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Police at fault in Metropolis election night shooting, Quebec Superior Court rules

Police at fault in Metropolis election night shooting, Quebec Superior Court rules
Police at fault in Metropolis election night shooting, Quebec Superior Court rules

اخبارالعرب 24-كندا:الجمعة 2 ديسمبر 2022 11:01 صباحاً Montreal police and the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) have been ordered to pay about $292,000 in damages to four stage technicians who survived Métropolis election night shooting.

In what is considered a political attack, lone gunman Richard Henry Bain entered the venue on Sept. 4, 2012, killed a stage technician and critically wounded another outside the venue where the former Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Pauline Marois gave her victory speech.

The four technicians, who were friends and colleagues of the victims, sued for damages, claiming they continue to experience trauma after witnessing the shooting and death of a colleague.

One plaintiff said she was shocked to see the lack of police at the back of the venue when she clocked in for her shift.

Quebec Superior Court Judge Philippe Bélanger also criticized the security plan around the Métropolis theatre that night.

Bélanger said in his Nov. 30 ruling that though he didn't question the "good faith" of police that night, "poor alignment of police forces in the implementation of their security plan" allowed for the gunman to access the site.

He said, given the tense political climate at the time, a perimeter should have been set up behind the theatre, but "the two police forces together failed in their duty to protect the public."

Proper security would have prevented the death, injuries and trauma, said Bélanger.

The judge has awarded all four $72,800 in damages. The plaintiffs had originally asked for $120,000.

The SQ refused to comment on the ruling.

PQ addresses ruling 

The PQ's three MNAs addressed the ruling at the National Assembly Friday morning, saying they were pleased with the outcome. 

"I think the judge's decision is the right one ... and I hope the police won't appeal it because [the victims] have been through enough trauma," said Joël Arseneau. 

"To turn the page on this event we have to accept the judgment. The police will have to swallow that pill." 

Pascal Bérubé, who was campaigning with the PQ at the time, said he still remembers that night well and was nervous to see Québec Solidaire host their election night party at the same venue. 

PQ Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, however, stressed the SQ has made "significant improvements" in the last ten years, especially on the campaign trail. 

"If they tried to hide certain aspects of what happened at Métropolis, that's unacceptable," he said.

"But has the situation evolved in terms of how things function? In all likelihood, yes, and we've seen it." 

Former PQ MNA and current education minister with Coalition Avenir Québec Bernard Drainville was at Métropolis that election night with his family. He said he was not surprised by the court's findings. 

"Ever since it happened we asked how could this guy get so close to the new premier and all the people gathered?" he said. 

"It was a close one, that night. I hope the police learned its lesson that night so it never happens again." 

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