Richard Henry Bain, 62, is the PQ election shooting suspect. Canadian Press
Welcome to Montreal. Another decade, another nut with a gun shooting up the place.
Sure takes our minds off the potholes.
This time Canada’s headlines have been hijacked by an individual who (allegedly) attacked the venue where Quebec’s Premiere-elect, Pauline Marois, was making her acceptance speech. She’d just uttered her few well-rehearsed lines of English, promising to protect the rights of the English community (hoo-boy!), when a loud noise had her security contingent swoop in to hustle her offstage.
An announcement was made about an “incident,” a platitude heard regularly in our Metro during service interruptions due to suicide-by-subway, and the crowd asked to head for the exits in an orderly way.
In true Quebec fashion, no one moved. Were they flummoxed by the request to be orderly (what, no clanging pots?), or did they stand pat because they’d come for a party and weren’t leaving till they’d had one?
Mme. Marois reappeared onstage, clearly against the advice of her security guys (what’s the point of having security if you ignore their advice?), and reiterated the request to empty Club Metropolis.
Once again, a la mode inimitable du Québec, no one moved.
What if they gave an assassination attempt and nobody believed it?
Mme. Marois gave up, spoke a little more, invited her friends, family, and fellow candidates up on stage, and continued with the celebration of her historic achievement, being elected the first female Premier in the history of le territoire. Note: no one in Quebec officialdom dares refer to it any longer as a province.
Mme. Marois has since said she had no idea, at that point, that anyone had been killed, the implication being she’d never have carried on so merrily if she’d known. Which makes me wonder: what, exactly, did her security guards tell her, why didn't they tell her how serious things were, and, once again, how much we’re paying for advice that she chooses not to follow?
Not to mention why there didn’t appear to be police protection at every access point to the venue, including the alleyway behind the venue where the shooting occurred. Haven’t these guys ever watched The West Wing?
Shot dead was 48-year-old Denis Blanchette; seriously injured, apparently by the same bullet, is the coincidentally named Dave Courage. Both men were audio technicians working at the club.
|Photo taken from Facebook by La Presse|
The suspect, Richard Henry Bain, 62, is “a respected businessman with no criminal record,” according to The Toronto Sun (I guess they should have added “until now”).
At the time of the shooting and subsequent firebombing, Mr. Bain shouted, in French, “The English are waking up!” and that it was “payback time.” He is bruited to be bipolar and was acting more unusually in recent years, according to reports in La Presse. The H1N1 outbreak, for example, seemed to have resulted in a near-survivalist mentality, Mr. Bain quitting the city to run a fishing lodge in La Conception, near Mont Tremblant.
Repercussions of this shooting continue to ripple through our political pond, reports citing “facts” that are quease-inducing. In an article about Mr. Bain, who was attempting to secure the right to exclusive use of the lake where his fishing lodge is located, there’s this:
“Lors de ses visites à l'hôtel de ville de La Conception, il se montrait pourtant courtois et n'exigeait pas d'être servi en anglais, même s'il s'exprimait avec un fort accent en français.”
Which means ‘During his visits to La Conception city hall, he remained courteous and didn’t demand to be served in English, even though he spoke French with a strong [English] accent.’
Eww. Imagine what they’d have written if he had demanded to be served in English.
Meantime, our mayor, Gerald Tremblay, is on record as saying that Mr. Bain has ‘nothing to do with’ (“n’a rien a voir”) the English community. And, not that we usually pay any attention to them but now, apparently, the Société Saint Jean Baptiste is blaming the English media for Mr. Bain’s behaviour…really? How do you say “scapegoat” en français?
On Facebook, a photo is circulating of an intern at a Montreal radio station standing on the street with a sign exhorting “Embrasse un Anglo.” Meaning ‘embrace an Anglo’ and not ‘embarrass an Anglo.’
Apparently, Mr. Bain had 22 guns because he loved to shoot things…er, I mean hunt.
Since Canada’s gun lobby achieved the destruction of our long gun registry partly by demanding to be shown which crimes the registry prevented, I’d like to underline the sloppiness of that reasoning by calling on Prime Minister Harper to strike down our murder laws because they clearly failed to prevent the death of Mr. Blanchette.
May he rest in peace.
|Yellow tape and police cars surrounded an upended red sports car;stuck
in an enormous pothole in a road in downtown Montreal. The scene was an
elaborate hoax as part of a campaign to launch the website