Protecting our Parliament: The Legislative Protective Service at Queen's Park.

AuthorNauta, Rachel

The Legislative Protective Service (LPS) at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is a key component in providing security to Members, staff, guests, and visitors at Queen's Park. In this article, the authors describe how the LPS functions within the broader management of the Assembly and outline recent changes to how the service is constituted and operates.


The grounds of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario are often bustling with activity; tourists take in the grandeur of the Pink Palace, university students read books in the shade of the trees, friends meet up to toss a ball or have a picnic, and residents from across the province come to peacefully protest at the home of Ontario's parliamentary democracy.

One particular spring day last year--as Ontarians continued to reduce contacts to confront COVID-19--the South grounds in front of the Assembly were quieter than usual, but it would not remain that way for long.

A young man, keen to raise awareness about climate change and the desire for greater governmental action to reduce carbon emissions began to set up for his solitary protest.

He arrived on the grounds carrying a duffle bag with supplies for his demonstration. Seemingly unsure of where he should protest and looking for an ideal location, he was quickly noticed by staff of the Legislative Protective Service (LPS), who approached him and directed him to the designated area.

Hon. Ted Arnott

The man set up his sign, and commenced his demonstration. After an interval, he pulled a red long sleeve shirt from the duffle bag, placing it on the ground. He next took out a plastic reusable 1 litre water bottle and carefully poured the bottle's contents onto the shirt before putting it on.

While protests at the Legislature often involve some theatrics to draw attention to an issue, Constable Jenn Moore, a Peace Officer with the LPS, took notice of his particularly odd behaviour. Trained to observe all visitors and watch for unusual patterns of activity, Cst. Moore was standing at a distance from the man, but in clear sight of him.

He stood beside his sign, blankly staring at it for a moment. Then he walked over to approach two other demonstrators who were standing close by. He spoke with them briefly, but they seemed to rebuff him and he returned to his sign. He kneeled on the ground and raised his hands, in what appeared to be prayer. A moment later, flames began to rise off his body; the shirt he put on had been doused in gasoline.


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