Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois were elected to form a minority provincial government in a night that ended with a fatal shooting Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The victory party for the newly elected sovereignist government was interrupted when security rushed Pauline Marois off-stage at the Metropolis venue on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal.
Two colleagues who were working the event, Denis Blanchette and Dave Courage, were shot just outside the concert hall minutes before midnight as Marois delivered her speech onstage to a sea of supporters.
Blanchette, a 48-year-old lighting technician, died at the scene after being shot at close range while Courage suffered severe injuries. The gunman then set the stage door on fire with hundreds of people still inside the building.
The alleged suspect, Richard Henry Bain, was taken into custody by Montreal Police shortly after the shooting. Dressed in a blue bathrobe and escorted into a police car, Bain screamed in French that it was “payback time” and that “anglos are waking up.”
The final results
After a 35-day campaign run, Pauline Marois will become the first female premier in Quebec history as soon as she is sworn in.
The Parti Quėbécois won the provincial election with a total of 54 seats in the National Assembly while the Liberals obtained 50, and the Coalition Avenir Quėbec gathered 19 seats.
In order for a political party to form a majority government in Quebec, they must have a minimum of 63 seats out of 125 in the National Assembly.
The Liberal party is the official opposition after nearly a decade in power. Quebec’s outgoing premier Jean Charest lost his own seat in his home riding of Sherbrooke by a landslide of nearly 3,000 votes to former Bloc Quėbécois MP turned Parti Quėbécois MNA Serge Cardin. Charest’s loss came 28 years after he won a federal seat as a Progressive Conservative member of parliament.
Leader of the CAQ, François Legault, secured 19 seats in the National Assembly and came in third place overall.
Québec Solidaire, led by Amir Khadir and Françoise David, gained a seat. The party now has two seats while Jean-Martin Aussant of Option Nationale, lost his only seat.
The undoing of Charest
After a nine-year era, Charest and the Liberal party were defeated and shelved to become the official opposition to the new PQ government.
Following months of social discontent, Charest called a provincial election August 1., which led to his defeat and resignation.
Flanked by family, Charest congratulated Marois publicly and expressed gratitude for the continuous strength and contributions from his colleagues and supporters on election night.
“I want to say to all of you tonight and all of you interested in the future of Quebec that the result of this election campaign speaks to the fact that the future of Quebec lies within Canada,” he said.
Charest bid his opponents good luck but did not announce his resignation the same night. He officially resigned as the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and from politics Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Ending his 14-year tenure as party leader and nine-year term as Quebec’s premier, Charest said he had no regrets.
The student movement
Léo Bureau-Blouin, former president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec, won his riding of Laval-des-Rapides to become the youngest MNA ever elected to the National Assembly at the age of 20.
Bureau-Blouin joined Marois in July as rumours swirled about a pending provincial election.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, former Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante co-spokesperson told The Concordian Wednesday night that this win was a step forward for the anti-hike cause.
“It’s a beautiful day for the student movement,” said Nadeau-Dubois. “We have forced the Parti Québécois to take a position on the tuition increase, we have forced them to promise they will cancel it. So, it’s a pretty big victory for us today.”
Alleged suspect charged
Richard Henry Bain, the man allegedly behind the attack on election night, was formally charged with first-degree murder and 15 other charges Thursday, Sept. 6.
The other charges against Bain include weapons violations, three counts of attempted murder, arson-related offences and aggravated assault.
Police seized 22 weapons from the accused, all of which except for one were registered. Two were recovered from the scene, three were in Bain’s vehicle and the rest were found at his home in La Conception. Bain’s next court appearance is set for Oct. 11, 2012.