A woman well known in the political and business circles in the Montreal area has been found dead in what police say is a murder followed by a suicide.
Lisette Corbeil, 56, was found dead Wednesday in a home in Contrecoeur, Que., about 60 kilometres northeast of Montreal. David Joly, 49, was also found dead in the home.
Corbeil’s death would be 12th femicide in the province since the beginning of 2021. While several reports have described Joly as Corbeil’s ex-partner, Quebec provincial police declined to discuss the nature of their relationship.
Corbeil was director of strategic projects for a chamber of commerce on Montreal’s south shore, called Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de la Rive-Sud. Her death leaves a great void, the chamber said Thursday on its Facebook page.
“Her sudden departure brings both immeasurable sadness and questions that will unfortunately never be answered,” the association said.
“We cannot repeat it enough, immediate action is needed to prevent more women from falling victim to such tragedies.”
Both Corbeil and Joly, the former vice-president of a local hunting and fishing association, were prominent in Contrecoeur, a city of about 6,000 people. Contrecoeur Mayor Maud Allaire said she was shaken and appalled by another murder of a woman in the province.
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“It is unbearable to know that many women live in the shadow of violence and it is more than urgent to address this societal issue,” Allaire said in a statement from the city. “This is unacceptable: too many women pay with their lives. We must act collectively to make it stop.”
The statement added that Corbeil, who used to work for the city, will be remembered as a “beloved former employee who has made her place in the economic sector, a predominantly male environment.”
The “wave of violence” raging against women in Quebec is a cry for help, the city’s statement said.
It was officers with the Richelieu-Saint-Laurent police service who arrived first to the scene after responding to a 911 call.
Major crimes detectives from the provincial police took over the investigation, and a spokeswoman said late Wednesday the initial investigation indicates Corbeil was killed before Joly took his own life. Autopsies have been ordered on the bodies.
On Thursday, Quebec Premier François Legault offered his condolences and was asked what more his government could do, after investing heavily in programs for domestic violence victims.
“It’s the responsibility of all our society to fight against this type of violence,” Legault said. “I want to tell the population if you’re aware of something, please denounce.”