40 years since the shooting at the National Assembly: separatists particularly targeted, worries Bérubé

40 years since the shooting at the National Assembly: separatists particularly targeted, worries Bérubé
40 years since the shooting at the National Assembly: separatists particularly targeted, worries Bérubé

40 years after the shooting at the National Assembly, there are still efforts to be made to protect parliamentarians, argues MP Pascal Bérubé, who notes that the threat is even greater for the separatists.

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Pascal Bérubé was only in third year, on May 8, 1984, when a heavily armed madman left 3 people dead and 13 injured at the National Assembly.

The shooter had gone to the Salon Bleu, intending to attack the PQ government of René Lévesque.

“He had targeted the Parti Québécois government and its prime minister,” recalled the member for Matane-Matapédia, before the National Assembly commemorated this sad anniversary on Wednesday morning.

Two attacks against the PQ

“I relived similar elements in 2012 with the attack against Prime Minister Pauline Marois, and it was a cruel reminder for those who experienced both events,” said Mr. Bérubé.

For the Parti Québécois, the attack against Pauline Marois was therefore not a first, but a “second time”, he observed.

Archive photo, Chantal Poirier

These two attacks demonstrate in some way that “threats have always been higher against the Parti Québécois,” denounced Mr. Bérubé at a press briefing.

For what? Because “the separatists have a plan to change the status of Quebec,” he explained.

Enhance security

Pascal Bérubé is campaigning today to offer “better security” to all parliamentarians, both in the National Assembly and outside the parliamentary enclosure.

“We must not be naive: we live in a dangerous world. There are threats weighing on parliamentarians,” noted the member for Matane-Matapédia.

“I am one of those who think that we should make additional efforts to protect the deputies of the National Assembly. […] “Let’s not wait for something to happen,” he insisted.

Asked to react to Mr. Bérubé’s comments, PLQ deputies Frédéric Beauchemin and Madwa-Nika Cadet indicated for their part that they feel safe.

Are the separatists more threatened, according to them? “No,” Ms. Cadet retorted without hesitation. “I don’t have the perception that being independent raises more risks,” said the member for Bourassa-Sauvé.

Tribute and minute of silence

The President of the National Assembly, Nathalie Roy, underlined Wednesday that significant efforts have been made to improve the security of the parliamentary campus in recent years.

Before a minute of silence, Ms. Roy invited the honor guard of the National Assembly to lay a wreath of flowers in the Blue Room as a “symbol of collective mourning” linked to the killing of May 8, 1984.

The leaders of the four parties also spoke at the Salon Bleu, to pay tribute to the victims and recall the extent to which Sergeant-at-arms René Jalbert became, that day, a true Quebec hero, by managing to convince the shooter to let people leave the Blue Room, then possibly turn themselves in to the police.

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