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Guy Turcotte’s ex-wife testifies at Bill 22 hearings for crime victims

Isabelle Gaston, mother of Anne-Sophie and Olivier Turcotte who where stabbed by their father Guy Turcotte.
Isabelle Gaston, mother of Anne-Sophie and Olivier Turcotte who where stabbed by their father Guy Turcotte. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

QUEBEC — Isabelle Gaston, whose two children were murdered by their father, pediatric cardiologist Guy Turcotte, testified Tuesday before a Quebec National Assembly committee hearing briefs on a bill to increase the amount of compensation for crime victims.

Gaston said she agreed to testify to put “a human face” on crime victims.

Turcotte was found not criminally responsible for the 2009 stabbing deaths of his children and was released from a psychiatric hospital last year.

Gaston offered the commission photos and the ashes of her children at the end of her emotional testimony and told them she hears her children calling out “Maman” in her home.

She told the committee she cannot get life insurance because she is considered by insurance companies too high a suicide risk.

Gaston said she has received threats and cyber-intimidation, noting that not everyone is normal.

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She said the crime that took away her children is with her all the time.

“You can’t change the station,” she told the committee.

Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud said Quebec already has the most generous crime victim indemnification program in Canada, but he presented Bill 22 as a first step, to fill gaps in the program.

A parent whose child is murdered would get $12,000 under the reform, which would raise and index other compensation. The bill would also add $3,200 to clean up a crime scene and two months rent to break a lease in cases of conjugal violence.