Man charged over online threats against prime minister


SASKATOON – A Saskatchewan man is facing charges after online threats were made against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Mounties say New Brunswick RCMP notified the National Security Enforcement Section in March about alleged threats on social media, but there was no direct contact between the suspect and Trudeau.

The file was linked to Saskatchewan and an investigation began.

Derek Hurrell, who is 34 and from Borden, Sask., was arrested on Wednesday during a traffic stop and charged with one count of uttering threats.

Police say several electronics were seized from a home in Borden, about 55 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

Earlier this week, police charged a woman in southern Alberta with making online threats against the prime minister’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

Another Saskatchewan man was found guilty earlier this year of uttering threats against Trudeau after posting expletive-laden posts on Facebook saying the prime minister should be shot.

Christopher Hayes was fined $500 in February and given nine months of probation, which included a ban on attending events where Trudeau was present. Hayes is also prohibited from owning firearms for three years.

“This is the second charge of this nature laid within the past 10 months. Both instances involved the use of social media. It’s important for the public to know that criminal charges may be laid if evidence is obtained to support them,” RCMP Supt. Rob Cameron said in a news release Friday.

“We do not take these investigations lightly, no matter who the victim is.”

Hurrell appeared in Saskatoon provincial court on Thursday. His next court appearance is set for next Thursday.