Fatal Shooting At Quebec Separatist’s Victory Speech

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Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press / AP

Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is whisked off stage as she delivered her victory speech in Quebec, Sept. 4, 2012.

One person was killed and another critically injured when a masked gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Parti Quebecois victory rally for Quebec’s incoming Premier, separatist Pauline Marois.

Marois, who is set to be Quebec’s first ever female Premier after defeating Jean Charest of the incumbent Liberal Party, was immediately rushed off stage by guards when the shooting began at Montreal’s Metropolis auditorium. She was unharmed.

She later returned to the stage to urge her supporters to disperse the auditorium peacefully.

Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere revealed that the shooter is a 50-year-old man and that he opened fire in the back of the auditorium. Witnesses claim the shooter got within 25 feet of the stage before he was apprehended, according to the BBC.

Lafreniere told reporters: “We know the suspect had more than one gun when it happened. Then he went out and set a fire at the door. The fire was extinguished by some police officers who were there.”

Images from Canada’s RDI television showed the man, wearing a black face mask and black hood and holding a rifle, being subdued outside the auditorium by police.

The gunman’s motivations are as yet unknown. He was heard shouting “The English are waking up!” as he was pulled into a police car.

The BBC reports that Marois, had said, “We want a country and we will have it,” referencing the party’s hope for the predominantly French-speaking Quebec’s independence from Canada, when the shooting started.

In a statement issued early Wednesday, quoted by the Associated  Press, Marois said: “Following this tragedy all Quebecois are mourning today before such a gratuitous act of violence.

“Never will a society such as ours let violence dictate its collective choices,” said Marois.

23 comments
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Mau Pham
Mau Pham

Having attended college in Montreal in the late 1960's, I understand the hurt feeling of the French Quebecois.

Why do they have to set a (hard-earned) example of bilingualism while the remaining 9 of Canadian provinces speak English only?

Learning 2 languages takes a lot of time away from learning the crucial skills of Science and Technology. In the business world in Montreal during that time, a person doesn't get paid any higher for bilingualism, even as a secretary.

Quebec province would be interesting as one of the few bilingual places in the world. But the effort put into bilingualism must be rewarded by private businesses, not just in government.

gogoboy
gogoboy

That's is disgrace. whoever responsible for the action should lock away with key throw away.

Moniker7
Moniker7

The seperatists have tried to seperate twice and failed - they even attempted to cheat their way to referendum victory and still couldn't pull off a majority vote. At least this new leader is smart enough to publically state she won't even try until she's certain there's a substantial chance of winning. Living in Alberta, most of us could careless less if Quebec does seperate as their more of a  resource drain on the country as a whole then a contributing province. At least our equalization payments would disappear if they did split.  

s0cialseven
s0cialseven

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LoudRambler
LoudRambler

 Quebec and Alberta are probably two places that can't be more different - more different than anything else in America.

 On one hand, Alberta constantly brags about its business-like reputation, and Quebec is treated like a high-tax corrupt place.

 On the other hand, Alberta is home to a number of smallish energy companies that are constantly acquired by bigger parties (yes, I'm talking about CNOOK acquiring NEXEN; but this is not the sole example) that treats this stuff like there's no tomorrow, and Quebec is home to majority of Canadian non-financial non-resource companies like Bombardier.

 And, while Alberta happily sells the right to develop oil sands to China like there's no tomorrow, Hydro Quebec is publicly owned and was voted the best hydro company in Canada.

 I don't want to talk down Alberta, and I don't speak French, I wasn't born in Canada (but our family lived for a few years in Quebec). I just ask for some sanity, as, seriously, talking down Quebec is Canadian national pasttime, while it is really poorly understood outside of Quebec.

joggr
joggr

Could this happen here in America,... again?

John L. Lee
John L. Lee

I've a great place for you. ...Devils island.