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Event organizers re-evaluate security protocols in wake of van attack

Last Updated May 1, 2018 at 4:14 pm EDT

People walk past concrete barriers erected outside Union Station on April 24, 2018, in the wake of a van attack in Toronto. HANDOUT/Twitter/Anne Marie Aikins

In the wake of a deadly van attack in Toronto on Monday, police and event organizers are re-evaluating security to prevent a similar event from happening again.

Police closed roads around Maple Leaf Square Wednesday during a tailgate party “to ensure the safe flow of pedestrian traffic” and deployed more officers to the area.

Residents, hotel guests and area employees were issued parking passes, and no other vehicles were allowed.

Police said there was no imminent threat, but they were closely monitoring the situation.

A number of major Toronto event organizers are reviewing their security protocols as well.

The Canadian National Exhibition said it’s been communicating with government partners, intelligence agencies, Toronto police and security consultants “to ensure our plans for the 2018 CNE take into account the latest guidance and prepare for any and all contingencies.”

Beaches International Jazz Festival organizers said they would soon meet with police to review current measures and establish a security and traffic plan for the July event.

The director of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon said organizers have been working closely with the city, police and transit authorities, among others, especially since the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

“First and foremost, everyone’s safety is our number 1 concern,” Alan Brookes said in a statement.

“Regularly scheduled meetings with the city and its agencies are already planned over the summer regarding our October event, where security will continue to be a major priority. This is a year-round, ongoing process.”

Pride and Luminato, meanwhile, said they will continue to monitor their security needs and make adjustments as required.

“Luminato is proud to call Toronto home, one of the safest and most tolerant cities in the world,” said CEO Anthony Sargent. “We and our partners throughout the cultural community share a responsibility above all else to ensure that we offer our visitors a safe environment to enjoy our work, and as always we will be working closely with the city in that regard.”

The day after the attack, temporary concrete barriers were installed at Union Station and Rogers Centre to prevent vehicles from mounting the curb.

But Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says there is no threat to national security, and Canada’s risk level remains unchanged at medium.


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