OTTAWA — Part of Parliament Hill was in lockdown Wednesday after security officials spotted an abandoned vehicle near the Confederation Building.
A green four-door Volkswagen Jetta parked for hours outside the building drew attention from House of Commons staff who issued the vehicle a parking ticket, said RCMP Cpl. Lysiane Brassard.
When the RCMP noticed the car’s license plate was reported lost, they reported a “suspicious” vehicle at 12:26 p.m.
“We couldn’t find the owner, so we had to consider it like a suspicious parcel except that it was a vehicle,” said House of Commons Const. Martin Boyle.
The Ottawa Police Service contacted the vehicle’s former owner who said he had sold the Jetta a year ago and confirmed the new owner hadn’t bothered replacing the plates, Brassard told QMI Agency.
The Mounties’ explosive disposal unit was called to the scene to inspect the vehicle, but they found nothing on the outside or the inside of the vehicle. The all clear was given at 1:28 p.m.
The vehicle’s current owner, a woman, was identified but her “vehicle will be towed because it has no registration and no insurance,” Brassard said.
Brassard said it appears the woman believed the five-minute drop-off zone in front of the building was a legitimate parking spot.
Confederation building houses MPs' offices, a small library and a small cafeteria.
Traffic on Wellington St. from O’Connor St. to Lyon St. was blocked off while the RCMP assessed the threat.