Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu tragedy: Quebec politicians troubled but not surprised
QUEBEC CITY – The political reaction to the events in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu may surprise you.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Tuesday while he’s deeply saddened by what happened, it wasn’t unexpected.
Radicalization, the premier said, is everywhere and it’s hard to control.
“I’m very sad that this has happened here,” said Couillard. “Am I surprised? Unfortunately, not really.”
“Quebec is not an island, separated from the world. We are also targeted potentially by those acts and unfortunately one happened on our soil.”
Martin Rouleau was known to police, but no one was able to stop him from hitting and killing military in a suburb of Montreal, in broad daylight.
Members of the National Assembly now say their thoughts are with the victims’ families.
Parliamentarians held a minute of silence Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s terrible, it’s very sad, we have to be concerned about that, we have to fight those phenomena. That’s why Canada is in a coalition with free countries and we have to be together and fight this phenomenon,” said International Affairs Minister Christine St-Pierre.
St-Pierre didn’t hesitate and called it terrorist attack.
She is concerned about the rise of fundamentalism and radicalization. But her government maintains that, for now, no special measures are needed to further protect citizens.
Education Minister Yves Bolduc said schools already have protocols to deal with suspicious behaviour.
“We’re concerned. We have to be very careful with Internet; we can have information from anywhere in the world. But they [schools] should know what to do if there’s a problem,” Bolduc said.
Quebec’s health minister suggested Rouleau was acting alone and probably had serious mental issues.
“Today, we’re first and foremost talking about a case of psychiatry,” said Gaétan Barrette.
Still, the premier said an investigation is needed and Quebec will collaborate with the federal government.
“Our forces are working jointly with federal security forces in order to keep our vigilance at a very high level.”