|Painting by Kathleen Moir Morris|
We were all so shocked the night that masked and half-robed man walked into a Quebec election victory party and opened fire.
Still, he managed to kill a man and seriously wound his best friend. His intention had been to assassinate Quebec's then newly elected Premier. but somehow 'fate' got in the way, and his gun jammed.
I remember how the shooter had been an english speaking individual in his 60's who sought to scapegoat and eradicate his perceived oppressor(s). This was too often the alarming effect our dysfunctional media-political system had on our weakest minds and souls.
These kooks would often 'snap', much like that nut had done in Norway the year before, due to an over-absorption of Idealist half-baked political rhetoric spun within media and government, all too often for their own selfish purposes.
Quebec had had a long history of terrorist, and government incompetence, both of which ironically acted as a blessing for us in the long run.
The tragedy surpassing all, was the horrible fact that a man had died that night, He had been a father and good human being. Fortunately for all of us, his longtime courageous friend, who also happened to be an 'anglophone', had been working alongside him when he was shot. He suffered a massive bullet wound in his hip, survived, and lived to pay homage to his great friend.
This testament of friendship was an shining example of how Quebecers were not simply the two-solitudes they had always been portrayed as being within the local media and on the political stage.
Had the madman been successful in his quest, and eliminated his target, the resulting polarization among extremists on both sides of Quebec's language spectrum, could have sent our land into a death spiral of renewed tribalist rage.
Most English and French speaking Quebecers at that time, were far too integrated within families and friendships to be misguided by the paranoia of idealists operating within government and those on the periphery of society, and it was this mutual respect which always allowed for a great reconciliation of our collective and perceived differences.
Most of the 'Anglos' who didn't leave Quebec once their government began to impose stricter language laws whilst attempting to 'protect' the sanctity of the french language at the end of the 1970's, had ultimately conceded to the concerns many francophones had had, regarding the precarious nature and ultimate survival of their unique culture. In other words, accepting to live under government restrictions, regardless of how poorly thought out, was still preferable to serving 'a life sentence' living in 'B.F.' Ontario*.
note: The initials 'B.F.' represent a metaphoric suburban wasteland community I used to affectionately refer to in those days as 'Black Fly'.
Future CT Village 5, Nova Avalon. Year 17 P.T.E.