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Two weeks after a visitor to Canada’s House of Commons complained that a guard had made him turn his pro-oil T-shirt inside out to hide its message, a couple have been told off for the very same thing.
The National Post reports a couple from Calgary, Chris Wollin and Mallory Hartviksen, were on a visit to Ottawa and decided to go on a tour of the House of Commons. Both were, apparently, wearing T-shirts that said “I love Canadian oil and gas.” According to Chris Wollin, “a security guard came over to us and said ‘Just so you know if you come back for a tour, you can’t have those shirts on because they are too political.’”
“It’s kind of sad that on Parliament Hill, they are not supportive of your freedom of speech,” Wollin told the daily, which also reported that a Conservative Senator, David Tkachuk, had pledged to raise the question at a Senate committee. Tkachuk said he believed someone had told the security guards to warn visitors against wearing pro-oil clothes.
Still, Wollin and Hartviksen had it easier than William Lacey. The chief financial officer of Steelhead Petroleum was on tour of the Senate with his family wearing a T-shirt that said “I love Canadian oil” on the front and “The world needs more Canadian energy” on the back.
According to Lacey, “The guard looked at me and he said, ‘Sir, I’m gonna have to ask you to remove your shirt because some people may be offended by the message,’” after which he invited Lacey to either turn the T-shirt inside out or leave the premises.
Lacey did turn his shirt inside out to continue the tour but once he got home, he wrote an open letter to express his frustration with the way the Senate security guard had treated him.
Conservative legislators presented Lacey’s case to a parliamentary committee and asked the security service for an explanation. The service admitted the guard had gone too far and offered Lacey apologies.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.