Canadian police arrest armed man near Trudeau’s residence in Ottawa; Trudeau was not home

A police dog searches a vehicle at Rideau Hall, the property where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives, after an armed man was apprehended on the property early this morning in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Canadian police arrested an armed man early on Thursday who had gained access to an exclusive part of Ottawa where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives, though Trudeau was not home at the time, officials said.

Trudeau and his family are based in a large house on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the residence of Governor General Julie Payette, the official representative of head of state Queen Elizabeth. Rideau Hall sits on an 88-acre (0.35 square km) wooded estate.

“At approximately 6:40 this morning (1040 GMT), an armed man was able to access the grounds … the Prime Minister and the Governor General were not present at the moment of the incident,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Twitter.

“The man was arrested shortly after without any incident. He is currently in custody and is being interviewed,” it added, saying criminal charges were pending.

A spokesman for Trudeau confirmed that the 48-year-old prime minister was not at home at the time. Trudeau, who is married with three children, also has access to a summer house about 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Ottawa.

Unlike the United States, where four presidents have been assassinated since 1865, there is almost no history of serious political violence in Canada.

The one exception was in 1970, when a radical group seeking independence for Quebec kidnapped the Canadian province’s deputy premier and later killed him.

Trudeau donned a bulletproof vest for an election campaign rally in October last year after officials detected a security threat.