Armoured car invades Parliament Hill

Police say two people who drove an armoured car onto Parliament Hill on Sunday night are free, but not in the clear just yet.

Two police cruisers blocked the Daimler Ferret just as the vehicle was turning towards the Centre Block.

The RCMP seized a .30 caliber machine-gun mounted on the vehicle's turret. It turned out to be inoperative and the two were allowed to drive away with their armoured car.

The Mounties don't believe the driver was planning anything sinister. Corporal Marc Richer says police didn't know what to think when an armoured car pulled onto Parliament Hill, but the Mounties accepted the driver's claim that he wasn't there to attack the seat of government.

"The information we have is that he was returning from an antique car show. And the fact that two of our police cars were able to immobilize this vehicle rather quickly shows the state of mind of these people. They were not in aggressive mode. But it's quite an awesome sight."

Police say they may still lay charges against the two for disturbing public order.

The Daimler Ferret is a 1959 armoured car once used by Canadian Forces in Cyprus and elsewhere. A number of them are owned by collectors in the Ottawa area.