Flag is lowered to half staff at B.C. legislature Wednesday after soldier confirmed killed in Ottawa shooting. Police van part of heightened security.

UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner

Premier Christy Clark, NDP leader John Horgan say public access to democratic institutions must continue

Extra security is in place at the B.C. legislature in Victoria, part of the response to shootings at Parliament Hill in Ottawa this morning.

Premier Christy Clark told reporters Wednesday there was a review of legislature security after an attempted plot to place homemade bombs on the legislature grounds before Canada Day celebrations in July 2013. That resulted in tighter security measures that will be reviewed again in the wake of the Ottawa shootings, Clark said.

B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong said security staff have recommended installation of a security scanner for visitors, and he and NDP house leader Mike Farnworth have endorsed the plan.

In the legislature, Clark called for the tradition of open democracy to be maintained.

“Out of these tragedies today, we must all remember, first, to be grateful for those who work for us every day to keep us safe; second, to be grateful for the institutions we have built that have made Canada a model of democracy around the world; third, to move forward into the future and continue to make the decisions that Canada needs — unafraid to do what we need to do to stand up for this country, to ensure that citizens in Canada continue to have access to their public institutions, and unafraid to defend democracy and the institutions that have defined Canada for generations,” Clark said.

NDP leader John Horgan echoed that sentiment.

“As important as security measures will be over the next number of hours and days and weeks, not just here and in Ottawa but in every legislature in this country, we have to always keep in the forefront of our mind, in the forefront of the decisions that we make around security, that this institution belongs to the people of British Columbia — not to the 85 of us, but to everyone who lives in this province,” Horgan said. “They need to have access to those institutions if we’re going to continue to be defiant in the face of the insanity that happened today in Ottawa.”

Visitors to the legislature were restricted to scheduled tours, and only previously invited guests were allowed in the public gallery for Wednesday’s Question Period.

The legislature was closed to unscheduled visitors for today’s sitting, said Craig James, clerk of the B.C. legislature. He said legislature staff received a heightened risk alert this week, and a small number of MLAs were made aware of it. But there was no specific threat against the B.C. legislature.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: Pre-clearance changes at Canadian airports

Some believe these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Successful Canadian Sport School coming to Penticton

A meeting is planned for February about Canadian Sport School - Penticton

Vehicle fire occurred outside of fire departments’ coverage areas

Neither Summerland nor Peachland detachments attended incident at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park

U.S. lawyer charged with allegedly smuggling restricted firearms across Osoyoos border

Shawn Jensen allegedly smuggled AR-15, Ruger .22 over U.S./Canada border, with no licence.

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Most Read