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Environmental protesters disrupt Harper’s speech in B.C.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper addresses a crowd during a campaign event in Surrey, B.C. Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Protesters disrupted a brief speech by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper three times Thursday night, forcing his security detail to move in around him as he continued his remarks.

Mr. Harper was speaking to about 300 supporters at a hall in Surrey, B.C., when one man stood up with a sign reading climate justice on a podium behind the Conservative leader. The man was hustled out.

Then another man stood, and was approached and hustled out by the security detail.

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And then, moments later, a woman stood and began asking the Conservative leader where climate change was on his priority list and she was hustled out.

All of the incidents happened over about 15 minutes of remarks.

Mr. Harper was visibly unflustered, joking about how critics of the Conservatives were showing their nervousness by coming to Conservative rallies instead of going to theirs.

But Mr. Harper's security detail was visibly on alert hovering around him and scanning the crowd of supporters and candidates as he continued.

The first protester was Andrew Larigakis of the environmental group 350Vancouver.org.

Wearing a suit and tie, he said, following Mr. Harper's speech, the he easily entered the venue with his sign stuffed down his pants.

He said he was quickly released by police.

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Mr. Larigakis said the sec‎ond protester was a member of 350Vancouver.org, and remained in police custody following the event. The environmental group identified the protester as Yvon Raoul.

The third was a woman who declined to give her name‎.

She said her efforts would have been worthwhile if she got even one supporter at the meeting to think about climate change. She said she had entered the venue without any problems.

Mr. Harper is on the first day of a two-day campaign swing in the Lower Mainland.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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