Daniel Seniw, 58, was handcuffed when he made a brief court appearance on Thursday — the day after he allegedly made an online threat.
Seniw's wife, Janet, was visiting the retired couple's grandchildren in Toronto when she received a phone call about her husband's arrest.
She rushed back to Montreal.
"Dan is a very charitable and giving guy, he volunteers in hospitals, he was just making a statement on the Internet," she told reporters outside the courtroom while she awaited Seniw's release from custody.
"I am very surprised," she said of his arrest. "He's a churchgoer, he volunteers at palliative care at St. Mary's Hospital (in Montreal), he volunteers at the mental health ward and this was just one little glitch that he did."
Seniw said her husband is not violent — "at all, at all."
She also issued a warning to others.
"Just be careful people, what you write on the Internet — you could end up in this same position," Seniw said.
She added that her husband was probably very surprised when police came calling at their house and arrested him.
Seniw, who was wearing jeans and a white T-shirt in the prisoner's dock, was freed on bail of $2,000 and had several other conditions imposed by the court.
He is not allowed to use the Internet and must prove he no longer has service.
Seniw is also prohibited from being within 250 metres of the national assembly in Quebec City and is not allowed to be in contact with any employees or members of the legislature.
His next court appearance is in Quebec City on Feb. 18.