A lockdown was put in place at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Agassiz on Wednesday morning, in apparent response to the shooting of a soldier in Ottawa.
A hand-written sign was placed on the door that read: “Lockdown. No one in! No one out!” When the Observer visited the centre to confirm the lockdown, at least one employee was turned away at the door.
Martin Fraser, integrated services manager at PARC, called shortly after to say that they had been advised that they were “no longer in that situation,” but he could not confirm if that meant the lockdown was over, or what protocol led to the closure. Several vehicles were outside the centre, indicating that some employees had been locked inside.
A senior media relations officer has stated that they will not confirm any safety measures that are in place.
“We are not confirming at this time which buildings may be affected by the heightened Government of Canada safety measures,” said Patrick Girard.
The soldier was shot at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, reportedly by a man using a rifle. After the shooter fired at the soldier, he got into a car and drove to the doors of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block.
There were then reports of several shots fired inside Parliament, where a gunman was shot by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms. Other media has confirmed that the soldier was a reservist from Hamilton.
The prime minister was safely taken away from Parliament Hill. MP Mark Strahl was also in Ottawa Wednesday morning. He tweeted out a message that he was safe. “
“Very tense situation in Ottawa this morning,” he said online. “Multiple gun shots fired outside of our caucus room. I am safe and in lockdown. Unbelievable.”