The flag of the Supreme Court of Canada flies outside the building following a ceremony in Ottawa, Monday March 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Supreme Court of Canada to hear appeal of sentencing in mosque shooter case

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will review the sentencing of a man who went on a deadly shooting spree at a Quebec City mosque.

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the January 2017 assault just after evening prayers.

In 2019, Bissonnette successfully challenged a 2011 law that allowed a court, in the event of multiple murders, to impose a life sentence and parole ineligibility periods of 25 years to be served consecutively for each murder.

A judge declared the provision unconstitutional and instead said Bissonnette must wait 40 years before applying for parole.

Quebec’s Court of Appeal agreed that consecutive sentencing violated the charter, but said the judge erred in making the ineligibility period 40 years.

It said the court must revert to the law as it stood before 2011, meaning the parole ineligibility periods are to be served concurrently, resulting in a total waiting period of 25 years.