Poilievre urged to step aside over Hill breach
Opposition Liberals are calling on Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre to step aside as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's parliamentary secretary after his breach of Parliament Hill security triggered an RCMP probe.
The RCMP confirmed Poilievre, the MP for the Ottawa-area riding of Nepean-Carleton, drove through a Parliament Hill screening gate on Tuesday without proper clearance or submitting his vehicle to inspection.
CTV reported Poilievre became impatient while waiting in another lane at the gate as officers inspected a delivery truck and pressed the entrance button to let himself through the gate. Everyone, including MPs, must clear security checkpoints to gain access to Parliament Hill.
RCMP Sgt. Marc Ménard said the breach was reported immediately and deemed not an immediate threat once it was determined an MP passed through the gate. He said the RCMP accepted Poilievre's apology on Thursday and is continuing to work with all MPs and parliamentary staff to "increase awareness levels" about security on the Hill.
The Conservatives have tried to downplay the incident, but Liberal MP Todd Russell said Poilievre was "flouting the safeguards meant to protect the thousands of people who visit and work on Parliament Hill each day."
"The member pretends to be tough on crime," Russell said during Friday's question period in the House of Commons. "Why does he think the law applies to all Canadians except him?"
In his response, government House Leader John Baird urged parliamentarians to focus on making Canadians safer and getting tougher on criminals and terrorism.
"Let's focus on the people of Canada's priorities and not these trivial matters," Baird said.