Crown prosecutors Thomas Jacques (L) and Francois Godin (R) walk before talking to the press in the Quebec City Courthouse following the sentencing of perpetrator Alexandre Bissonnette, on February 8, 2019.
The dark-haired, slightly-built Bissonnette, who wore a white shirt under a navy blue jacket and handcuffs, had been described by police as a lone-wolf attacker.
The six men killed were Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Aboubaker Thabti and Azzeddine Soufiane.
Survivors of the Quebec City mosque shooting and families of the victims began arriving before 8 a.m. Friday to fill the public seats in court for a decision that could bring a measure of finality to a community still struggling to close the wounds of the 2017 massacre.
But other judges have rejected calls for consecutive sentences, including the Toronto judge who on Friday sentenced Bruce McArthur to life in prison with no parole for 25 years for murdering eight men with ties to Toronto's gay village.
Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, will have to serve 40 years - longer than usual - before he can apply for parole.
"It's very hard, I would imagine, to really find true closure on a day like today", she said, adding that people's hearts were with the families of the victims and the entire Quebec City mosque community.
Huot said a sentence of 50 years or more would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
Justice Huot said Bissonnette's actions in entering the mosque at the end of prayers and shooting congregants was motivated by prejudice.
Six men were killed and five were seriously injured, one of whom is now quadriplegic.
The longest sentence to date in Canada is 75 years without parole. Specifically, the attack came days after President Donald Trump announced his Muslim immigration ban and Justin Trudeau responded by saying Canada is open to refugees.
Like the rest of the world, Islamophobia has become a problem in Canada. In a statement read in court, he said he was "neither a terrorist nor an Islamophobe", but rather someone who was "overcome by fear, by negative thoughts and a sort of terrible kind of despair".
"No matter the outcome of today's decision, nothing can diminish the incredible support & solidarity felt by many Canadian Muslims in the wake of the attack, and during the past 2 years", the group said on Twitter.
In this judgement, Huot modified the 2011 consecutive sentencing law to give himself the discretion to deliver consecutive life sentences that are not in blocks of 25 years.
But Rénald Beaudry, a criminal lawyer who was at Bissonnette's sentencing, doesn't think the sentence will be so easy to overturn.