RCMP’s Prime Minister Protection Detail (PMPD) is responsible for ensuring the protection of the Prime Minister in Canada and abroad, and protecting the official residences.
CIJnews has found that PMPD’s security arrangements are lax and do not provide the protection needed from possible threats.
That was case on Friday, December 2, 2016, when Trudeau participated in the Federation Day hosted by Toronto Elementary Teachers at Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Media representatives entered the hall without an adequate verification of their identity and their belongings and equipment were not searched. Thirty minutes later, thousands of teachers poured into the hall. The security team around Trudeau constituted of 5 to 7 bodyguards who were standing close to stage.
Immediately after the Q & A session Trudeau stepped down the stage to shake hands with the crowd who enthusiastically swarmed him.
On October 21, 2016, Ute Schmid-Jones, who ran for the Green Party of Canada in the 2015 federal election threw pumpkin seeds with hearts drawn on them as Trudeau was leaving city hall. Ute Schmid-Jones’ attack was carried out as a protest against the hearings by the National Energy Board in Hamilton on Enbridge Line 10 replacement project.
The Green Party vehemently opposes the federal government’s decision in November 2016 to approve two major pipeline projects. The Green party’s leader Elizabeth May warned she is ready to go to jail fighting Kinder Morgan Pipeline. Lynne Quarmby, GPC Science Policy Critic, said that “Trudeau’s political calculus is going to come hard up on some reality… I fear the intensity of the protests to come.”
Trudeau’s attendance in the Pride Parade in Toronto on July 3, 2016 is another glaring example for security complacency. Covering the event, CIJnews noticed the following:
- The access of vehicles to the main street (Yonge Street) of the Parade was blocked by the Police from all directions.
- The Police did not conduct any security check of the crowd.
- Tens of thousands of people were standing at both sides of Yonge Street (and in apartments overlooking the Parade) in very close proximity to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor, John Tory, ministers, members of Parliament and other dignitaries.
- Some people in the crowd shot at the Parade participants with water guns.
- Trudeau walked with no bullet-proof vest. He approached and made a direct contact with the crowd.
- Several undercover bodyguards in plain clothing were seen in the area around Trudeau.
The security measures around Trudeau reflect the assessment that the likelihood of attack aimed at the prime minister is very low. Trudeau’s security does not provide an adequate response to the threats. The repeated mass terror attacks in Europe and recently the assassination of Russian ambassador in Turkey should serve as a red flag for the security services in Canada, and spur an overhaul in the security measures around the prime minster, state institutions and public places.
The most serious threats are posed by the Islamic State (aka IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate) and al-Qaeda. Both have a motive and the capabilities to carry out terrorist attacks and assassination missions around the world. An al-Qaeda linked terror group An-Nusra claimed responsibility for the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey to take “revenge for the women, children and elderly killed in Aleppo.”