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Ear to the Ground

Gunman Opens Fire as Quebec’s Premier-Elect Gives Speech

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Posted on Sep 5, 2012
Parti Québécois (officiel) (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Pauline Marois.

A gunman killed one person and injured another before starting a fire in the hall where Pauline Marois, Quebec’s newly elected separatist leader, was giving her victory speech after she was voted into office Tuesday.

Quebecois voters elected the candidate of the Parti Quebecois to lead a minority government focused on splitting the province away from the English-speaking parts of Canada. “As a nation we want to take decisions that concern us on our own,” Marois said. “The future of Quebec is to become a sovereign country.” She will be the province’s first female premier.

In response to the student protests of this year, Marois has promised a tuition freeze until a summit on the financing of college education can be held. She has also pledged to repeal Bill 78, an emergency law that outlawed protest when demonstrations against the province’s former Liberal government reached a critical mass in 2012.

Perhaps most controversially, Marois has also proposed a law that would ban non-French speakers from running for office, as well as a charter banning public employees from wearing religious clothing, such as the Jewish yarmulke and the Muslim hijab.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

According to Montreal police, one 45-year-old man was fatally shot and a 30-year-old man was in critical condition after a man in his 50s entered the back door of Montreal’s Metropolis concert hall, and shot them. He also started a fire on the premises. A spokesman for the force added that another man was being treated in hospital for “nervous shock”.

As he was detained, the gunman, wearing a balaclava and a bathrobe, allegedly repeated twice in French with an English accent: “The Anglophones are waking up,” an apparent reference to the “maple spring” of student protests against the government that contributed to the snap election being called.

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