Harper campaign boss made grisly discovery
One of the political masterminds behind Stephen Harper's Conservative government made the gruesome discovery of a human foot in a box belonging to a torso found in Montreal.
New details emerged Wednesday about the shocking discovery that's horrified the capital and has some shaking their heads about the political vibe in the country.
Midway through a normal Tuesday morning a few blocks from Parliament Hill, about a dozen people were at work when a suspicious-looking package arrived addressed to the Conservative party.
It was handed over to longtime staffer Jenni Byrne, who was the national campaign manager for the party in 2011 federal election.
Byrne examined the blood-stained box and as she opened it, a foul odour escaped and overcame the office.
"It was such a horrible odour, I'm sure many of us will not forget it," said party spokesman Fred DeLorey.
Police were immediately called in and when they opened the package further, determined that a severed foot lay inside.
The disturbing find set off a major investigation that went well into the night as Ottawa police later found a hand at the Canada Post mail facility in the east end of the city.
Police wouldn't say where the hand was destined, but confirmed Wednesday that the packages were both mailed from Montreal.
Meanwhile, police there are zeroing in on a suspect connected to the grisly find of a male torso found stuffed in a suitcase in a west-end neighbourhood.
All three body parts are from the same victim, Montreal police said Wednesday.
"The suspect and victim knew each other," Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere told reporters.
"It isn't linked to organized crime."
Canada Post officials refused repeated requests for comment on the incidents or even information on mail security in the nation's capital.
MPs react to 'disturbing' case
On Parliament Hill, political staffers were keeping a close eye on the mail, rattled by the incident.
"It's very upsetting," said New Democrat MP Yvon Godin.
"It could be just one crazy person that did it but at the same time we have lots of people unhappy in our country, the way the country is going," he said.
He said he hoped the packages weren't sent for that reason, saying it was very sad if that was the case.
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau called the packages horrific and says he and his staff are disturbed.
"I'm worried about anything that might cause us to pull back or put up any barriers between Canadians and their representatives," he said.
Conservative Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he wants to let the police do their work.
"It is of course a very disturbing development," he said.
Toews wouldn't comment on whether the packages had spurred any security changes on Parliament Hill.
It was not clear whether there was a political motive behind the packages, but Toews was the target of public attacks earlier this year following his introduction of an online surveillance bill.
A House of Commons committee later found his privileges as an MP were violated when he was threatened by the activist group Anonymous in a series of videos posted online.