I have two points that I would like to bring to the attention of members.
One hundred years ago, in the winter of 1920, the very first parliamentary security corps was formed. Until then, the Dominion Police, which merged with the Royal North West Mounted Police in 1919 to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, had patrolled the grounds of Parliament Hill. When the parliamentarians of the day decided they no longer wanted an official police presence in their buildings, a contingent of six individuals from the RCMP remained to create what would become the Senate Protective Services and the House of Commons Protective Services.
Today, just as it did a century ago, the Parliamentary Protection Service supports parliamentarians and protects our democracy. It focuses on striking a careful and effective balance between access, openness and security. It is a constant challenge, and I am grateful to the men and women of the service for their dedication to their work and for ensuring that the Parliament of Canada is able to work for the good of Canadians.
I would like to draw to the attention of members the presence in the gallery of several past and present members of the Parliamentary Protective Service.
Over the years, they have faithfully watched over Parliament Hill and its occupants. They have worked to keep us safe while making visitors feel welcome and comfortable, and they have helped ensure that the heart of Canada’s democracy remains open. We are grateful for their service to our country.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear!