Flag is lowered to half staff at B.C. legislature Wednesday after soldier confirmed killed in Ottawa shooting. Police van part of heightened security.

UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner

Premier Christy Clark, NDP leader John Horgan say public access to democratic institutions must continue

Extra security is in place at the B.C. legislature in Victoria, part of the response to shootings at Parliament Hill in Ottawa this morning.

Premier Christy Clark told reporters Wednesday there was a review of legislature security after an attempted plot to place homemade bombs on the legislature grounds before Canada Day celebrations in July 2013. That resulted in tighter security measures that will be reviewed again in the wake of the Ottawa shootings, Clark said.

B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong said security staff have recommended installation of a security scanner for visitors, and he and NDP house leader Mike Farnworth have endorsed the plan.

In the legislature, Clark called for the tradition of open democracy to be maintained.

“Out of these tragedies today, we must all remember, first, to be grateful for those who work for us every day to keep us safe; second, to be grateful for the institutions we have built that have made Canada a model of democracy around the world; third, to move forward into the future and continue to make the decisions that Canada needs — unafraid to do what we need to do to stand up for this country, to ensure that citizens in Canada continue to have access to their public institutions, and unafraid to defend democracy and the institutions that have defined Canada for generations,” Clark said.

NDP leader John Horgan echoed that sentiment.

“As important as security measures will be over the next number of hours and days and weeks, not just here and in Ottawa but in every legislature in this country, we have to always keep in the forefront of our mind, in the forefront of the decisions that we make around security, that this institution belongs to the people of British Columbia — not to the 85 of us, but to everyone who lives in this province,” Horgan said. “They need to have access to those institutions if we’re going to continue to be defiant in the face of the insanity that happened today in Ottawa.”

Visitors to the legislature were restricted to scheduled tours, and only previously invited guests were allowed in the public gallery for Wednesday’s Question Period.

The legislature was closed to unscheduled visitors for today’s sitting, said Craig James, clerk of the B.C. legislature. He said legislature staff received a heightened risk alert this week, and a small number of MLAs were made aware of it. But there was no specific threat against the B.C. legislature.

Just Posted

VIDEO: 12th annual Port Hardy Wild hockey tournament finals

The Wild vs. Whalers and Warriors vs. Flyers from last weekend’s tournament.

Tyson’s Thoughts: It’s my four-year anniversary at the Gazette

I went from driving a forklift in a warehouse to an award-winning journalist in just a few years.

First annual North Island Christmas Festival

“If it’s a big success we can do it every year”

Port Hardy Secondary School girls volleyball team competes in Parksville

The girls volleyball team has a new coach this year, Kenzie McDonald.

33rd annual Rotary Auction raises $50,000 gross profit

The Rotary Auction is an annual joint project between the Port Hardy and Port McNeill clubs.

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read