Evidence of meeting #35 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was security.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

So you are saying that the majority of problems—if we want to phrase it as such—would more than likely occur if one were driving and coming in through the main checkpoint? But if you're walking, you say it's unlikely that one would—in Mr. Stoffer's case, obviously he encountered a problem, but in other cases, it's unlikely that if you were walking you would have a problem? By that, I mean, no security running across the front lawn to stop somebody who is walking up to Centre Block?

12:05 p.m.

Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Commons

Kevin Vickers

I take it, Mr. Chair, you are talking about during these visits?

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Yes.

12:05 p.m.

Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Commons

Kevin Vickers

During the visit, there are places where you would probably run into—especially the upper drive here. You see the steel fence gates. Usually RCMP officers are stationed there. That would probably be one of the places where they would be looking for you.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

That's what I'm getting at. In that case, you are down to two entrances, right? They are funnelled along the perimeter lines. If there are only two places where you would have occasion to run into outside security, would there then be the opportunity for House security people to be out there to assist the RCMP?

12:10 p.m.

Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Commons

Kevin Vickers

There have been occasions. Since 2000, I think there have been something like 55 visits. For four of those visits, we have had House security out there. Our jurisdiction or mandate as security people end at the doors of Parliament.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Understood.

12:10 p.m.

Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Commons

Kevin Vickers

Once we walk outside this building, we're civilians.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Understood. This wouldn't be in a security fashion. You would have no authority or no jurisdiction obviously—we understand the RCMP takes over outside the doors. This would merely be to assist. I don't know if that's the relationship between the RCMP and the security forces inside the House of Commons or the Parliament Buildings, but one would think that if it was just a simple offer to assist on those special occasions, do you anticipate any resistance from the RCMP? Couldn't that be a standard operating procedure to try to alleviate any potential problems?

12:10 p.m.

Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Commons

Kevin Vickers

This coming Monday, because of a request from the RCMP, we will have our House of Commons security people out there to assist in ensuring the identification of members of Parliament. We have an expectation, just as we do of all of our staff, that the RCMP take their responsibility on their jurisdiction seriously. We're somewhat concerned about going out there and doing their work for them. That's their jurisdiction. They have a mandate on the outside. We have a mandate on the inside. I'm always preaching to them that yes, if opportunities come we can assist. We certainly expect the RCMP to have trained people out there to do the job. They know your people; they have the booklets.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joe Preston

Sorry, you're way over. I was being very kind to you.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

You were being kind, Chair.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joe Preston

Mr. Zimmer, you have five minutes, please.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Prince George—Peace River, BC

This is more of a question for our internal security, Kevin. We've had conversations where I have had—I hate to call them run-ins, but I guess they are—restricted access to the chamber and other places, probably because I'm a new guy. Is there a directive to security whereby they are mandated to learn our faces, or is it optional? Often, I will go by—again, 90% of them are great, they will let you in, and it's fine. Some will still require our pins and ID. Then often when I'm leaving, I see them looking at Facebook; they have a lot of spare time.

12:10 p.m.

Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Commons

Kevin Vickers

It's a mandated thing. During their training they all have to recognize members of Parliament by face. We even have programs on the computer. You just hit the space bar and you can practice seeing the member and associating the name to the member of Parliament.