Quebec's attorney general seeks to challenge mosque shooter sentence in Supreme Court

·1 min read
The memorial to the 2017 mosque shooting is inaugurated, Tuesday, December 1, 2020 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Quebec's attorney general and the Crown prosecutor's office are taking the sentencing of the man who killed six men in a Quebec City mosque to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 2019, Alexandre Bissonnette was sentenced to life in prison for the 2017 attack, with no chance of parole before 40 years.

Last November, however, Bissonnette's parole eligibility period was reduced to 25 years, after Quebec's Court of Appeal described the original sentence as ''cruel and unusual" and unanimously ruled in favour of the defence's arguments.

The attorney general and the Crown prosecutor's office announced plans to appeal the Court of Appeal's ruling to the Supreme Court in a joint statement released Friday.

The request to have the case heard by the Supreme Court opens the door to a possible ruling on the sentencing provisions that Stephen Harper's Conservative government introduced in 2011.

Since then, several convicted murderers have been given consecutive life sentences, including Justin Bourque, who is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years for killing three RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B., in 2014.

Conservative MP and House Leader Gérard Deltell took to Twitter to applaud the decision to take the case to the Supreme Court.

He pointed out that the current Liberal government has not struck down the sentencing provisions allowing for consecutive life sentences.