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Drama in Amqui | The accused would have already been “identified” as being at risk, says Legault


(Quebec) The perpetrator of Monday’s deadly attack in Amqui has already been “identified” as being at risk, suggested François Legault, who asks people “to intervene” when they see that “someone around him who shows worrying signs”.

“I don’t want to happen…go in that case, but it looks like that person might have been identified already.” So is there anything you can do when you know there’s someone who’s at risk? To act faster, to not be embarrassed to do it for the greater good? “, said the Prime Minister Tuesday in a press briefing at the National Assembly.

Mr. Legault announced that he would travel to Amqui on Thursday to meet the population of this city shaken by a car-ramming attack which left two dead and several injured, some of whom are still in critical condition. He also invites the leaders of the opposition parties to accompany him during this day.

He also announced that the Quebec flag would be lowered tomorrow on the central tower of the National Assembly in memory of the victims “of the tragedy of Amqui”.

Mr. Legault believes that it will be necessary to have a collective reflection following this tragedy, which comes a few weeks after a ram-bus attack against a daycare center in Laval. ” We must act. And then, when you see someone around you who shows worrying signs, well, you have to find a way to intervene,” he said.

In return, the Government of Quebec has a duty to ensure “that the services are easily accessible” and that advertising is done “so that people do not hesitate to consult or report”.

“We see that this kind of event happens more and more often in the world. It’s not unique to us. You have to analyze the situation well. […] In the short term, you have to comfort people first, but you have to have a reflection and then be careful about the conclusions as well,” he said.

According to the police, the gesture would be premeditated and the victims were chosen at random. “They were pedestrians walking on the edge of the 132 on both sides of the road, for a certain distance,” said Sergeant Claude Doiron, spokesperson for the SQ.

Public Security Minister Francois Bonnardel Bonnardel drew a parallel between Monday’s attack and “the ram bus in Laval that killed children.” “We will have to do an exercise afterwards to try to understand, and to try to reassure the population. I remain worried about two cases like this [Monday] and Laval,” he said. He had raised in the morning the idea of ​​suspending the driving licenses of some people who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder, but later backed down, saying it was not part of the government’s plans.

He also questioned whether the pandemic has “exacerbated” mental health cases. ” I think so. I don’t want to say it’s the fault of the pandemic, but it looks like it has exacerbated several cases,” he said.

The minister responsible for social services, Lionel Carmant, did not want to say if the accused Steeve Gagnon was waiting for mental health services or if he was being followed by specialists. The day after the Laval tragedy last month, he hastened to reveal that the bus driver who hit a daycare center was not waiting for services and that there was nothing to suggest that Pierre Ny St-Amand had used it in the past. The minister had subsequently come under fire from experts for having, according to them, violated the Health and Social Services Act by making such revelations.

“I am really waiting for the results of the investigation this time […]. I don’t have all the details,” Lionel Carmant said on Tuesday. If he had commented publicly on the Pierre Ny St-Amand file, it was because “there was speculation” then.

Health Minister Christian Dubé recalled that “requests for help and psychological distress have increased” since the start of the pandemic. “You have to make people aware of the importance of raising your hand. When you know someone with a mental health issue, when you’re going through a mental health issue, we really want people to raise their hands as quickly as possible,” he added.

The opposition parties still believe that the attack that took place in Amqui forces a debate in society. “We have to look at hate, the growing place of hate in our society,” lamented PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. “Twice has such wanton violence cost lives. We are ready to look at all the options, but we also have to do it with rigor, that is to say that we cannot just launch solutions without having studied exactly what is going on.” he said in a press briefing.

The interim leader of the Liberal Party, Marc Tanguay, also wants a “collective reflection”. “What happened in Amqui is upsetting, it’s upsetting a tight-knit community, a peaceful community. This necessarily brings up a lot of questions. What could we collectively do to ensure that such tragedies do not occur? We remember what happened more recently in Laval, and now there is Amqui, ”he lamented.

He believes in finding solutions to prevent people from “escaping”, to act before they do the irreparable. “Gone there, when the person, we collectively escaped him, and he is in his vehicle and decides to do what we saw that was very upsetting [Monday], got there, I would tell you that he is almost too late. So, we have to work upstream. And then, again, it’s a delicate file. We talk about mental health, but I think we need to have a conversation about that,” he said.

Is there a connection to be made between this kind of gesture and the pandemic which has severely affected the mental health of many Quebecers? The parliamentary leader of Quebec solidaire, Alexandre Leduc, believes for his part that “we must ask ourselves these kinds of questions”. “We have to deal with this issue head-on. The people of Quebec expect us to do more for mental health,” he said.