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OTTAWA, November 30, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With some of the heaviest security Canada has seen around its Parliament, recently re-elected US President George W. Bush arrived to greet Canadian MPs.  Air space around Parliament and river and road traffic were all halted. Extra police forces were on hand and security fences in place.  Despite all that, Campaign Life Coalition’s National Public Affairs Director Aidan Reid was able not only to make it into Parliament, but also to shake hands and very briefly converse with the President.
Reid, gave LifeSiteNews.com an exclusive play-by-play of the exchange with the president and the uncanny, providential circumstances that allowed it to occur.
Reid told LifeSiteNews.com he was late for a lobbying meeting this morning since the bus he was traveling on was not permitted to stop near Parliament for security reasons.  As he waited for his scheduled meeting, he received a call from the MP he was to meet asking him if he wanted to meet the President, to which he happily assented.
In a first attempt to enter the Parliament buildings with the MP, Reid was turned away by security who noted that only MPs and their staff were to be let in.  Reid told the MP to go ahead without him but the MP told the security officers that he hoped to get up close and shake hands with the President.  The security officer responded, “Dream on.”
The security detail eventually said the pair would have to attempt entry through another security checkpoint.
After gaining clearance, Reid accompanied the MP into Parliament behind a CNN entourage.  Once inside Parliament, Reid was told several times he would have to leave before the President arrived. However, he was not forced to leave.
Meanwhile, the original group of Parliamentarians and staffers, with which Reid was first prevented from entering Parliament, was stopped at another security checkpoint which permitted only MPs to enter the area where the President was. Parliamentary staff was turned away.
Eventually, much to Reid’s surprise, he happened to be standing less than a few feet from where the President entered.  Reid was standing behind a few Conservative politicians who were introducing themselves to the President.  Reid stuck his hand in between the MPs and received a firm handshake from the President.  As President Bush looked up to see who he was greeting Reid said, “Thank you for being pro-life.”  The President responded, “You bet.”
The President then turned to leave.  He stopped however and turned back.  Looking directly into Reid’s eyes, the President said, with obvious sincerity, “I appreciate that.”
Following his exchange with the President, reporters surrounded Reid asking him who he was, how he got in, and what he said to the President.  Reid was only too happy to respond.
Reid told LifeSiteNews.com he believes his meeting with the President against all odds was providential.  “God intended this meeting, it is great for the pro-life movement here, but I think also was a boost for the President, who is, in some ways, here in enemy territory.”
As federal police prepared to pepper spray rowdy anti-American protesters outside Parliament, the President acknowledged both friends and foes greeting him. President Bush said “I’d like to thank the Canadian people who came out to wave, with all five fingers, for their hospitality.”
jhw

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