Charges about to be laid in shooting at PQ party: police

MONTREAL — Charges are expected soon in a shooting that may have targeted Quebec’s premier-in-waiting, an act that has sent shockwaves across Canada and elicited unflattering attention abroad.

MONTREAL — Charges are expected soon in a shooting that may have targeted Quebec’s premier-in-waiting, an act that has sent shockwaves across Canada and elicited unflattering attention abroad.

Police are continuing to question the only suspect in Tuesday’s attack at a Parti Quebecois victory celebration. He was being evaluated at a Montreal hospital and a provincial police spokesman said he expects a court arraignment Thursday morning.

Police sources said the suspect is 62-year-old Richard Henry Bain, the owner of a fishing retreat in the picturesque Laurentian mountains north of Montreal. The suspect was wearing a housecoat and balaclava when he was tackled by police after two people were shot, one of whom died.

Police say they cannot rule out the possibility that premier-designate Pauline Marois was the shooter’s target. While the suspected gunman was only metres away, he never actually made it past the doorway into the room where Marois was speaking.

While he was being taken away into a police vehicle, Bain shouted an expletive and spoke of an awakening of English-speaking Quebecers.

Linguistic tensions had flared during an election campaign that featured PQ promises to extend language laws. But in her election night speech, when she spoke some English, and again at a news conference Wednesday, Marois pleaded for calm.

Marois urged people not to draw any political conclusions from the event.

She described it as an act of folly committed by someone who may be suffering from mental issues. And she defended her province’s reputation in the face of worldwide media coverage of the incident.

“Never, never will I accept that Quebec is associated with violence,” Marois told the news conference.

“It is an isolated event and it does not represent who we are… Quebec is not a violent society. One act of folly cannot change this.”

Marois says that she had no idea she might have been in danger when bodyguards whisked her off the stage during her victory speech and she says she only learned after leaving the partisan celebration that someone had died.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he was “angered and saddened” by what he described as a horrific shooting.

He said it was a “tragic day” whenever an exercise of democracy is met with an act of violence.

The prime minister’s initial phone call to Marois touched on the business of government but also on the shooting.

“(Harper) indicated that such acts of violence are inexcusable and have no place in Canada,” said a summary of the discussion, provided by the Prime Minister’s Office.

There was a moment of silence at an NDP retreat in St. John’s, N.L., and Tom Mulcair, the party leader, said his colleagues were in a state of shock.

The body of the victim was carried out from the crime scene Wednesday around noon, about a dozen hours after the shocking events. Authorities wheeled out the covered body of the 48-year-old man, which was carried onto a gurney and lifted it into a van.

The victim was identified by a police source as Denis Blanchette. Media reports said he was a sound technician who was working at the Metropolis club Tuesday night.

The second person shot, a 27-year-old, was operated on early Thursday and was listed in stable condition, the hospital said. He, like Blanchette, was working behind the scenes at the club.

A third person who had been treated for shock was released from hospital.

Around midnight, pandemonium swept over what had been a celebration for the newly elected PQ. The incident triggered the surreal scene of a victory speech by Marois being interrupted as she was dragged off the stage by bodyguards.

A gunman had tried to blast his way in by the back of the building, shooting two people before setting a fire at the exit.

Police initially said the shooting took place inside, because one of the victims was found there. Police now believe both victims were outside when the attack occurred and one of them was dragged back inside by bodyguards.

The area around the club was sectioned off with police tape. Investigators milled about the area, examining a GMC truck and gas canister believed to be linked to the attack.

The popular rock band The Offspring had been scheduled to play at the Metropolis on Wednesday but the concert was moved to another venue.

A vigil was planned in front of the site at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Montreal police said they’ll review whether more could have been done — but a senior officer said building vast security perimeters isn’t the solution.

“When an event like that happens we have to re-evaluate everything,” said Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere. “But we also have to keep a balance also.”

Police said they had seen no warning signs of an impending attack.

“We’re not finding any links to any threats,” said Lt. Guy Lapointe of the Quebec provincial police. “There was no phone calls, no prior warnings, so thus far the investigation hasn’t shown any links to any threats made.”

Lapointe said two weapons were seized at the scene, but he wouldn’t give specifics. During the incident, police confiscated a handgun and weapon that carried a resemblance to an AK-47 assault rifle.

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Red Deer woman saving animals at wildlife centre with TV show

Victoria Bolhuis, 22, interned at Hope for Wildlife for 10 weeks before moving into paid position

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… 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