National Post

MAN WHO CRASHED RIDEAU HALL GATE TO GET TO PM SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON.

Soldier jailed for truck attack at Rideau Hall

- Adrian Humphreys National Post ahumphreys@postmedia.com Twitter: Ad_humphreys

A Canadian soldier who crashed his truck through security gates around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s home and prowled the grounds with three loaded guns was sentenced to six years in prison on Wednesday.

“Corey Hurren committed a politicall­y motivated armed assault intended to intimidate Canada’s elected government,” Judge Robert Wadden of the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa said in his sentencing verdict.

“What spurred Mr. Hurren to action, to arm himself, load his guns, drive to Ottawa and attack Rideau Hall were his political views, including some conspiracy theories.

“There is no evidence that he has renounced the conspiracy theories or that he has recognized the wrongfulne­ss of using armed force to express his political views.

“He has not expressed remorse for his actions. I find that Mr. Hurren represents an ongoing risk.”

Wadden gave Hurren a sentence of six years, with a deduction for pretrial custody, leaving five years to be served. The maximum sentence was 10 years.

Hurren was also banned from owning guns or ammunition for the rest of his life.

Hurren, 46, of Bowsman in northern Manitoba, was a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces at the time of his July 2, 2020, attack on Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General and where Trudeau lives with his family.

Wadden’s sentencing verdict revealed some new details of the attack.

After his arrest, police searched Hurren’s phone. They found several conversati­ons he had with others about politics, COVID-19, and conspiracy theories about the Liberal government.

Hurren discussed the Nova Scotia spree murders three months earlier, his opposition to the firearm restrictio­ns enacted in response to it, U.S. politics, and government influence over people’s lives, Wadden said.

“There was no evidence that anyone else had been involved in Mr. Hurren’s actions or that he had told anyone in advance of what he intended to do.”

Hurren expected to be immediatel­y shot and killed by security and his death was to be his political message of discontent with the government’s response to COVID-19 and gun control, he said.

He wasn’t shot and Trudeau was not home. Hurren had brought five guns with him on his drive east to Ottawa and when his truck died inside the Rideau Hall grounds, he selected three loaded long guns and set off on foot — two shotguns and a semi-automatic rifle with a prohibited high-capacity magazine.

When Hurren was confronted by police, he took cover behind a tree and refused to drop his guns. He told officers he was there to arrest Trudeau, saying he believed the prime minister was a communist and corrupt, and that he was angry about new gun restrictio­ns, Wadden said.

Hurren asked to speak with the Governor General to see if she could help.

After a 90-minute standoff, he surrendere­d. No shots were fired.

In a note left in his truck he said Canada “is now under a Communist dictatorsh­ip.”

His wife, who has since filed for divorce, told a psychiatri­st assessing Hurren for the court that before the attack, Hurren “would spend most of the day laying on the couch or in bed on his phone browsing the internet.”

Hurren was originally charged with 21 weapons offences. Last month, he pleaded guilty to seven firearm charges and a mischief charge for damaging the Rideau Hall gate.

Crown prosecutor Meaghan Cunningham asked for a six-year sentence because of the seriousnes­s of the armed attack and the political motivation behind it.

Michael Davies, Hurren’s lawyer, sought a sentence of three years. He said Hurren suffers from depression and submitted a doctor’s report supporting that diagnosis.

The unusual circumstan­ces of the storming of Rideau Hall meant both prosecutor­s and defence were unable to find comparable case law on past sentences for similar acts.

Wadden said Hurren’s motivation, planning, and heavy weaponry made it “very nearly” the worst circumstan­ces of a possession of weapons charge.

“His possession of the firearms in this context posed a risk that the weapons would be used at any point to inflict serious bodily harm or death. The deliberate­ness of Mr. Hurren’s actions, his intentiona­l use of loaded weapons to make a political statement bring him a long way from a usual first offender,” Wadden said.

“This was an armed aggression against the government that must be denounced in the strongest possible terms.”

In court, Hurren wore a medical mask and the same T-shirt — black with a grey Canadian flag on it — that he wore at last month’s court hearing. The design is sold online as a “Canada Flag Military Tactical T-shirt.”

At the time of his arrest, Hurren was married with two children. He had a small sausage-making business and was a Master Corporal with the Canadian Rangers, a military reserve unit.

He was on active duty in Operation LASER, the name for the Canadian military’s operationa­l response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He brought his military identifica­tion with him on his drive from Manitoba in case he was stopped by police.

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GRINDHOUSE FINE FOODS/FACEBOOK
 ?? GRINDHOUSE FINE FOODS / FACEBOOK ?? “There is no evidence that he has renounced the conspiracy theories or that he has recognized the wrongfulne­ss of
using armed force to express his political views,” a judge said on Wednesday referring to Corey Hurren, above.
GRINDHOUSE FINE FOODS / FACEBOOK “There is no evidence that he has renounced the conspiracy theories or that he has recognized the wrongfulne­ss of using armed force to express his political views,” a judge said on Wednesday referring to Corey Hurren, above.

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