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Quebec’s National Assembly responds to threats of violence: ‘It is unacceptable’

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Quebec premier calling for common front against convoy threats' COVID-19: Quebec premier calling for common front against convoy threats
WATCH: Premier François Legault is calling for support from the opposition parties in light of allegations some people could be planning acts of violence against the National Assembly. Organizers of a trucker convoy say they have heard from people ready to take up arms at a second protest slated for next weekend. Global’s Raquel Fletcher reports – Feb 10, 2022

Premier François Legault is calling for support from the Opposition parties in light of allegations some people could be planning acts of violence against the National Assembly.

The trucker convoy drew thousands of protesters to Quebec City this past weekend and plans to return on Feb. 19th. Convoy organizers say that some people associated with their group have recently threatened to take up arms and attack the National Assembly.

Quebec’s public security minister said police are taking recent threats of violence seriously.

Read more: 3 arrested in Quebec City trucker convoy protest, dozens of tickets issued

“It is unacceptable, it is unacceptable and we have the Sûreté du Québec and all our police forces who are very vigilant about that and there have been no security issues for elected people here so far,” said Geneviève Guilbault.

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Minister Guilbault said she understands health measures and closures after two years of the pandemic have put immeasurable stress on the population. She said the fact Quebec is now gradually easing restrictions “will take the pressure off.”

Read more: Some trucker convoy organizers have history of white nationalism, racism

On Thursday, all parties at the National Assembly strongly denounced all threats of violence, but some opposition parties insinuated that the government is partly to blame for what appears to be a growing polarization in Quebec society.

“There’s a lot of skepticism out there, there is a lot people who don’t know if they quite believe in government to start with, and maybe, these days, they believe in government even less. But it’s to the government to be even more transparent,” said Liberal house leader, André Fortin.

“It’s up to the government to calm things down. And by being transparent, by explaining its rationale, its methods, its decisions more openly, it can contribute to a better climate,” he continued.

The Parti Québécois leader criticized the government’s strategy to modify their approach day to day, leading to abrupt changes to health measures.

“Throwing things out there just to change our mind two weeks later, that is not healthy,” said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

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Read more: At least 2M Quebecers infected during fifth wave of COVID-19 pandemic

These remarks drew ire from the premier who accused the Liberal and PQ politicians of making excuses for people who are threatening violence.

“I was hoping I’d have the support from the Opposition. It makes no sense that the Parti Québécois and the Liberal Party say that it’s my fault that these people are threatening to take up arms,” he said in French during a brief scrum with reporters before Thursday’s question period.

When asked by a journalist if he was saying that the National Assembly had to be united against this kind of anger, the premier replied, “Absolument. Absolutely.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Thousands take part in trucker convoy protest in Quebec City' COVID-19: Thousands take part in trucker convoy protest in Quebec City
COVID-19: Thousands take part in trucker convoy protest in Quebec City – Feb 6, 2022

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