OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – An update is expected Friday morning after a member of the Canadian Armed Forces was arrested Thursday in connection with a bizarre intrusion at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Mounties are set to speak to the series of events that unfolded on the grounds of Rideau Hall at 9:45 a.m. ET.
The circumstances surrounding the incident remain somewhat murky, but reports suggest the man was headed to try and confront Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the COVID-19 pandemic. A pick-up truck reportedly rammed through one of the visitor gates of Rideau Hall just after 6:30 a.m. Thursday, bending the thick iron metal and leaving debris on a pathway to the historic building.
The RCMP says a lone armed man then fled on foot through the grounds, making it all the way to the greenhouse, which is attached to Rideau Hall at the back. That’s where Mounties on patrol were able to contain the man and start a dialogue, arresting him shortly after.
It took about two hours from the initial breach until the moment the suspect was arrested.
“The armed suspect was apprehended shortly before 8:30 a.m. without any incident and he was brought into police custody for questioning. As a precaution, the [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives response] team was also deployed to search and secure the suspect’s vehicle,” the RCMP adds.
I'll note RCMP says its members quickly contained the armed man and began dialogue, which lasted some time before the arrest. The Greenhouse is at the back of Rideau Hall, so this armed man ran covered a lot of distance on the large grounds before being arrested #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) July 2, 2020
Officials have confirmed the man arrested is a member of the military but have not identified him as charges are pending. However, multiple media reports identify him as Corey Hurren, a reservist and member of the Canadian Rangers from rural Manitoba. The RCMP has also not said what weapons were found, but reports suggest the man had three long guns. They also suggest a note was left in the truck.
“The Canadian Armed Forces is collaborating closely with the RCMP,” the Department of National Defence said in a statement Thursday. ”
As the RCMP is the lead investigative body for this matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
Hurren is said to have driven to Ottawa from Bowsman, Man.
The iconic Rideau Hall has long served as the home to Canada’s governors general. However, Julie Payette was not on the premises at the time of the incident.
According to her office, Payette has only occasionally been at Rideau Hall during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Given the number of staff required to support Her Excellency when she is on the grounds of Rideau Hall, during the pandemic she has chosen to prioritize the health and safety of the employees of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General by only being there when Constitutional duties require, such as Royal Assent,” the statement said.
Trudeau and his family have also lived at Rideau Cottage, located on the Rideau Hall grounds, since he became prime minister. The government is still working on whether to renovate 24 Sussex Dr., where past prime ministers have lived.
Neither he nor his family were home at the time of the security breach.