Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sniffer dogs? Brilliant Kevin Lamoureux brilliant!

Good Day Readers:

Kevin Lamoureux's idea is very good save for it doesn't go nearly far enough given some of the beyond asinine comment coming out of the House of Commons these days. Leads you to wonder what certain parliamentarians have been smoking?

Here's what's needed. Rather than simply giving the House per se the sniff test prior to the start of a session, there should be 3 dogs at the ready one for each Party to administer a full body sniffing (including their "junk" just like at the airport) to each of its Members.
"Justin" the Liberal sniffer dog

Chronically misbehaving "Homer" for the Conservatives'

The NDP's "Thomas"

To maximize taxpayer return, they'd also be trained to sit in a designated location on the floor of the House to observe their members. If they spotted one sleeping or not paying attention (e.g. texting) they'd run over to bite them in the ass then return to their corner. They could also be used in the Senate where they'd be very busy.

The sniffings could be televised as part of the House of Commons debates so you could watch your Member getting sniffed and rejected. If nothing else it wold get more Canadians to tune in.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Liberal MP urges House administration to add a sniffer dog to enhance House security

By Abbas Rana
Monday, August 18, 2014
House security personnel have told Liberal Lamoureux that the security checks they do right now in the House Chamber are 'questionable at best' and they need a sniffer dog to be more confident about their daily security sweeps. (The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright)

A Liberal MP is urging the House of Commons administration to consider upgrading its security apparatus by adding a sniffer security dog as the current checks in the House “are questionable at best.”

In an interview with The Hill Times, Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Man.) said that two House security officials who undertake a daily security sweep of the Chamber approached him before the House adjourned and told him that the daily security sweeps are “seriously deficient” and a sniffer dog could prove to be very helpful in doing their job properly.

“One security individual in particular commented on the fact that the security check that they do right now is questionable at best, and if they really wanted to do it right that there should be a security dog that’s able to sniff. Not having that is in his opinion a serious deficiency,” Mr. Lamoureux said.

He said that his discussions with the House security staff were informal and therefore he did not want to mention any names.

When the House is in session, Mr. Lamoureux said he’s usually the first MP in the Chamber before the daily Parliamentary proceedings start so he sees the security staff do its sweep, checking MPs’ desks and looking under their chairs. On two occasions, he said, security staff members told him that they would feel more confident about their work if they had a sniffer dog who could help them with a second check to ensure that there’s potentially no dangerous item in the Chamber.

Mr. Lamoureux didn’t want to say specifically what the dogs would be used to detect.

These days, because almost every MP uses a laptop or an iPad and a variety of mobile communications devices, Mr. Lamoureux said that there are always a lot of wires on the House floor plugged into the electrical outlets. Also, before the start of the daily Parliamentary proceedings, MPs frequently bring their constituents to the floor of the House and visitors in Parliamentary tours have an opportunity to take an up-close look at the House Chamber. This creates the possibility that someone could slip in some dangerous item, which makes the security staff nervous, Mr. Lamoureux said.

“So, my perspective, listening to what some staff were telling me, I think there’s some merit [for] the Board of Internal Economy or the Speaker’s office to look at modernizing the security of the House of Commons and the floor. There’s been significant technological changes,” he said.

Mr. Lamoureux said he’s not suggesting that the general public’s access should be restricted to the House Chamber or that MPs should not have access to their electronic equipment. He said the solution is to equip the House security staff with what they need to do their job.

Mr. Lamoureux said he personally supports the idea of allowing the House security staff to get a sniffer dog and is sharing this with the media to start a discussion on the subject.

“Whether we like it or not, the House of Commons always has the potential to be a target for people for a wide variety of reasons. [The security staffers’] concern was, I believe, that we’re just not keeping up with the potential threat,” he said.

Conservative Whip John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, B.C.), a spokesman for the House Board of Internal Economy, said in an emailed response to an interview request from The Hill Times that he hadn’t seen Mr. Lamoureux’s proposal and therefore couldn’t comment on it.

“I support efforts to ensure that security forces on the Hill can continue to provide a high standard of safety for Members, staff and the public,” he said in the email.

Heather Bradley, director of communications to the Speaker who also handles communications for the House administration, declined to comment, citing security reasons.

Conservative MP Peter Goldring (Edmonton East, Alta.) told The Hill Times last week that he supports equipping the House security staff with a sniffer dog.

“A sniffer dog certainly would provide an increased level of confidence. It’s probably a good idea. I would feel more confident,” Mr. Goldring said.

NDP MP Philip Toone (Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Que.) in an email to The Hill Timessaid that he would be able offer a reaction only after receiving expert advice on this issue.

“The House of Commons has very competent security personnel, and I have every confidence that they evaluate the security needs of Hill MPs and staff, and take appropriate measures. As a member of the Board of Internal Economy, I look forward to hearing from a professional in this matter,” Mr. Toone wrote in his email.

arana@hilltimes.com

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