An armed member of the Canadian Armed Forces has been arrested after driving a truck through the gates of the property where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resides.
RCMP say at 6:40 a.m. on Thursday, an armed man was able to gain access to the Rideau Hall grounds. The grounds are home to the residences of the Governor General and the Rideau Cottage, where the Prime Minister and his family live. RCMP have confirmed that neither Trudeau and his family nor Governor General Julie Payette were home at the time.
The RCMP say the man left his truck on foot after ramming it through the gates and went to the property's greenhouses where he was intercepted by several RCMP officers on patrol in the area.
"While an RCMP member began dialogue with the suspect, the RCMP National Division Emergency Response Team was also dispatched and arrived shortly after 7 a.m.," the RCMP said in a statement. "The armed suspect was apprehended shortly before 8:30 a.m. without any incident and he was brought into police custody for questioning."
Police, who have yet to release the identity of the suspect, say they are keeping the man in custody overnight and “charges are pending.” The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed to VICE that the man who was arrested was a member of the military.
"The individual arrested by the RCMP this morning in the vicinity of Rideau Hall is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces," a CAF spokesperson told VICE in an email. "The Canadian Armed Forces is collaborating closely with the RCMP."
The spokesperson would not comment on the man's role within the CAF because "the RCMP is the lead investigative body for this matter."
The black truck used by the suspect to ram the gates was investigated by a bomb-squad robot after the man was arrested. The robot searched the vehicle and found Canadian Armed Forces rations, an orange cooler, a Dr. Pepper bottle, and clothes. Two-and-a-half hours after the incident occurred, police declared the scene safe.
The RCMP have said man the man drove in from Manitoba. According to the CBC, the man had a note on him but didn't disclose what was in it. Global News is reporting that the man was armed with a rifle and two shotguns and that sources said the man just wanted to talk to the prime minister, not harm him.
On Canada Day, members of the far right Canadian patriot movement held an anti-Trudeau rally at the U.S. embassy. The rally focused on a variety of things including pushing back on COVID-19 regulations like wearing masks and handing over “legal documents” to the U.S. to incite President Donald Trump to arrest Justin Trudeau for the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Several hundred people, including right-wing Canadians from across the country and failed politician Maxime Bernier, came to the event.
Footage of the rally was shared by Q, the central figure of the massive conspiracy about Trump’s fight against the alleged “deep state.” The group chanted “fuck Trudeau” and “lock him up” while at the rally.
The Rideau Hall arrest has already sparked numerous conspiracy theories. Attendees of the far-right rally have already begun to dub the Rideau Hall incident as a false-flag event carried out to tarnish their reputation. Meanwhile, some adherents of the Qanon conspiracy are celebrating the event. They believe the police action on Trudeau’s residence, Q flagging the rally, and the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, ex-girlfriend of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, are all connected and are signs that Trump has arrested Justin Trudeau.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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