Victoria police heighten security for Canada 150 celebrations

Victoria police heighten security for Canada 150 celebrations

Anyone coming down to the Inner Harbour, starting Wednesday afternoon, may notice more uniformed police officers for Canada 150 celebrations. This heightened focus is seen as necessary. Mary Griffin reports.

More uniformed police officers will be around Greater Victoria during the Spirit of 150 events, which begin Wednesday afternoon and run until Canada Day.

Due to the rise in terrorist attacks around the world, the Victoria Police Department (VicPD) is beefing up its security measures for the event. These include temporary surveillance cameras and more deployed officers.

“We are aware of [the attacks],” VicPD spokesperson Cst. Matt Rutherford said.

“They make up part of the decision making. But again, we are hoping that everyone is responsible.”

There will be a total of 11 days of Canada 150 festivities in the Inner Harbour and security is always a concern on Canada Day. A B.C. Supreme Court judge overturned John Nuttall and Amanda Korody’s conviction on terrorism charges related to the plot to bomb the legislature on Canada Day in 2013. However, that event raised the alarm for security.

“There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes that people understand, and people are dealing with,” Alan Lowe with the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee said. The committee is working with VicPD, RCMP and CSIS to keep the public safe.

The RCMP issued a statement that although it’s not aware of any specific threats for the Canada Day celebrations, it’s vigilant about potential threats. And they encourage the public to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activities and/or persons to the police.

“We have to plan for anytime there are large events, and festivities, downtown. We expect a lot of people throughout the 11 days. We’ll have the necessary resources to make sure everyone is safe,” Rutherford said.

With files from Mary Griffin

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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