Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A protester rushes the stage as Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks at the Vancouver Board of Trade on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Vancouver police say they won’t be pursuing criminal charges against two climate-change protesters who came within touching distance of the PM.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The RCMP says it has identified and fixed the "mistake" that allowed two climate-change protesters to walk onto a stage within reach of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but the force isn't revealing what it believes went wrong or what has been done to address the problem.

Two activists walked on stage during an event at a downtown hotel Monday, as Harper settled in for a question-and-answer session organized by the Vancouver Board of Trade.

The pair held up signs attacking Harper's environmental policies before they were quickly removed. Vancouver police have said there won't be any charges.

Story continues below advertisement

The security breach has led to questions about how two activists could get so close to the prime minister before his personal RCMP security detail intervened – questions the Prime Minister's Office and the Mounties have so far refused to answer.

The RCMP immediately promised to review what happened and on Wednesday said it had narrowed in the source of the problem, though a spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

"The review of the incident is still ongoing; however, we've identified the mistake and have implemented necessary changes to prevent a repeat occurrence," RCMP Corporal Lucy Shorey said in an interview from Ottawa.

"We can't get into the details of [the Prime Minister's] security, and discussing the mistake would, in fact, be discussing security details."

Shorey stressed the Prime Minister makes hundreds of public appearances every year, mostly without incident.

She also said protecting the Prime Minister requires the RCMP to weigh several competing interests.

"There is always a delicate balance between the RCMP's duty to protect elected leaders versus the public's right to free speech and the public's access to officials in a democratic society," she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Security experts have mirrored those comments, arguing such breaches are inevitable in a society where politicians aren't kept completely isolated from the public.

The incident happened in a crowded hotel ballroom a minute or so after Harper took the stage to field questions from the president of the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Two activists – who have publicly identified themselves as Sean Devlin and Shireen Soofi – walked onto the stage behind Harper and held up their signs. One sign said Climate Justice Now, while the other said Conservatives Take Climate Change Seriously, with a line crossed through the sentence.

Devlin has said he and Soofi used black shirts and aprons they picked up from a thrift store in an attempt to blend in with catering staff. He has described the process as "quite easy" and said he and Soofi weren't approached by security at any point before walking on stage.

Devlin and Soofi were released shortly after the event and spent the rest of the day conducting a series of media interviews.

They are affiliated with Brigette DePape, the former Senate page who was fired after she walked onto the floor of the upper chamber holding a Stop Harper sign during a 2011 Throne Speech.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies