Montrealer Daniel Seniw charged with uttering threat over charter debate

A 58-year-old man is charged with uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm after he posted a comment on Facebook, saying "I see an AK-47 walking into the national assembly again and this issue will be passé."

'AK-47' comment may have been reference to 1984 fatal shooting

A man has been arrested for posting alleged threats on Facebook, in reference to an article about the Parti Québécois's proposed secular charter. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Daniel Seniw, a 58-year-old man from Montreal, has been formally charged with uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm.  

Provincial police, with the help of Montreal police, arrested him late Wednesday for allegedly implying on social media that he could see the Charter debate being settled by an AK-47 — a military assault rifle.

According to Radio-Canada, the comments were posted on a closed Facebook group, "Anglophone Community-Communauté Anglophone du Québec."

Daniel Seniw posted the comment in a closed Facebook group, "Anglophone Community-Communauté Anglophone du Québec." (Claude Roy/Facebook)

"I see an AK-47 walking into the national assembly again and this issue will be passé," Seniw wrote, referring to the Parti Québécois government's proposed secular charter.

Released with conditions

Seniw was released on bail for $2,000.

He has several conditions to abide by, including not using internet, not contacting any elected officials, and staying more than 250 metres away from the national assembly in Quebec City.

Seniw is due to appear back in court on Feb. 18.

Comment likely referred to 1984 attack

Claude Roy, who's a member of the Facebook group, told Radio-Canada that ever since he witnessed the Metropolis theatre shooting, he's been monitoring social media for hateful comments. 

Roy said that he didn't report Seniw's comment to police, but he did take a screen capture in order to have proof. 

"I've been observing that page for several weeks ... and I've seen the radicalism escalate," he told Radio-Canada.

Seniw's comment may have been a reference to a 1984 shooting in the national assembly that left three people dead and 13 wounded. 

Just before the shooting, the gunman dropped off a tape at a local radio station explaining his plans to destroy the Parti Québécois. 

The Sûreté du Québec said making online threats is a crime, whether or not there is an intention to carry them out.

It said it will investigate any threats or hateful comments.