POLITICS

Canadian embassy in D.C. evacuated briefly; suspect package deemed no threat

10/26/2012 11:03 EDT | Updated 12/26/2012 05:12 EST
WASHINGTON - Canada's embassy in the U.S. capital was evacuated for about an hour Friday after a suspicious package was found in the mail room.

The U.S. Secret Service ordered Ambassador Gary Doer and the embassy's 325 employees out of the building, located just down the street from the Capitol building, at about 9:30 a.m., said embassy spokesman Chris Plunkett.

The building was given the all-clear an hour later after Secret Service officials investigated and determined the package was not dangerous.

Several police cars and fire trucks descended upon the embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue, a major D.C. roadway that leads to the White House.

Doer and his staff, meantime, gathered in a park next to the embassy.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said that it was premature to speculate on the incident.

"The U.S. Secret Service has a robust presence on the ground to assist our team in dealing with this," Baird said.

"This, regrettably, is a reality, unfortunately, of the life of our diplomats."