Envelopes with white powder found at offices of federal ministers in Quebec

Envelopes containing white powder were reportedly found in three riding offices of federal cabinet ministers on Thursday, prompting police and firefighters to quarantine employees in one of the bureaus.

MONTREAL — Envelopes containing white powder were reportedly found in three riding offices of federal cabinet ministers on Thursday, prompting police and firefighters to quarantine employees in one of the bureaus.

Two people came into contact with a white substance found in an envelope at Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel’s office in Roberval, Que., about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City.

The office was evacuated but the two employees who reportedly came into contact with the powder were still quarantined in the building as of Thursday afternoon as firefighters analyzed the scene, said Richard Cote, head of the region’s emergency services.

Another envelope containing white powder was later found in the riding office of International Development Minister Christian Paradis in Thetford Mines, south of Quebec City.

Police spokeswoman Annie Gilbert said a person who came into contact with the substance was transported to hospital.

The chief of staff of cabinet minister Maxime Bernier said a third suspicious envelope was found in his office in Saint-Georges, south of Quebec City.

That envelope was placed in a plastic bag and handed over to provincial police.

Police wouldn’t say if the envelope found in Bernier’s office was opened or how they knew it contained a suspicious substance.

Provincial police spokesman Richard Gagne refused to say if written messages were included in any of the three envelopes.

Lebel released a statement saying provincial police had taken charge of the situation and alerted the RCMP.

“These actions are taken very seriously,” the statement read. “The safety of Canadians is a priority for our government. There can be no doubt that we will not be intimidated.”

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