The new Quebec government is examining how accused killer Richard Henry Bain was able to speak to the media from a detention centre.
The Parti Quebecois’ new public safety minister says he’s bothered that the man accused of shooting two people on election night had access to a radio audience.
Mr. Bain called a Montreal station yesterday and small snippets of a 38-minute interview were aired on English- and French-language stations of the Astral radio network.
The accused shooter reportedly told the network that he’d had a vision from God that Montreal should become its own province, and separate from Quebec.
Mw Bain did not want to talk about the election night killing, where two people were shot outside PQ headquarters and a stage technician died. He wanted to discuss his political vision.
On his way into his first cabinet meeting Thursday in Quebec City, Public Security Minister Stephane Bergeron said he will investigate whether a prisoner should have access to a phone in order to transmit messages through the mass media.
“It seems worrisome to me. I’ll look into it and get back to you,” Mr. Bergeron said. He said he would examine the issue and make a decision, if necessary.
“The question is whether a prisoner should have access to that type of platform to express himself in the public arena.”
The radio station CJAD, which conducted the interview, said Mr. Bain called from the infirmary of his Montreal detention centre — without the knowledge of his lawyer.
Mr. Bain, a fishing-camp owner, faces 16 criminal charges including first-degree murder. His next court appearance is Oct. 11.
The decision to air the interview prompted a bit of a backlash from some other media, and on social networks.
But another PQ minister was more philosophical about the affair.
Jean-Francois Lisee, whose portfolios include working with the anglophone community, was less critical than his colleague.
“I will always side with freedom of the press,” said Mr. Lisee, a former journalist.
“I’m not angry about this (decision to air the interview).”