Nine months in prison for threatening Trudeau and Legault with death

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Nine months in prison for having threatened Trudeau and Legault with death

Jacques Nadeau Archives Le Devoir Judge Bonin chose to impose a prison sentence in a detention facility and probation supervised for two years at André Tisseur.

A man from Lanaudière was sentenced to nine months in prison for threatening death on social networks to Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and François Legault last year. With his threats, of incredible violence, André Tisseur also incited others to violence, while he kept a loaded firearm under his bed.

The 58-year-old's writings and videos were released in March and April 2022. Several refer to the health measures taken to stem COVID-19. He particularly attacks the vaccine and “5G”.

The threats — which will not be repeated here in their entirety — are vulgar and marked by great violence. In particular, he says to “the CAQ gang, you are all [sic] dead” and encourages citizens “to take out their weapons”. He talks about the electric chair, the guillotine and heads rolling in blood: “I feel like killing the whole government.”

The man pleaded guilty to uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm to the Prime Ministers of Canada and Quebec and other members of the government, as well as having had in his possession a loaded firearm and other weapons during this prohibited by court order.

Rarely, Judge Normand Bonin of the Court of Quebec refused the two joint sentencing suggestions from defense and Crown lawyers, deeming them inadequate and contrary to the public interest. The first suggested a sentence to be served at home with community service and the second a prison sentence equivalent to the time the man had already spent behind bars.

The magistrate rebuffs the lawyers in passing: they had not made checks to ensure that the accused was able to perform community work. But the man is disabled. Moreover, the defense lawyer had not even listened to the videos and the two lawyers had only made a brief summary to the judge.

The latter asked to listen to them and commented on them thus: “Not only in the lyrics, but also in the tone employed, there was a level of violence that highlighted a danger to the public”.

He thus refused the prison sentence to be served at home: “The recommendation of the parties on the sentence is so dissociated from the circumstances of the offense and the situation of the accused that its acceptance by the Court would lead the persons informed and reasonable, aware of all the relevant circumstances, to believe that the justice system has ceased to function properly.

Judge Bonin therefore orders a pre-sentence report, then invites the prosecutors to make a second joint suggestion — which Judge Bonin also refused because it “also brings the administration of justice into disrepute” .

The accused has a long criminal record — 27 cases to his name — and he disregarded court orders in the past, having in his hand prohibited weapons and a loaded one under his bed when he had no not the right to own one, writes the judge. Despite six months of therapy since his arrest, the pre-sentence report notes a “present risk of recidivism” and expresses concern about the accused's potential for violence.

The magistrate thus chose to impose a prison sentence in a correctional facility and supervised probation for two years.

“In view of the crimes committed, there is nothing trivial in thus threatening people who devote themselves to the public good. There is nothing trivial about encouraging many listeners to take up arms and sleeping with a loaded weapon under their bed and other weapons including a prohibited weapon, writes the judge. This is an attack on democracy itself, “wrote the magistrate, recalling that Prime Minister Pauline Marois was the victim of an attack in 2012.