POLITICS

Security experts asked to assess risks to federal buildings in Ottawa

03/25/2015 01:20 EDT | Updated 05/25/2015 05:59 EDT
The Harper government is looking for security experts to help harden federal buildings in the Ottawa area against threats, including possible terror-related attacks.

Public Works posted a tender Wednesday asking for professionals to conduct so-called threat risk assessments “to identify employees and assets that need protection, analyze threats against them, assess the current risk, and recommend safeguards.”

The review will cover all federally owned or leased buildings in the Ottawa area and may include bridges, dams and other structures, says the document.

The posting follows the Oct. 22 shootings at Parliament Hill, which exposed numerous security gaps, as well as the government’s recent claims that Canada is a target for ISIS and related groups based in the Middle East.

Grade every deficiency

The list of potential risks cited in the material includes terrorism, demonstrations, environmental threats and others, and the tender requires inspections of all elements of buildings, including the siting of washrooms and how the exteriors of buildings are illuminated.

The consultants are to grade every deficiency up to the highest level, described as a “condition of vulnerability which exists which may be exploited by opportunistic person(s) or organizations with hostile objectives.”

A lone gunman managed to penetrate deep into the Centre Block of the House of Commons on Oct. 22 before being gunned down in a hallway metres from the prime minister and dozens of other politicians.

RCMP called in the Ontario Provincial Police to review the security failings exposed by the incident, and their report is expected to be handed down shortly.