Two more visitors at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa are claiming a security guard stopped them from entering a tour because they were wearing pro-oil and pro-gas shirts.
According to Chris Wollin, he and his fiance were wearing “I (LOVE) (CANADIAN) OIL AND GAS” shirts, when a security official told them that the shirts would prohibit them from entering the tour.
“The security officer mentioned that if we were to come back with our ‘I love Canadian oil and gas’ shirts on, that we wouldn’t be allowed to do the tour because you’re not allowed to wear any shirts that are too political,” Wollin told CTV News Calgary.
According to the Parliament of Canada’s website, “participating in any form of demonstration inside the buildings is prohibited, including wearing items or clothing with visible political messages.”
The pro-oil shirt was designed by a non-profit organization called Canada Action, which aims to promote the advancement of the oil and gas industry in Canada.
This is the second time the shirt has made headlines for its appearance on Parliament Hill. Only last week William Lacy, CFO of Steelhead Petroleum Ltd., also from Calgary, visited with the same shirt on.
“The security guard looked at me and said: ‘Excuse me sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remove that shirt.’ And I looked and him and I said: ‘Excuse me?’ And he said: ‘Yes, you’re going to have to remove that shirt because some people may view that as being offensive,’” said Lacey of the incident.
A member from the Parliamentary Protective Service apologized for the incident.
“Personnel misinterpreted a message on the visitor’s article of clothing,” wrote Guillaume Vandal in a statement. “The staff involved will be receiving operational guidance and training with respect to visitors to the Hill.”
Wollin states that the shirt could be showing a double standard of sorts.
“I think if my shirt had have said, ‘I love the auto industry,’ or ‘I love the forestry industry’ or whatever, it wouldn’t have been an issue,” said Wollin.
“So I’m not sure why there’s any sort of prejudice towards the energy sector. I think we should all be proud of it.”