Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

Americas

Shooting mars Quebec separatists' election victory

©

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-09-05

One person was killed and another seriously injured when a gunman opened fire during the victory speech of Quebec’s newly elected separatist leader Pauline Marois late Tuesday, eclipsing the Parti Quebecois' narrow win over the ruling Liberals.

REUTERS - A masked gunman shot dead one person inside a Montreal theater where the leader of Quebec’s separatist Parti Quebecois was celebrating a narrow election win in the Canadian province, police said on Wednesday.

The shooting eclipsed news that the Parti Quebecois had pipped the ruling Liberals in Tuesday’s election and would have to be content with a minority government, effectively ruling out another referendum on breaking away from Canada.

Report from FRANCE 24 correspondent in Montreal

Pauline Marois, newly elected as the first female premier of Quebec, had just told a rally of supporters the province would one day be independent when her bodyguards rushed her from the stage. She later returned to finish her speech.

The incident was shocking for Canada, where murder levels are around a third of those in the United States and political violence is extremely rare.

Montreal police said a man around 50 years old had entered the back of the Metropolis theater just before midnight (0400 GMT Wednesday) with a rifle and a handgun and shot two people. Police said a man in his 40s died on the spot, another was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

RDI television showed pictures of police subduing a large man with a rifle who was dressed in a black cape and a black face mask.

He appeared to shout in French the phrase "The English are waking up." Marois had promised to strengthen laws designed to ensure the dominance of the French language, which has worried some in the minority English-speaking community.

"We are appalled by this violence," said Carl Vallee, a spokesman for federal Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

La Presse newspaper cited security sources as saying Montreal police had cordoned off a truck they suspected contained weapons. Other Canadian media outlets said the dead man was a technician at the theater and the badly wounded man was a driver of the PQ campaign bus.

Independence referendum

The last political killing in Canada occurred in October 1970, when a radical Quebec nationalist group kidnapped provincial Labour Minister Pierre Laporte and a British diplomat. Laporte was later found strangled.

Almost lost in the aftermath of the Montreal shooting was the fact that the PQ won 54 of the 125 seats in the provincial legislature, ending nine years of rule by the Liberals.

Previous PQ governments held independence referendums in 1980 and 1995, but both failed.

Although Marois is promising another vote when the time is right, that could be years away. A recent poll showed only 28 percent of Quebecers back separation from the rest of Canada.

Marois had promised to concentrate first on the economy, in particular tackling the province’s large debt, imposing higher tax and royalty rates on mining firms and making foreign takeovers of Quebec companies more difficult.

The results showed the Liberals had won 50 seats, down 14. Premier Jean Charest, who lost his seat, emphasized that the PQ had only won a minority.

"The result of this election campaign speaks to the fact that the future of Quebec lies within Canada," he said.

The PQ won 31.9 percent of the vote, compared to 31.2 percent for the Liberals.

Nomura Global Economics analyst Charles St-Arnaud said that given the current lack of enthusiasm for independence, even a PQ majority victory would not cause much market unrest.

"We could see a slight depreciation of the Canadian dollar and a widening of spreads, but nothing meaningful. What will matter more for spreads will be the first budget," he said.

Under the Liberals, who want Quebec to remain part of Canada, relations with the federal government in Ottawa have been relatively stable since 2003.

That would change under a PQ government, since Marois wants a quick meeting with Harper to demand he give Quebec overall control of immigration policy and unemployment insurance.

Harper has often railed against Quebec separatists, and if he refuses to cooperate with Marois, that could boost support for the idea of independence.

Harper issued a statement congratulating Marois and added: "We do not believe that Quebecers wish to revisit the old constitutional battles of the past."

Minority governments in Canada are usually short-lived but Francois Legault, leader of the third-placed Coalition for the Future of Quebec party, indicated he would back Marois if she focused on fighting corruption and improving the financially strapped public healthcare system.

His party wants to freeze all talk of a referendum for a decade and focus on the economy.

The Liberals won three successive elections from 2003 to 2008, but became increasingly unpopular amid allegations of corruption in the construction industry that might be linked to the financing of political parties.

Preliminary results of the Sept. 4 election are as follows (figures in brackets show the number of seats at dissolution):

PQ -- 54 (47)

Liberals -- 50 (64)

CAQ -- 19 (9)

Quebec Solidaire -- 2 (1)

Option Nationale -- 0 (1)

Independents -- 0 (2)

Date created : 2012-09-05

  • CANADA

    Possible separatist victory as Quebec polls open

    Read more

  • CANADA

    Embattled Quebec premier calls for snap elections

    Read more

  • QUEBEC

    Talks over Quebec tuition crisis collapse

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)