Base Gagetown checks everyone for ID, creates traffic delays
Hundreds of cars lined up as base conducted 100% identification check at all gates
Motorists trying to get to 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown experienced lengthy delays on Thursday morning as all people entering the base were being checked for identification.
Stéphanie Duchesne, of the base's public affairs division, said the base was conducting "100 per cent ID verification at all three gates."
Traffic delays were to be expected, she stated.
The heightened security comes in the wake of a soldier being killed Wednesday in Ottawa while on guard at the National War Memorial.
Base Gagetown, which provides full-time employment for approximately 4,500 military members and 1,500 civilians, is the second largest military base in Canada and the largest military facility in Eastern Canada.
Army personnel manning the entrances started checking IDs at 5 a.m.
Some motorists were employees waiting to get onto the base, while others caught in the bumper-to-bumper traffic were just trying to get into Oromocto.
Most people in the military town of 9,000 knew the reason for the delay, but were still caught off guard by the long waits.
"We got a brief yesterday about what had happened. And just to stay vigilant," said Daniel Sisson, a civilian employee at the base.
"We weren't really warned that the traffic would be this bad. I was on base in 9-11, and I don't remember the line-up being this long," he said.
Many people were frustrated.
"Fifty minutes. Fifty minutes," said truck driver Charlie Hawkins, who had at least another half-hour ahead of him.
Others, like truck driver Murray Fanjoy, just shrugged.
"I'm just going in to deliver at the Home Hardware, and then back out. I could be an hour just getting around the turn."
More than 5,000 military and civilian personnel were screened on Thursday, officials said.
It's unclear how long the ID checks will continue.
Meanwhile, military workers have been instructed not to wear their uniforms off-base.
No special memorials have been planned yet to mark the death of Canadian reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, who was shot and killed while standing guard at the war memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
And no changes to the upcoming Remembrance Day ceremonies have been made, according to the Oromocto legion.