Union leader unsure of plan to put RCMP in charge of Parliament Hill security

A RCMP cruiser sits parked on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matthew Usherwood

OTTAWA – Will putting the Mounties in charge of security for all of Parliament Hill actually make it safer?

The head of the union that represents the existing internal security team thinks not.

None of the 225 guards currently patrolling inside the Parliament Buildings will lose their jobs under the new security plan, which is contained within the budget bill now before the House of Commons.

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But union head Roch Lapensee says requiring a senior RCMP officer report to both the speakers of the Senate and the Commons – as well as the RCMP, potentially – risks creating confusion in the event of an incident.

It was the defacto head of the internal security service – sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers – who shot and killed a gunman who ran past RCMP officers on and into the Centre Block last October.

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While several studies have been conducted on the security response that day and what could be improved, none have been made public.

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