Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: New embassies in Ottawa neighbourhood banned in fear of ‘violent events’

The federal government is forbidding the construction of new embassies on Ottawa’s Sussex Drive following a stark RCMP assessment of the potential for “violent events” in the high-profile neighbourhood. Countries with diplomatic missions already located on the well-known boulevard include the United States, France, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. It is also home to Rideau Hall, where the Governor General lives, as well as the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex. Justin Trudeau and his family are living in a house on the Rideau Hall grounds while federal officials consider badly needed renovations to the traditional address of Canada’s leader. Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion was advised of the ban on new embassies in January by Daniel Jean, then his deputy minister, records released under the Access to Information Act show. Jean has since been named national security adviser to the prime minister. “A recently concluded RCMP security assessment advises against any additional foreign embassies being located along Sussex Drive,” says Jean’s memo to Dion, obtained by The Canadian Press. “As a result, the department will no longer be approving requests by diplomatic missions to acquire land in the affected zone.” Canada requires foreign states to obtain its consent before buying property for use as diplomatic chancery offices or official residences.



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