New Quebec gov't bothered that accused shooter managed to air radio interview
Richard Henry Bain, the suspect in a Montreal shooting, is seen in a video on YouTube.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:57PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 20, 2012 2:52PM EDT
QUEBEC -- 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 security minister says he's bothered that the man accused of shooting two people at a PQ victory rally on election night had access to a radio audience.
Bain called a Montreal station on Wednesday 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 he'd had a vision from God that Montreal should become its own province and separate from Quebec.
Bain did not want to talk about election night when a stage technician was fatally shot and another man was injured. He wanted to discuss his political vision.
On his way into his first cabinet meeting on Thursday, 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," Bergeron said. "I'll look into it and get back to you."
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."
Radio station CJAD, which conducted the interview, said Bain called from the infirmary of his Montreal detention centre -- without the knowledge of his lawyer.
Bain, a fishing-camp owner, faces 16 criminal charges including first-degree murder. His next court appearance is Oct. 11.
The decision to air excerpts of 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 Lisee, a former journalist.
"I'm not angry about this (decision to air the interview)."