When Sen. Nick Sibbeston approached the Service Canada building in Yellowknife late last month, he expected to receive some service – even if he didn’t have an appointment.

After all, he is the sitting senator for the entire territory – and served as premier in the mid-1980s – and even had his government ID card to prove his day job is in the Red Chamber in Ottawa.

But either the security staff at the door weren’t impressed with the senator’s pedigree, or were simply following building access rules to the letter.

Here’s some background from a story that really had people talking after News/North published the story Aug. 28.

Sibbeston said he was left “shocked, dismayed and saddened” after being blocked from entering the Parks Canada office at the Yellowknife Service Canada Centre Aug. 22.

A guard told him it did not matter if he was a senator he simply could not meet with Parks Canada manager Lee Montgomery without making an appointment first. And a request to phone up to Montgomery was refused.

When the frustrated senator made his way to the second floor on his own, he was followed by a security guard, who Sibbeston said threatened to call the RCMP on him. The senator then left the building.

The next day, Aug. 23, the senator came to the News/North office in Yellowknife to explain what had happened to him.

“These rules are ridiculous,” Sibbeston told the newspaper.

“If I as a senator have a hard time getting into a federal building, how much more difficult must it be for an ordinary person?”

A reporter accompanied Sibbeston back to the Service Canada building and the senator eventually met with an apologetic security guard who had not been involved in the earlier incident.

The outspoken senator has made headlines in recent years on a variety of matters, including claiming $50,000 in improper expenses, quitting the Senate Liberal caucus to sit as an independent, admitting in a tell-all memoir he battled alcoholism for years, and accusing the RCMP of failing to follow up on a lead he gave them in a homicide investigation.

Oh, and in 2005, he also called gay and lesbian lifestyles “unnatural” and voted against a same-sex marriage bill in the Senate.

It was never made clear exactly what pressing business Sibbeston had with the Parks Canada official. We trust it was an important matter of benefit to his constituents.

We can sympathize with the senator for wanting to conduct government business in an expedient fashion without fussing over making an appointment, or dealing with building security and all of their strict procedures that were put in place by that very same federal government.

But we also don’t think the average member of the public would expect to show up unannounced and be granted access to a bureaucrat.

Especially in this dangerous day and age when security levels at any government building have been increased. The days of the “pop-in” to see public officials are long over.

However, the incident surely did make for another interesting chapter in Sibbeston’s career.