Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Acts of Folly

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Acts of Folly

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Acts of folly


An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published Sept. 6:

An assassination attempt was made on the elected leader of a Canadian province on Sept. 6.

Normally, this would have warranted front-page news in every daily newspaper in the country and would have been the top item in every newscast.

But that province was Quebec and the attempt came at a victory rally for the Parti Quebecois, back in power after 10 years of opposition, and for La Belle Province's first female premier, Pauline Marois.

The initial reports were more about guards pushing Marois off in the middle of her acceptance speech, then dismissed as a "security incident" than it was about shots fired and an attempted arson. As the story developed, it was revealed one person was dead and another critically wounded.

Marois continued to downplay the whole thing on Sept. 7.

"Never, never will I accept that Quebec is associated with violence," she said. "It is an isolated event and it does not represent who we are... Quebec is not a violent society. One act of folly cannot change this."

Call it folly, call it election night euphoria, but Marois should also know that a fellow Quebecer tried to kill her on Sept. 6.

Mariois's pronouncements on Sept. 7 that she plans to toughen up the province's language laws and freeze tuition hikes to appease students will be -- and should be -- discussed far more extensively than the attempt on her life.

Still, there are some people in Canada taking what happened Tuesday seriously. The security squads for every other provincial premier and the prime minister are no doubt studying the news reports and talking to their counterparts in Quebec.

Where did security fail?

Where did it succeed?

Did security personnel respond correctly?

Where were the mistakes made and by whom?

Would Stephen Harper's team or Christy Clark's detail have been prepared?

It's no secret that more money and effort was plowed into security for the premier under Gordon Campbell than his predecessors. Seeing the stereotypical team of men in dark suits with ear pieces, scanning a crowd in Prince George was startling at first but it's come to be expected, just like the black SUV left running outside at any public appearance by the premier. …

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