P.E.I. Legislature staying open

Teresa Wright twright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on October 22, 2014
Province House in Charlottetown was the site of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference and is where the provincial government sits. Province House is operated by Parks Canada.
Guardian photo

The P.E.I. legislature will remain open but police and security personnel have been asked to provide increased surveillance in light of the shootings this morning in Ottawa.

The clerk of the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly Charles MacKay says officials at Province House in Charlottetown are closely monitoring the situation in Ottawa.

“We are aware that other jurisdictions, or at least New Brunswick has closed their building, others have looked at their public gallery, which of course in our case is not a question with our house not being in session,” MacKay told The Guardian.

Charlottetown police have been contacted and the ex-RCMP security personnel who regularly guard the legislative buildings have been advised monitor the buildings closely.

“Security staff have been advised to be a little more vigilant in their patrols and to keep an extra eye out, and we’ve been in close contact with city police and asked them for a little extra attention in and around the Coles Building and at Province House,” MacKay said.

He noted only one other provincial legislature has closed for the day, and that other legislatures across the Atlantic Provinces are remaining open and conducting business.

“So we feel the threat is such that we are able to continue with business reasonably normally. Of course there are extenuating circumstances with what has transpired but we’re proceeding with normal business.”

He added the situation will continue to be monitored and should anything change, will be reassessed to ensure the safety of staff and the public.

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz has sent a tweet this afternoon saying his “thoughts and prayers (are) with Ottawa at this time - stay safe everyone,” Ghiz tweeted.

Opposition Leader Steven Myers issued a statement expressing shock and sympathy for all Canadians reeling at the news of multiple shootings in the nation’s capital and in Parliament Hill.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and affected, especially any Islanders working or attending school or visiting in Ottawa, and our wishes are for a safe and speedy resolution to the situation,” Myers stated.

 

More to come