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Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Security Crew Runs over Bike

by John Symon
November 30, 2011 (Vancouver, BC) – A security van following Prime Minister Stephen Harper and BC Premier Christy Clark drove into a bike rack outside Vancouver’s Science World on Friday, November 25. Vancouver resident Holly Hendrigan told Pedal that her bike sustained about $270 in damages, but that police promised to pay for all repairs.

Hendrigan and her son were at a protest to, “Object to Harper’s cancellation of the long form census and to Christy Clark’s refusal to hold a public inquiry for the sale of BC Rail,” she wrote to us. “Our bikes (my son’s and mine) were parked on a bike rack beside a narrow-ish path that led from Science World to the street.  The protestors were gathered about 30 feet away, and we were a further 100 feet or so from the Science World building.”

“Harper and Clark had their photo-op and took some questions from the media.  Then the two of them each got in separate Lincoln town cars, followed by a van.  The motorcade drove by the protestors.  There wasn’t a lot of room between the protestors, who had spread out by then, and the bike rack. The van probably clipped my handlebars, toppled my bike over, and ran over my wheel. My son’s bike was not damaged at all.”

“I returned to my bike to find the wheel mangled.  I was shocked to find the wheel so damaged: my first assumption was that somebody took a sledge hammer to it, and I couldn’t believe how that could have happened with so many police around.  Then I was informed by a fellow protestor that the van had run it over.  At that point, I could see the humour in the situation.”

“There were several reporters there (Vancouver Sun and Province, CBC, Rod Mickelberg from the Globe) who quickly got my story, and ran with it.  The police were right there too, and a senior officer from the Protective Services Branch of the RCMP was also there. He gave me his card, took down my contact info, and said that everything would be taken care of. He was polite and apologetic.”

“My lock was also damaged; I couldn’t actually unlock our bikes.  The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) called somebody over, and within 15 minutes another officer showed up with large bolt cutters, and cut the lock. The VPD offered to drive my bike home but I opted to walk.”

“Shortly after I returned home, the RCMP called, told me to take my bike to a shop, and e-mail them the invoice for the damaged wheel and a new lock.  I took my bike to Mighty Riders bike shop, and yesterday I picked up my bike, with its newly-rebuilt wheel.  I believe the invoice for the new rim, tire, labour, lock, and HST came to $270. The bike is a 1991 Bridgestone MB2, which I ride all the time as my ‘commuter’ because it’s less vulnerable to theft (I also have a racing bike, a touring bike, a mountain bike, and a folding bike). But truth be told, I mostly ride my Bridgestone around town.”

“I let the RCMP know that I got my bike back, and again they apologized. We both agreed that it’s much easier to fix a bike wheel than a protestor’s foot.”

“I hope this clarifies what happened. I’m still very unhappy with Steven Harper and Christy Clark, but in this situation the RCMP and the VPD showed exceptional professionalism and compassion.”

Harper was at Science World to announce $10.5 million in funding from Canada’s Economic Action Plan for upgrades to the facility. Joining him there was BC Premier Christy Clark who promised another $10.5 million. Some $14 million was also raised by Science World for a total of $35 million.

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