Thomas Dyer sentenced to house arrest for threatening Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Thomas Dyer was sentenced to 60 days of house arrest as part of a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to uttering death threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

On Thursday morning, Judge Craig A. Parry handed down the sentence in an Ontario Court of Justice, noting in his determination that he must consider the potential these threats might have had in the democratic electoral process.

Parry sentenced Dyer to a 60-day suspended sentence with the time spent under house arrest. He is only allowed to go out for specific reasons such as work, justice, health and on Sundays, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., to do basic shopping.

Dyer will also be on probation for 12 months and will be required to complete 100 hours of community service.

“Our recourse is not through vigilance. It’s through the ballot box,” Parry told the court. “This type of conduct helps and encourages the rise of authoritarianism, it does not improve democracy.”

Parry agreed at sentencing that incarceration was unnecessary, but was consistent in noting that Dyer’s actions are undemocratic and create risk.

Initially, the Crown and defense agreed that a non-custodial sentence with a $2,000 fine and 18 months probation was appropriate.

Parry said he believed the sentence did not accurately reflect the charges and that a fine may not send enough of a message about the seriousness of the threat to a political figure running for office.


The charges stem from an incident in Cambridge, Ontario. on August 29, 2021, during a campaign stop by the Prime Minister.

According to the Agreed Statement of Facts, the threat took place when Trudeau and his campaign visited a scrap metal business on Lindsay Road to make a stump speech to promote his party’s climate change policies.

The following day, Gabriel Letourneau, a member of the RCMP’s Federal Policing Threat Assessment Section, was reviewing media reports that showed a protester – later identified as Dyer – holding a poster depicting an executioner leading Trudeau to a noose.

RCMP reviewed Dyer’s Facebook page, which was open to the public, and confirmed Dyer’s identity by comparing photos.

“In this video, the videographer rides a tourist bus on Lindsay Road in Cambridge and calls Prime Minister Trudeau out. Dyer uses various vulgar terms to describe the Prime Minister, but never mentions any other politician or person by name,” the statement of facts reads.

Dyer was arrested and charged with two counts of uttering threats more than a week after the campaign was halted.

One count was withdrawn at sentencing.


Dyer’s attorney, while agreeing with the non-custodial sentence, said he believed a more appropriate response would be community service, as Dyer believed that “would be more meaningful than paying a fine”.

Nicholas Wansbutter said there are factors in Dyer’s background that are important and salient to the case. He has a prior criminal record that involves threats and violence on occasion – but that’s balanced by considering some of the very difficult circumstances in his life.

From 2005 to 2009, Dyer was convicted of a series of violent crimes.

These included forcible confinement, stalking and several assaults.

“It was a period of prolific violence over a four-year period, which is a factor that could heighten or aggravate what might be an appropriate sentence,” Parry said in court Thursday.

Wansbutter referenced a 2005 car accident in which Dyer slammed through the windshield of a pickup truck in a blinding snowstorm and was diagnosed with post-traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident.

“The moment he felt he was exercising his right to freedom of expression – after the arrest, the court and the reflection on what he had done, he realized that it is unacceptable to threaten anyone. whatsoever and that it is certainly unacceptable to threaten a political figure and potentially interfere with the way our system works,” Wansbuter said.

He added that Dyer recognized that his anger management and impulse control needed further work, which resulted in the completion of counseling. This includes anger de-escalation and tools to detox negative thoughts.

The defense team also noted that Dyer is the primary provider for a family of 10.


“It was a serious crime, it would have been serious had it been committed during a campaign stop by an aspiring politician who has yet to be elected,” Parry told the court on Thursday. “It is significantly more serious because it was committed against our nation’s most senior elected official – our effective head of state.”

“It takes a person to start a wave, and every time one person gets up and waves their arms there is a risk that others will follow and a wave will ensue,” he said more late in his speech.

“In our case, we have a threat during a campaign shutdown that had the potential to interfere with a vital part of electoral politics, which is of course a vital part of the functioning of a liberal democratic society,” he said. Parry said. “So the offense in question, in this case, is not simply an offense against a particular victim, in this case Justin Trudeau, but against the operation of the electoral process itself.

During the hearing, Parry briefly put the case on hold to allow the defense and Crown to consider the recommended sentence after he said the threat ‘had the potential to interfere with a vital part of electoral politics. “.

After more discussion, the case was again put on hold to allow Parry to consider the evidence presented.