Politics

Stephen Harper campaign bus photographed blocking bike lane in Toronto

Photos posted to Twitter and Reddit show the Harper campaign bus parked in a bike lane near the CN Tower.

The Conservative leader was in Toronto for the Maclean's leaders' debate

One of Stephen Harper's campaign buses was photographed parked in a bicycle lane in Toronto on Thursday.

Harper was in Toronto for the Maclean's leaders' debate at the City studio in Yonge and Dundas Square, but the bus was photographed blocking a bike lane in front of the Delta Hotel on Lower Simcoe St. near the CN Tower.

Andrew Birch took the photo of the bus tweeted by his friend Lola Rudin. Birch uses a bike as his primary form of transport and was on his way home from work when he spotted the bus at approximately 6 p.m. ET. 

Birch says that when he passed the vehicle he motioned to the driver but received only a shrug of the shoulders in response. When he took out his phone to take a picture, Birch says the driver pulled a map over his face. 

Another picture of the bus blocking the bike lane ended up on Reddit.

The person who took that photo, who wishes to remain anonymous, is also a regular cyclist who was on her way home from work. She spotted the Harper bus in front of the hotel around 5:30 p.m.

She says she approached the driver when she noticed that he was leaving the vehicle.

"I asked him if he knew it was a bike lane and that in order for me to get around him I had to merge into traffic as vehicles accelerated to get through the intersection," she said in an email. "He said that he knew it was a bike lane. When I suggested he find alternate parking he did say they were looking." 

When she passed by the same spot about an hour later the bus was gone.

Neither Birch nor the person who took the Reddit photo saw Conservative Leader Stephen Harper near the bus. 

A spokeswoman said the Toronto Police Service was not aware of special parking arrangements made for the Harper bus. 

A representative of the Conservative Party did not return a request for comment.

The fine for parking in a bike lane in Toronto is $150.

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