OTTAWA- A Manitoba man who armed himself and rammed a gate at Rideau Hall to confront Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been granted day parole.
The Parole Board of Canada denied full parole for Corey Hurren but approved for him to spend six months living in an undisclosed halfway house on day parole.
“It is the Board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society if released on day parole and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitation your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen,” a Nov. 16 decision reads.
The parole board said Hurren, 48, must attend psychological counselling to address mental health issues and reintegration stressors, take prescribed medication and maintain employment.
Hurren, who once served with the military’s Canadian Rangers, drove a truck on July 2, 2020, onto the grounds of the governor general’s official residence and crashed through the gate, causing $100,000 in damage.
He took two loaded shotguns and a loaded semi-automatic rifle and walked on the grounds toward Rideau Cottage, where Trudeau and his family were living due to repairs at the prime minister’s traditional official residence. Trudeau was not home at the time.
Police were able to talk Hurren down and arrested him peacefully after about 90 minutes.
Hurren told officers Trudeau was a “communist who was above the law and corrupt,” but that he ultimately didn’t intend to hurt anyone, the parole board said. Hurren went to Rideau Hall with the intention of arresting Trudeau to make a statement about the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and its ban on assault-style firearms.
Police seized five firearms from Hurren at Rideau Hall. Eleven more long guns were seized from his Manitoba residence, some of which he did not have a firearms licence for and were unregistered.
He pleaded guilty last spring to seven weapons offences and a charge of mischief and was sentenced to six years. A judge also ordered a lifetime weapons ban.
A psychiatrist noted in an assessment from March 2021 that Hurren had been experiencing several life stressors before he went to Rideau Hall, and that his usual diversions were unavailable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The parole board said since being incarcerated Hurren has made “significant progress in addressing (his) risk,” to reoffend by participating in therapy sessions.
“You have attended every session and have been fully engaged and receptive to the psychoeducation, supportive counselling and coping strategies,” it wrote.
The decision also outlined Hurren’s efforts to establish a connection to his Indigenous ancestry.
Hurren identifies as Metis through his paternal side of the family but was not raised with any knowledge of Indigenous culture, the decision said.
“The Board considered these guiding principles, which in your case includes loss of culture. Intergenerational effects and other systemic factors have affected Indigenous people and may be linked to your specific criminal behaviours.”
While in provincial custody, Hurren began accessing Indigenous resources and requested to get transferred to a healing lodge but was refused because of security ratings and the public interest in the case.
The decision said the Correctional Service of Canada opposed Hurren’s parole saying he, “displays limited insight and remorse.”
“Though your parole officer is of the view that you have not expressed remorse for your offending you were clear with the Board that you believe that what you did was wrong.”
Corrections also requested a restriction on access to the internet as part of Hurren’s parole conditions to distance him from conspiracy theorists.
The parole board argued the ban would be unreasonable as a lot of everyday activities require access to the internet.
— By Brittany Hobson in Winnipeg
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2022.