A 32-year-old Kitchener resident has been charged in connection with threats made toward Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau during a campaign stop in Cambridge, Ont.
The charges appear to be the first laid in Canada for an incident along Trudeau’s campaign trail, which has been rife with protests.
Trudeau was in Cambridge on Aug. 29 when the alleged threats occurred.
According to a release, Waterloo regional police launched an investigation on Aug. 31 into alleged threats toward Trudeau after viewing video of the event, speaking to witnesses and receiving information from the RCMP.
A Kitchener man has been arrested and charged with two counts of uttering threats.
“The alleged threats occurred from a live video that was taken at the event,” said Cst. Ashley Dietrich with Waterloo regional police. “I can’t speak to any specifics of the threats that were made, however, they did describe harm and/or death to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”
Police said the investigation remains ongoing.
“Everybody does have a right to a peaceful protest, but we encourage people to do it in a peaceful manner,” Dietrich said. “Any time where uttering threats toward a person or their property is made, and where people can be identified, criminal charges will be laid.”
Groups of protestors shouting obscenities, brandishing the middle finger and carrying sometimes graphic signs have become a mainstay at most of Trudeau’s campaign stops in recent weeks.
In Cambridge, the Liberal Leader was met with crowds of protesters sounding air sirens and chanting “lock him up.”
That came just days after a Trudeau campaign event in the Greater Toronto Area had to be cancelled after police said unruly protesters posed a security threat.
Both Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh denounced those protests.
On Monday, at a campaign stop in London, Ont., protesters threw gravel at Trudeau. London police have said they are investigating the incident.
Trudeau has called the protestors “anti-vaxxer mobs,” adding he “can’t back down” on his election campaign.
With files from CTV Kitchener’s Jeff Pickel, CTV News and The Canadian Press.