Canada not ready for terror, report says
TORONTO — A shooting rampage by a lone gunman at Parliament in October proved to be a “grim reminder that Canada is illprepared” to stop terrorist attacks in the capital, according to a police report released Wednesday.
The Ontario Provincial Police report said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provided “highly inadequate” security on Parliament Hill in Ottawa when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau entered the grounds on Oct. 22. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said missed opportunities to stop Zehaf-Bibeau from entering the building were a result of systemic problems rather than human error.
Zehaf-Bibeau shot to death Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was assigned to the honor guard at Canada’s national war memorial. He then stormed Parliament, where he was slain after a nearly two-minute assault.
The report indicates that in the early moments of the incident the Mounties were hesitant to enter the building “due to directives to never enter the building armed.”
The report says the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s ability to protect Parliament Hill has been stretched by budget cuts imposed in 2012 by the Conservative government. The report cites a lack of “operational preparedness,” including planning, training and resources.
Problems faced by the police include the public’s “unrestricted access” to the grounds, as well as the desire of members of Parliament and senators to have “unimpeded access” to the legislative chambers.