HR consultant’s family in ‘total shock’ after he’s charged with attempted murder of 101-year-old veteran

The family of an Orléans human resources consultant was stunned to learn he had been charged with attempted murder over a home invasion and attack on a 101-year-old veteran.

Ian Bush, 59, was to make his second court appearance Monday morning on six charges related to the robbery last week of Ernest Côté, a retired colonel and Second World War veteran.

“It’s a total shock to us,” said Brock Bush, his son. “It’s out of character.”

He would not say if his father knew the victim and referred all inquiries to Bush’s lawyer.


Ernest Côté was in good spirits as he spoke to the Ottawa Citizen on Friday.

Bush is self-employed and runs a consulting firm that lists his three adult children as directors. He and wife, nurse Carrie Mortson, recently became grandparents.

Bush’s lawyer, Geraldine Castle-Trudel, said he has no criminal record.

Because of the strange circumstances of the case, she said, she will consider asking the court for a referral to a psychiatrist.

“It’s very unusual,” she said. “You look at a 59-year old with no criminal record.  That’s when you say, wait a minute.”

Bush was charged Friday evening with attempted murder, robbery with violence, forcible confinement, break and enter, and two counts of using a credit card obtained by crime.

The arrest drew a commendation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Police say a man gained access to Côté’s New Edinburgh apartment building on Thursday morning by pretending to be a City of Ottawa employee. He forced his way into Côté’s apartment, placed a plastic bag over the elderly man’s head and robbed him. Côté was able to free himself and call 911.

The Crown says Bush was arrested after police received a tip from a family member, Castle-Trudel said.

Bush had worked in human resources with paper company Domtar in Cornwall before launching his own firm, Bush and Associates Consulting, which he ran from his home. He is also listed as the treasurer of organization called the Canadian Clean Heat and Power Association.

I’ve known him for some time. He’s not the type to do something like this

The association had just got off the ground, said its vice chair, Ahmed Elsaadi.

“I am actually shocked now that I’ve heard the news today,” said Elsaadi, who had worked with Bush at Domtar in Cornwall.

“I’ve known him for some time. He’s not the type to do something like this.”

Bush “seems friendly and nice,” said next-door neighbour Ron Snow, who added that he was disgusted by the description of the attack on Côté.

Reached at his home in Dryden, Ont., Bush’s brother Norm said he had heard nothing about any charges being laid.

“I wouldn’t have associated him with anything like that,” he said.

Bush’s mother-in-law, Iva Mortson, said hadn’t heard anything from her daughter about an arrest, either.

“He’s a very sweet man,” she said.

After the attack, police released video from the security cameras in Côté’s building and two still images.

One of the pictures shows a suspect with what appear to be the Wine Rack, Booster Juice and Sugar Mountain stores in Place d’Orléans in the background, across the mall from a Scotiabank location, suggesting this image might have come from an ATM.

After releasing the images, police say, they received the tip that led to the arrest.

He seemed to be doing quite well with his consulting business

The man in the security camera image bears a strong likeness to pictures associated with Bush’s social media profiles.

Joanne Snow, a neighbour, said she looked at the surveillance camera photo published in the newspaper.

“Yes, that’s him in the picture,” she said.

Brian Robinson, who also worked with Bush at Domtar, said he and Bush had given a seminar on human resources training for Kott Lumber employees about five years ago, and hadn’t seen him since.

“He seemed to be doing quite well with his consulting business,” said Robinson, who also ran a consulting firm.

Bush’s wife, Carrie, works the nightshift at Orchard View on the Rideau, a Manotick seniors home. They rent the small Valade Crescent townhouse they live in, near Tenth Line Road.

On Twitter, Bush often tweets about politics, often critically of those he sees as liberals. He posted a message on Twitter as recently as 2:54 p.m. on Friday.

On Remembrance Day, Bush’s account tweeted an angry response to a Globe and Mail reporter who noted that people had shouted “thank-you” as a group of veterans marched by.

“Thank-you? For what???” the tweet said. When someone else responded that thanks were deserved for protecting the country’s freedoms, Bush’s account replied, “What nonsense you spew. What freedoms? Spell them out! You believe the propaganda like a little Nazi.”

On the same day, the account tweeted, “The only argument for Nov. 11 being a national holiday is give civil servants more time off with pay.”

With files from Darren Brown, Ottawa Citizen

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HR consultant’s family in ‘total shock’ after he’s charged with attempted murder of 101-year-old veteran
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