Sombre mood at NDP meet in St. John's

James McLeod
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'We deplore this violence,' caucus chair says of Quebec shooting tragedy

The mood was muted as New Democrat MPs filed in one or two at a time to the Sheraton ballroom this morning, and reacted to last night's shooting in Montreal following the election victory by the Parti Quebecois.

A man killed one person and shot a second at the PQ victory party in Montreal, and tried to set fire to the building before fleeing. Police have a suspect in custody.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said at this point the party is just thinking about the victims' families.

“We’re obviously all in a state of shock following what happened last night in Montreal after the election results,” Mulcair told reporters. “Our first thoughts are with the victims and their families and those close to them, and we're just going to allow the police to continue to do their work.”

All of the New Democrat MPs are in St. John's for a caucus retreat before the start of the fall session of the House of Commons.

As they filed in, politicians weren't saying much about the PQ minority victory last night.

Newfoundland MP Ryan Cleary said that even among the caucus, there's no clear feeling on what it means.

“I was here last night when the results came in and what I found fascinating was hearing the reaction of the different Quebec MPs to the results. I got different reactions from every MP,” he said.

Fellow Newfoundland MP Jack Harris said that the election victory of a separatist party is something that all Canadians need to take seriously, but he added that there's reason to be optimistic.

“It's also something that the rest of Canada has to be concerned about and make sure that we keep our country together,” he said. “One thing that I'm encouraged by, frankly, is the level of support for separatism in Canada or Quebec is at a very very low ebb and has been the lowest in many many years, and that was evident in the campaign.”

Ontario MP Charlie Angis said that as far as the electoral result that saw the PQ win a minority government, that was "the will of the people."

The morning's meetings began with caucus chairman Peter Julian saying, "we deplore this violence" and asking for a moment of silence.

Mulcair spoke briefly, saying that they're at the start of a “two year countdown” to get ready for the next federal election.

“It's the fall of 2012 heading into this fall session ready to take on a very tough adversary,” he said. “By the fall of '14 we've got to be completely ready to take on the Conservatives in the next election.”

Mulcair is expected to hold a news conference mid-morning to talk to reporters in more detail about the Quebec election and the NDP's caucus meetings in St. John's.


Organizations: NDP, Parti Québécois, Sheraton

Geographic location: Quebec

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Recent comments

  • Tim Jamison
    September 05, 2012 - 22:05

    The NDP wants to increase soverienty association and shut down the oil sands to bring manufacturing back, which is doublespeech. Manufacturing died because Asian country workers are willing to be slaves and Western world workers won't do it. Shutting down the oil sands would make us extremely poor because manufacturing is never coming back so we would have very little money and we would be giving even more of it to Quebec. NO THANK YOU. I enjoy having a job and not living in a society that is getting rocked by austerity programs and unemployment riots. I also enjoy living in a society where there is one less set of paperwork errors (the long gun registry) that can send me to jail

  • The Boss
    September 05, 2012 - 14:10

    I feel this way and will always feel this way in what Im about to speak. Im sick and tired of hearing that Quebec is a distinct society and all this other crap. How come we need to learn French in school and learn the language in order to get a higher paying job in government. Its hypocrisy...... Why are we bending over backwards for them, if they want to separate see yaa!!!!!! I wont lose a seconds sleep over it. These politicians are only brainwashing those people in thinking they are better off and everybody knows its wrong. They need us a alot more than we need them. Au Revoir Quebec thanks for coming out and giving us abosolutely nothing in this country to contribute but a hockey team most everybody hates..... Are you gone yet........ Maybe we can relocate them all to St Pierre and they can take residence over there and be with their own kind. what a joke!!!!!!

  • Ralph
    September 05, 2012 - 09:21

    In light of the Quebec election result, here's 2 ways to save a lot of money really fast: 1) Privatize the CBC whose French language service (Societe Radio Canada) is nothing but a separatist nest that supports the PQ at every opportunity. e.g. “reporter” Pierre Duchesne, just elected for the PQ, working for CBC until a few months ago. 2) Stop harassing competent Federal public servants by putting their jobs on the line just because they can't speak French well enough. BTW, does everyone know that the leaders of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) endorsed the PQ? When do the treason trials begin? At the very least, PSAC has shown itself to be a threat to the existence of Canada and should be banned from Ottawa.

    • Chantal
      September 05, 2012 - 11:44

      Yeah, I'm trying to remember that German guy who also thought that banning unions was a good idea...

    • Tired
      September 05, 2012 - 15:53

      I don't understand why they think it is ok to force all Quebecers to speak French. Whatever happened to freedom of speech, and your right to speak your native tongue, which for most of Canada is English.

  • Lin Wotton
    September 05, 2012 - 09:11

    I find it hard to understand why any sensible person would wish to break up the greatest country in the world? It is easy to destroy. It is not easy to build. LB