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Man pleads guilty to threatening prime minister during Cambridge campaign stop

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A man has pleaded guilty to uttering a threat against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a campaign stop in Cambridge last year.

According to the agreed statement of facts, while there was a lot of yelling and swearing during the event, Trudeau did not have any direct interactions with the protestors, and they left when he did.

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer reviewing media reports the next day saw a sign with an image of Justin Trudeau being led to a noose.

The person holding it was later identified as Thomas Dyer who was arrested on Sept. 10, 2021.

“The threat took place when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his campaign visited a scrap-metal business on Lindsay Road in Cambridge to make a stump speech to promote his party's climate change policies,” the statement of facts reads in part.

When police looked up Dyer’s Facebook they found a video of the event, which remains posted publicly now.

Protestors showed up at several of Trudeau’s campaign stops last summer, leading to concerns for his safety and the Liberal party of Canada cancelling a rally near Bolton.

“Two days prior, the Trudeau campaign made the rare decision to cancel a rally planned near Bolton, Ontario, as the anticipated protest was deemed to endanger public safety. Similar rallies had already occurred in Barrie, Ontario, where it is believed that Mr. Dyer attended,” the statement of fact reads.

This Cambridge event took place just a couple of days after that.

A week and a half after the event, Dyer was arrested and charged with two counts of uttering threats.

He has now pleaded guilty to one count. The other will be withdrawn at sentencing.

The agreed statement of facts says that Dyer was threatening Trudeau, at another point saying he will “punch Trudeau if he gets off the bus.”

Threats were also uttered at police officers, according to the statement of fact.

Dyer is heard on the video justifying his words.

“I can say whatever the hell I want because that’s my freedom of speech,” Dwyer is heard saying in the video.

Defence lawyer Ari Goldkind, who is not involved in the case, says the criminal code is clear when it comes to threatening someone's life. Even if the person saying it does not intend to carry it out.

“If this was said to anybody else at the grocery store, let alone somebody who doesn't have private security details, the police would be acting no differently - it's not as if PM Trudeau got some special treatment here, or that this man is being treated more harshly because he said nasty things about the prime minister,” said Goldkind.

CTV News Kitchener reached out to Dyer's lawyer who said he will have to consult with his client before doing an interview.

Dyer is scheduled to be sentenced on October 20.

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