By Roger Annis
Sept 5, 2012–Below for the information of readers is a chart of the results of the Sept 4 Quebec election as well as eight related news articles and commentaries.
The Parti québécois failed to win a majority government and will now be dependent on the two, large federalist parties to govern. The left-wing Québec solidaire party won two seats in the National Assembly–those of its co-leaders Françoise David and Amir Khadir.
This morning, the new PQ government announced the cancellation of the bitterly-contested university tuition hike that was imposed by the defeated Liberal Party government earlier this year. It also says it will soon withdraw Law 12 (Bill 78) that sought to bludgeon student associations and their supporters into acceptance of the hike.
The election evening ended on a shocking note when 62 year old Richard Henry Bain attempted to enter one of two rear doors of the large hall in Montreal where the Parti québécois was celebrating its victory in winning a minority government. He was carrying an assault rifle (AK 47) and a pistol. It was near midnight. PQ leader Pauline Marois was delivering her victory speech. She was rushed off stage by security when two shots were heard.
According to the daily Le Devoir, the gunman was blocked from entering the hall and fired through the door, killing one person. Another person inside was injured by shots fired by the bodyguards of the Premier-elect. Had Bain entered the other rear door, he would have been steps away from Marois.
Television news captured the gunman’s rapid arrest behind the hall. He had tried to cover an escape on foot by lighting a large fire to an adjoining building. As he was led to a police car to be detained, he shouted, “The English are waking up.” He also said words to the effect, “See what trouble you’re going to stir up.” Bain is the owner of a hunting and fishing lodge near Labelle, Quebec, in the picturesque tourist region north and east of Montreal.
After Marois was whisked away from the podium following the shots, people were asked by the event emcee to calmly leave the hall by the front entrance. He told the audience, “Nothing to worry about, just a minor disturbance.” Rather bizarrely, Marois returned to the stage five or so minutes later and quickly finished her speech. One assumes that the police had communicated to event organizers that the gunman had been detained. It appears there was an assumption by authorities from the get-go that the gunman had no accomplices and it was therefore safe to go outside.
Bain was wearing a bathrobe during the whole confrontation. While he may be sloughed off by politicians and media in the coming days as someone psychologically disturbed, the fact is that his action fits into the atmosphere of utter hostility and irrationality towards Quebec nationalism and the project of an independent Quebec that is featured daily in the English language press in Montreal and voiced by many political and business leaders. It will be important to watch the extent to which this aspect of the shooting will come into focus in the days ahead.
Quebec Election Results