Gouvernement du Québec

Premier

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Québec, le 23 octobre 2014 Statement by Québec Premier Philippe Couillard concerning the events in Ottawa

The spoken version takes precedence.

Greetings,

First, I would like to again extend our most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased soldiers.

Our thoughts are also with those who are still with us and who are recovering from physical and psychological wounds.

Our society has been shaken by the events of the past few days.

We have rightfully condemned these attacks. We have also reiterated our confidence in our security forces. Their actions, which reflect a justified expression of force in a democratic society, must be supported by the governments and our society.  

There is absolutely no acceptable justification for these hateful acts. The expression of absolute evil that they represent must not, under any circumstances, be minimized, or even downplayed.

Regardless of the anger one may feel, radicalism must not be an alternative.

Québec has definitely been deeply affected.

Because like many others, as it has been said, Québec must meet the challenge of combining a strong identity with increasing diversity in a global context in which, as we can see, connections are made very rapidly, and where no one is isolated from our world’s very real threats.

Let’s look at this from a clearheaded perspective, because these were the actions of people from here.

Admittedly, our society is distinct. No better, no worse than any other, and, like other societies, it also has its own demons; as the events of the past few days remind us, bringing back painful memories.

The government must play its role. And play its full role. It must support security efforts while respecting the rules of law.

The government must also act to preserve social cohesion, the life we share, because we have a lot to do and to build, together, in the coming years.

Everyone together, this includes those who have come from elsewhere to build Québec with us.

And this includes our fellow Muslim citizens.

Also, and especially our young people, some of whom find answers in blind violence. Radicalism and violence are no solution to an individual’s inner struggles.

This morning, I spoke with and will continue to speak with leaders in Québec’s Muslim community.

I would like to point out that these leaders quickly spoke out and condemned, as we have, this violence that originates from a cruel distortion of religious convictions. I commend them for this firm and swift response.

I plan to meet with these leaders when I return from my mission. To maintain contact, and also to work together.

With this in mind, I have asked the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Inclusiveness, as well as the ministers of Public Security and Social Services to develop, with the communities concerned, endeavours involving community engagement, prevention, and the early detection of high-risk behaviour.  

This, in collaboration with municipalities and the federal government.

These endeavours will take place in local communities and in places of worship. We will provide more details on these endeavours in the coming weeks.

I ask all Quebecers not to attribute to these criminals the victory they seek.

First by supporting our security forces, while being vigilant with respect to our rights and freedoms, and our democratic values, which are exactly what these criminals are trying to destroy.   

Also, by remaining vigilant, and most importantly, united.

By taking a moment to share with our fellow citizens our sense of a shared community, and telling them how happy we are to have them in our community.  

Together, we will firmly confront this threat.

Together, we must build a better world based on our shared humanity.

I know that we are up to this challenge; our 400 years of history are clear proof of this.

Thank you.


Online as of: October 23, 2014


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