Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Raymond Bissonnette, father of Alexandre Bissonnette who pleaded guilty in the 2017 mosque shooting, reads a statement to media as the mother, Manon Marchand, looks on, Thursday, at the hall of justice in Quebec City.

Father of Quebec City mosque shooter says Crown demonizing his son

QUEBEC — Prosecutors have demonized Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette and want to put him away for 150 years for political reasons, the killer’s father said Thursday at the conclusion of his son’s sentencing hearing.

“Alexandre is not a monster,” Raymond Bissonnette told reporters outside the courtroom.

Rather, Alexandre is a mentally ill victim of relentless bullying and intimidation during his school years — factors that could have played a role in the shooting, his father said.

“All our efforts to end the bullying failed,” he said, flanked by his wife, Manon Marchand.

“In the closing arguments, the Crown said that all young people are bullied sometime in their lives and don’t commit serious crimes,” he continued. “I think this opinion does not do justice to the serious damage and suffering caused by bullying and intimidation.”

Bissonnette, 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder after he walked into a mosque in the provincial capital in January 2017 and opened fire.

The defence has argued Bissonnette should be eligible for parole after 25 years in prison, while the Crown wants Bissonnette to receive a 150-year sentence.

His father said the Crown ignored the fact his son was mentally ill by not ordering psychiatric examination after his arrest.

“Instead, the Crown decided to completely demonize him by any means in order to obtain a 150-year sentence, the greatest sentence ever given in Canada,” Raymond said.

“One hundred years is actually a death sentence in disguise, we all know, all hope is extinguished. I fear in my son’s case, actually, the Crown is seeking a political, not a judicial sentence.”

Raymond also spoke about Quebec City’s Muslim community, whom he said had “legitimate frustrations” regarding religious discrimination.

“I realize how much this community members feel isolated and misunderstood,” he said. ”I also realize that nothing will change their opinion about my son Alexandre, and I fully understand.”

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month