Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Killing at Que. speech stuns leaders

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MANITOBA'S political leaders expressed surprise and shock Wednesday about the fatal shooting outside a concert hall in Montreal where Quebec premier-elect Pauline Marois was giving a victory speech the night before.

It was still unclear Wednesday whether Marois was a target. Police said one man was killed and another injured in the violence Tuesday night. A suspect is in custody.

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Premier Greg Selinger, noting little specific information was available on the motivation for the attack, called the shootings "alarming."

"I hope it doesn't set a trend for the country. I don't believe it will," he said, adding he believes it was a "one-off incident."

Interim Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard said it was "pretty disturbing" such an incident occurred in Canada. "This is, to my recollection, the first time in recent history that we've had anything like that," he said.

Gerrard said the incident may make political folks more careful and observant at large public events, but he didn't think political parties would rush out to hire security firms for them just yet. "I think that's not where it's going," he said.

Conservative Leader Brian Pallister had no comment on the Quebec violence, saying he's had little time to read about it. "To be brutally honest I've had about eight hours, including sleep, between winning the (Fort Whyte) byelection and coming here this morning," he said Wednesday.

Selinger said democracy is "a very precious thing" that can be easily damaged by such violent incidents.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

-- with a file from Bruce Owen

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 6, 2012 0

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