British Columbia

Stephen Harper's B.C. tour: scouts, protest, more security

The Prime Minister's B.C. tour continued to Vancouver Island Tuesday, where he met with supporters, scouts and 150 more protesters.

PM's staff tight for Cowichan Valley visit after security breach at Vancouver Board of Trade

Protesters at Brentwood College School in Mill Bay blocked the Prime Minister's motorcade and delayed his appearance by an hour. (Chek TV )

The Prime Minister's B.C. tour continued to Vancouver Island Tuesday, where he met with supporters, scouts and 150 more protesters.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper — surrounded by a tight security contingent — was scheduled to deliver a speech to Conservative supporters at Brentwood College School, a private school in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, but was delayed over an hour by a blockade at the gate.

Groups opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project and First Nations groups including Idle No More protesters organized the rally on social media in just over a day. It is the second protest in two days against Harper during his B.C. tour.

A protester blocks a car trying to drive through the gates of Brentwood College School in Mill Bay before Prime Minister Stephen Harper's appearance. (Chek TV )

Protester Sheila Bell Irving with Save Shawnigan Water was there to voice her opposition to plans to dump contaminated soil from the Victoria area in her community.

"They want to dump five million tonnes of contaminated toxic soil in our watershed for the next 50 years," she said.

Harper's motorcade made it through the protest.

His security staff were on alert after a surprise security breach at the Vancouver Board of Trade Monday.

Two climate change protesters dressed as waiters simply walked onto the stage behind the Prime Minister. The two were arrested, but RCMP said charges will not be laid.

Security expert and retired RCMP officer Larry Busch said the breach is worrisome.

"It is a big concern because that is too close, that is much too close for any person who's not been pre-screened to get to the Prime Minister," he said.

Busch said this kind of action can go so far as to inspire other groups to pull off an even more brazen stunt.

"So we recognize that and our security is always based on threat and risk assessments," he said. "So you can bet there's going to be a lot more threat and risk assessment, background work being done for the Prime Minister."

Busch said we may see more security guards closer to the Prime Minister, much more often.

Scouts leader Bruce Hallsor said his troop was pre-screened for their meeting with the Prime Minister today at the Shell Aerocentre in North Saanich.

with files from the CBC's Susana Da Silva and Chek TV


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