An email sent to senators and MPs on Saturday morning, seen by Global News, warned of a “possible threat.”
“Please be advised that there is an ongoing operation in order to deal with a possible threat,” the email read.
Global News learned RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), the force’s counter-terrorism investigators, had been called but it had not officially been called a terrorism investigation.
Later in the day, police said no public safety threat was identified and the area was reopened to the public after two vehicles were searched. One was searched at the Supreme Court and the other at Metcalfe and Slater Street.
Two persons of interest were also located, Ottawa police confirmed.
A public safety source told Global News earlier in the day that police received information that raised concerns about a possible, credible threat from explosives near Parliament Hill.
National security sources have verified this information to Global News.
Two police sources have told Global News the tip about potential explosives in vehicles came from the Canada Border Services Agency.
“The Canada Border Services Agency does not confirm/deny or comment on ongoing investigations or policing matters,” a senior spokesperson for the agency told Global News in an email.
Two police sources said arrests have taken place and are about to be announced.
The shelter in place order instructed those in the parliamentary precinct not to move in or out of buildings.
“Parliament Hill has been evacuated,” the email said.
The Parliamentary Protective Service told Global News an operation was “underway” regarding a possible threat.
“As the situation is ongoing, our highest priority continues to be the safety of the parliamentary community and the public,” a spokesperson said.
“We continue to work closely with our security partners.”
In a tweet Saturday morning, Ottawa Police Services said officers were taking part in an “ongoing investigation” at Parliament Hill. A portion of Wellington Street outside the parliament was closed, police said.
An update from Ottawa police described it as “a suspicious incident” around Parliament Hill. “There is a large police presence,” the tweet noted.
“The suspicious incident investigation at Parliament Hill is complete,” Ottawa police said in a tweet. “We thank the public for its cooperation.”
— with files from Global News’ Twinkle Ghosh and David Akin