Accused PQ election shooter speaks from jailhouse
A man is arrested by police after a gunman shot and killed one person and injured another during the Parti Quebecois victory rally in Montreal on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (Montreal La Presse / Olivier Pontbriand)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012 6:05PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 19, 2012 8:39PM EDT
MONTREAL -- The accused killer who allegedly ruined the Parti Quebecois election-night celebration surfaced again Wednesday -- speaking out from his jailhouse just as the new government was being sworn in.
Montreal radio stations reported receiving a call from Richard Henry Bain, from his detention centre's infirmary, to air his political views.
He told CJAD he believed Montreal should separate from Quebec and become its own province. The radio station said that phone call lasted 38 minutes, but it chose to only run a brief snippet of the interview on the air to avoid giving him a political platform.
It said he refused to answer questions about the Sept. 4 shooting outside the PQ rally that wounded one man and killed Denis Blanchette, a 48-year-old lighting technician.
"Don't look at what I'm accused of, OK?" Bain reportedly said, according to a news story posted on the station's website.
In a clip that aired, Bain is heard sharing his vision that Montreal should separate from the rest of Quebec because, in his opinion, that might help ensure greater harmony between anglophones, allophones and francophones.
The radio station reported that he indicated several times the plan was a message from God.
"My vision is that the island of Montreal separates to become its own province," he said.
The station also reported that Bain's legal-aid attorney, Elfriede Duclervil, said her client was seen by a psychiatrist recently and that the doctor indicated he was "not doing very well."
The station said Bain placed the call from the east-end jail without his lawyer's knowledge.
CJAD reported that Duclervil said there is some question as to whether Bain will be fit to stand trial.
"We need more information -- certainly the psychiatrist is going to want more information, more meetings with Mr. Bain," said Duclervil, who was reportedly surprised that her client got access to a telephone.
The radio station said Bain initially refused to identify himself but was eventually persuaded to do so.
"My name is Richard Henry Bain," he said, before being asked where he was calling from.
"The detention centre in Riviere-des-Prairies."
The journalist who spoke with Bain said he put the phone down several times during the call to fetch documents from his cell, so he could give her more precise information. He reportedly told her he gets five hours of free time daily to move freely outside his cell.
The station said Bain's lawyer later confirmed it was her client who had called. The Canadian Press also left messages with the lawyer, seeking to verify the authenticity of the phone call, but she did not immediately reply.
The clip aired at 4 p.m., around the same time the new PQ government was swearing in its cabinet. The radio station said it ran the clip late in the day because it wanted to make sure it was really Bain on the other end of the line.
The businessman faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting that took place only metres from where PQ Leader Pauline Marois was giving her victory speech.
Marois was sworn in on Wednesday as Quebec's first woman premier.
Bain also faces 15 other charges -- including arson and three counts of attempted murder in the attack outside the Montreal club where the PQ was celebrating.
His next court appearance is set for Oct. 11.
Prosecutors have said Bain, 62, legally owns nearly two dozen guns and had five weapons with him when he attempted to enter the club.
Wearing a mask and a bathrobe, Bain shouted that the, "English are waking up," as officers escorted him to a police cruiser after his arrest.
Bain has been described by acquaintances as a friendly, generous man who frequently spoke about God. Some friends have said he was taking medication to treat a mental illness.
He operated a fishing lodge in La Conception, a community near the Mont-Tremblant vacation area northwest of Montreal.
Those who know him say he was obsessed with expanding his business and he feared that he could lose out financially if the Liberal government lost power.
A close friend said Bain believed he would secure crucial permits to build his business from Liberal contacts.
The PQ narrowly defeated the Liberals to win a minority government.