At a Vancouver rally, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was interrupted about one minute after he began speaking by a loud, intermittent beeping sound that resembled a high-tech fire alarm.
"That is something we really should try and stop, whatever that noise is," he quipped.
The annoying sound wouldn't go away.
Moments later, just as Harper said “especially in times like these, in times…,” an official-sounding voice came over the hotel intercom.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is a stage one alarm and is currently being investigated." The crowd laughed. “There we have the explanation,” said Harper.
Harper ploughed on with his speech. “Especially in times like these, when we have alarms going off around the world, of global economic uncertainty, we need a national government with prudent leadership, with thought-through policies that understands working families and puts them first.”
The crowd of 600 lapped it up.
Harper then moved to invoke his children to push his economic message that lately amounts to don't-anybody-panic-we've-got-it-under-control.
"When my son, Ben, was a toddler he came home from day care one day. And he said "Daddy, do you know what my teacher says you should do when something bad happens?"
"I said 'what'?"
"He said, 'Stop, breathe, think."
"Friends, that's pretty good advice for this election."
The high-pitched alarm kept ringing, but it did not deter Harper or his supporters.
In a very warm ballroom, they cheered the applause lines, and booed mention of the Liberals.
About 15 minutes into the speech, the alarm stopped its piercing intrusion.
Harper carried on with the stump speech.
All was well.
Update: As Harper spoke inside, outside the Star's Petti Fong reports that police blocked the entrance.
About 12 demonstrators were protesting the Conservatives' opposition to the Insite safe injection site in the downtown East side. They blew air horns and made such a racket that they could be heard during the pauses in Harper's speech.
A firefighter said later someone inside the hotel had pulled a a fire alarm...it was indeed a false alarm.