents knew.
“Underage drinking is common. What very seldom happens is there’s actually lawsuits brought and damages awarded, because you have to prove the pure negligence of the people that were involved with it,” he said.
“A lot of times in these underage parties, the parents don’t know.”
Murie added that in most cases, parents stumble across drunk teenagers and are forced to deal with the situation. He said it’s possible that happened to the Harpers last weekend.
“This lady could have shown up, Harper’s had nothing to do with it, they saw the girl was in great harm, did what every responsible parent would do, call the paramedics got her taken care of, and they had no role in this whatsoever,” he said.
“That’s also very typical as well.”
© Shaw Media, 2014