(Quebec) Minister of Public Security François Bonnardel raises the possibility of suspending the driver’s license of certain people who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder to protect the population against cases of “murderous madness”, such as the one who took place in Amqui on Monday.

“There’s a gesture, I’m thinking out loud, if these people have mental health issues, was the follow-up done right by the doctors?” And then can these people get a driver’s license? “, he launched in an interview with Radio-Canada in the morning.

“You have to look at it coldly. […] Is this something doable? Faced with an X diagnosis, is that something we can do to protect [the population]? said Mr. Bonnardel.

“I don’t want to go too far in my thinking, but when you have a vehicle in your hands, you know, whether you’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication X that can cause trouble and lead to this case of madness as we saw [Monday], problem assuming that it is due to that. […] maybe we have to look at certain situations to see how, how we can prevent that,” he explained.

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.

Minister 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 that, [Monday] and Laval,” he said.

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.

As for the license suspension, Mr. Bonnardel remains cautious. “Could this particular case lead us to this kind of reflection? But it is premature to expose this publicly. […] My first question is why did this person have a permit? “, he said.

The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, for his part wanted to highlight the exemplary reaction of the health network to the tragedy. “I want to send the message that the health network has reacted very well. We [saw him] with the emergency plane, so I just want to say thank you to the network, ”he said when he arrived at the parliamentary committee. Work resumed Tuesday in Quebec after two weeks of parliamentary recess.

“I think everyone was hit. We were struck a few weeks ago, when the other event happened [in Laval]. My thoughts are with the families because it is exceedingly sad. We would never want to experience that, ”said Minister Dubé.