quebec … an old fight starts anew

gunshot, chaos at pq rally … “separation” is back

old wounds seemed to be ripped open again last night at a parti quebecois rally for newly elected premier of quebec …
after a hotly contested election cycle which saw the old fight for the separation of quebec from the rest of canada restarted, a fight that most canadians thought was settled years ago, it seems the fight has begun anew …
in a moment that seems more at home south of the 49th to most canadians, the bitter feelings and animosities that once held the country hostage during every federal election season once again seems to have resurfaced …

this is not a new situation for canadians …
most canadians over the age of 30 or so remember the battles, the rhetoric, the animosities and the ill will between quebec’s separatist movement and the rest of canada …
most remember the “let the bastards freeze in the dark” comments and sentiments that the rest of canada adopted during those tumultuous years …
many remember the mail box bombings, the kidnappings, the political unrest and the fear that it generated, and that held the country hostage for many, many years …
but, the wounds seemed to heal the last decade or so, and most canadians went on with their lives believing that, while there would always be “sentiments, de rêves et de la séparation” in quebec, it would just be in a very small minority of quebec’s population and that it was a thing of the past …
that it would somehow die out as time went on …
last night’s parti quebecois victory in quebec, the comments by parti quebecois leader marois about the sovereignty of quebec,and the incident that followed, has shown that this is a fight that has begun anew …

where this will all lead, how this will affect canada as a country, and how the rest of canada will react to this remains to be seen … but, one thing is certain …
last night, canada changed in a profound way, and this incident, sadly, will probably not be the end of this disagreement over what canada is, and what it stands for as a country …

i only hope that this time saner and more reasonable heads prevail …
and that this time a resolution that both sides can live with can be reached …
i would truly hate to see canada divided into two, or even three countries …
it just wouldn’t be canada any more …
canada has always been stronger because of it’s diversity and multiculturalism …
it is what has made canada such a great and amazing country …

se montrer fort, se serrer les coudes canada …
rester fort comme une seule nation, indivise …

stand strong, stand together canada …
stand strong as one nation canada …


Marois speaks to ‘neighbours’ in Canada

“Listen to me carefully. As a nation, we want to make the decisions about the things that are important to us. We want a country. And we will have it. So yes, we will have relationships and we will do this in respect of the other.. I say to our neighbours in Canada: be open about this…. Quebec needs to become a sovereign country”

One shot dead during Parti Quebecois victory speech

from the vancouver sun

MONTREAL – A 62-year-old suspect is in police custody Wednesday after a shooting late Tuesday night as premier-elect Pauline Marois was giving a victory speech.
Marois was whisked from the stage by bodyguards at the Metropolis theatre and returned a few moments later unharmed.
Montreal police said the man was “quickly apprehended” after approaching the back of Metropolis, penetrating a vestibule and opening fire.
“For us this is a homicide investigation,” Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafrenière said.
(Listen to audio clip describing suspect.)

Television footage showed a heavy-set man in a blue bathrobe and black balaclava yelling: “the anglos are waking up” in French with an English accent as he was led away by police. Then alternating between English and French he added: “There’s going to be f-ing payback. It’s enough. Wanna make trouble.”
The suspect "is not from Montreal. He is a Quebecer," Lafrenière said this morning.

"The suspect is with investigators" but Lafrenière would not disclose where he is being held and said he did not know whether the suspect is expected to make a court appearance Wednesday.
"At this stage in the investigation, there is nothing to indicate any accomplices or other persons implicated," he said.

Footage showed a high-powered rifle, which Twitter users identified as an AK-47 or Valmont Hunter weapon.
Lafrenière said two guns were recovered at the scene but there was no reason to believe there was more than one shooter.
(Click here for video of Montreal police briefing.)
Urgences Santé spokesperson Stéphane Smith said a man died on the scene and two others were transported to hospital. (Click here for video of Urgences Santé statement.)

The life of the second shooting victim is no longer considered in danger, Lt. Guy Lapointe of the Sûreté du Québec confirmed this morning. The third person was treated for shock, Smith said.
Lafrenière said the dead man was in his 40s, but refused to say more out of respect for the victim’s family.
However media reports indicate the deceased stagehand and the injured man are both employees of Solotech, a company that had been hired to work at Metropolis on election night. The men were inside the building when they were shot near the artists’ entrance.

Witnesses also said the suspect launched some kind of incendiary device into a nearby Dumpster, igniting it briefly before the flames were doused.
A section of Ste. Catherine St. in front of the Metropolis was been closed as a security perimeter was erected around the scene.
Marois, Quebec’s premier-elect, was rushed from the stage mid-speech by her bodyguards just before midnight after her Parti Québécois won a minority government.

Marois returned to the microphone shortly after and told stunned supporters an “unfortunate incident” had occurred. She asked the crowd to leave the theatre and appealed for calm, saying: “That is what a woman head of government does.”
The incident put a damper on what was a noisy, happy celebration of Marois’s victory as the first woman to lead Quebec.
Sylvain Giguere, a PQ supporter, said after Marois was yanked offstage, “the room went deadly quiet.”
The other party leaders, including outgoing premier Jean Charest and Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault denounced the tragic turn of events.
Montreal police downplayed how close the suspect got to Quebec’s newly elected premier.

“Yes, he entered inside the theatre, but he was only in the entryway … a vestibule,” Lafrenière said. “The suspect was quickly apprehended. The incident took place behind the theatre.”
He added that it was too early to speculate about the suspect’s motivations or whether he has a criminal record.
“What was his motive? Those are things we are looking into,” Lafrenière said.

Marois sent out a press release following the shooting saying her thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased. “All Quebecers are in mourning today because of this act of violence. Never would a society like ours allow violence to dictate our collective choice. It is through democracy that we have to express ourselves, like Quebecers were able to do yesterday.”

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette


Newly-elected premier of Quebec Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois was whisked off stage by a security team after a gunman opened fire inside the Métropolis where she was giving her acceptance speech just before midnight on Tuesday. A gunshot can be heard in the background at 0:08 in the video.
One person was killed and another was critically injured. A third person was treated for shock and a possible heart attack. A fire was also started at the back of the building and a suspect in a blue bathrobe was arrested outside soon after. There is a report that a Molotov cocktail was thrown.
The suspect, while being dragged away into a police cruiser, reportedly yelled "Les Anglais se reveillent!" (The English are waking up!). TV images showed officers examining a weapon that appeared to be an assault rifle.

Quebec Shooting:
Man Opens Fire During Victory Rally For Premier-Elect Pauline Marois

Montreal police tweeted that one person was killed and another critically injured when a 50-year-old man opened fire at Montreal’s Metropolis concert hall where Marois was making her speech. The man has been arrested, according to police.

After the shooting, the man lit fire to the rear of the building, according to police.
The suspect, while being dragged toward a police cruiser, shouted in French, "The English are waking up!”
The man was dressed in a housecoat.
A security perimeter has been established around a vehicle that may contains guns or explosives, according to La Presse.
Security personnel whisked Marois off the stage as handlers informed the partisan crowd that there had been an explosive noise, urging them to clear the auditorium.
A PQ spokesman asked the crowd to leave when Marois was taken from the stage and the crowd milled around, confused.
Marois, who was uninjured, returned to stage soon after and asked supporters to leave the concert hall calmly.
The crowd cleared out afterward, passing by Montreal police who lined the lobby. Marois was escorted from the building in a tight cordon of provincial police bodyguards.
A fire truck was parked on the street and firemen entered as police put up crime scene tape across one corner of the stage leading to an exit.
An acrid smell of smoke hung heavily in the bar as media collected their equipment while other police officers moved around the stage and talked to the hall’s own security guards.

With files from The Canadian Press


Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the outcome of the Quebec provincial election:“The people of Quebec have made the decision to elect a minority government led by the Parti québécois. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Pauline Marois on her election victory, and the other candidates for taking part in this democratic process. “We do not believe that Quebecers wish to revisit the old constitutional battles of the past. Our Government will remain focused on jobs, economic growth and sound management of the economy.”

“We believe that economic issues and jobs are also the priorities of the people of Quebec.”

“With this in mind, we will continue to work with the Government of Quebec toward our common goals. I would also like to thank outgoing premier Jean Charest for his leadership and for his dedication to the people of Quebec.”


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