The Service

Mission The Service is responsible for all matters with respect to physical security throughout the parliamentary precinct and Parliament Hill.

Our vision

To be a leader in the provision of parliamentary protective services.

Our services

We are committed to providing exceptional protective services to the Parliament of Canada. We aim to foster a culture founded on innovation, professionalism and operational excellence while respecting the privileges, immunities and powers of the Houses of Parliament and balancing the need for an open and accessible Parliament.

Our people

We value the experience, knowledge and commitment of our employees. To learn more, visit our careers page.

Our partnerships

We are committed to working in collaboration and cooperation with our partners. For more information, please click here.

Our values

Professionalism, respect, objectivity, unity and democracy.

History Discover the evolution of parliamentary security.

1868

The Dominion Police Force was created to protect life and property in the Parliament Buildings and had 12 men.

1873

As Western Canada was developing, the North-West Mounted Police was created to maintain law and order in the western territories.

1904

The North-West Mounted Police was renamed to the Royal North West Mounted Police.

1916

Alphonse Desjardins, a 27-year-old Dominion police constable, is the only officer in the history of Canada’s parliamentary protective services to have lost his life while on duty. Constable Desjardins perished during the fire of 1916 that destroyed the Centre Block. He is forever remembered for his heroic act of rescue. A plaque bearing his name is displayed beside the Bowman Brown Law Memorial in the Centre Block.

 

1919

The Royal North-West Mounted Police absorbs the Dominion Police. The R.N.W.M.P. takes over the responsibility of protecting federal buildings from the Dominion Police.

 

 

1920

Parliament decides that there will no longer be a federal police presence in the Parliamentary Precinct. Six people decide to leave the R.N.W.M.P. and form the first unit of the parliamentary security service: three are assigned to the Senate and the remaining three are assigned to the House of Commons.

The new Senate and House of Commons security teams were responsible for protecting their respective parliamentary buildings. The R.N.W.M.P becomes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and is mandated with protecting the grounds of Parliament Hill.

Senate Protective Service

House of Commons Security Services

1920

The Senate Protective Service (SPS) reported to the Office of the Usher of the Black Rod. It consisted of a chief and two constables. As the SPS grew and developed, so did the position of Chief, and the administration, policy-making and scheduling responsibilities were eventually transferred from the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to the chief.

1927

During their first decade, Security Services constables performed public guided tours of Parliament around the Centre Block. As of 1934, they were also responsible for selling information booklets to the public.

1950

Up until the 1950s, the operations centre was a small desk at the front of the Senate. Even the Chief did patrols well into the 1950s. Posts grew to include the Centre Block, West Block, Victoria Building and East Block.

1962

The House of Commons Security Services introduced the first plainclothes constable as a response to various types of security threats at the time.

1980

The trend of hiring retired or former military officers continued for many decades. Senate messengers and pages were also hired to carry out security duties. A large recruitment initiative in the 1980s focused on hiring young people who wanted to make a career with the SPS, attracting many college graduates with degrees in law and security.

1980

The Security Services accepted women in their ranks for the first time in their history.

1982

The first woman to join the SPS was Johanne Robillard.

1982

Uniforms were unilingual (English only) until 1982, when it was recognized that they did not meet the Official Languages Act. Shoulder flashes and buttons were redesigned to be bilingual. In the early 1980s, the uniform was also redesigned to fit female members properly.

1990

In the early days of the SPS, members received only essential items as part of their uniform and were responsible for supplying their own outer gear and footwear. This changed in the 1990s, when all uniform items were issued to members, including indoor and outdoor gear adapted for all environments and situations. 

2015

The Parliament of Canada Act is amended to create the Parliamentary Protective Service. This new parliamentary entity becomes the single security force protecting the Parliament of Canada. On June 23, 2015, the Senate Protective Service and the House of Commons Security Services were amalgamated into one unified security service under the operational command of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Creation of the Service A new unified beginning.

On June 23, 2015, the Parliamentary Protective Service was created by law under the Parliament of Canada Act. The newly created parliamentary entity amalgamated the former Senate Protective Service and House of Commons Security Services into a single unified security service to serve the Parliament of Canada. The Director of the Service must be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) by law, and he or she has control and management of the daily operations of the organization.

The Director executes his or her mandate under the joint general policy direction of the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Speakers of both Houses, being responsible for the Service, and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness have entered into an arrangement to have the RCMP lead the physical security operations of the Service.

The Parliamentary Protective Service is a separate and distinct organization from the RCMP and the Government of Canada.

see legislative summary

Interim Director of the Service Superintendent Marie-Claude Côté

On February 11, 2019, Superintendent Marie-Claude Côté was appointed as Interim Director of the Parliamentary Protective Service.

Upon graduating from the RCMP in 1993, Superintendent Côté was assigned to general duties policing in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Superintendent Côté transferred to Parliament Hill in 2016 as Division Commander of the RCMP unit assigned to the new Parliamentary Protective Service. She was promoted to the rank of superintendent upon becoming Officer in Charge of Operations in September 2017.

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Organizational structure

Under the Parliament of Canada Act, the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons are responsible for the Service. The Director of the Service leads the integrated security operations throughout Parliament Hill and the Parliamentary Precinct under the joint general policy direction of the Speakers of both Houses.

see organizational chart

Reporting structure

The Director of the Parliamentary Protective Service reports directly to the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, who act as custodians of the powers, rights, privileges and immunities of their respective chambers and members.

The Director also reports to the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on operational matters. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police leads security-related activities in accordance with the terms of an agreement between the Speakers of both Houses and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Senior Executive Committee

The Senior Executive Committee meets weekly and is responsible for advising the Director on the administrative, policy and operational direction of the organization.

Membership
  • Director of the Parliamentary Protective Service (chair)
  • Officer in Charge of Operations
  • Officer in Charge of Operational Support
  • Administrative and Personnel Officer

Report an emergency or suspicious behaviour to 613-992-7000 or 911