Khadir blames English media for Rose firestorm

Posted By: Richard Deschamps · 3/15/2013 4:27:00 PM

The Quebec Solidaire party says it will not table a motion to honour FLQ terrorist Paul Rose, who died yesterday at the age of 69.

It issued a statement today saying it wouldn't, out of respect for the family and friends of Pierre Laporte, the Quebec cabinet minister who was kidnapped and murdered by the FLQ's Chenier cell, of which Rose was a member, during the October Crisis of 1970.

Yesterday, Quebec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir made waves on social media with the suggestion that a motion should be tabled honouring Rose at the National Assembly, praising him as "an important figure in the independence movement," and praising him for the "sincerity of his dedication, integrity and intellect."

He also challenged members of the PQ to support such a motion as well.

Khadir blames English media

In a phone conversation with CJAD's Quebec City bureau chief Angelica Montgomery today (listen to the full interview in French below), Khadir suggested the media twisted his words, and that he merely suggested that figures who've marked Quebec history are usually recognized with a motion in the National Assembly.

He then continued to praise Rose as "an example of a rehabilitation that worked" and "an honest, sincere man," and then rattled off a list of politicians he believes haven't been punished for various crimes.

"How many politicians can you think of who can recognize their errors, Ms. Montgomery?" Khadir said. "The Charests, the Nathalie Normandeaus, Jacques Dupuis, all those people who took part in illegal financing of the Quebec Liberal party, have they recognized their errors?"

Later on, Khadir also blamed the English-language media for the negative reaction against him.

"I invite everyone, and especially the anglophone media and outraged federalists, to have a little respect," he said. "It's not the time, after Paul Rose's start spreading hate against Quebec nationalists."

At a news conference later on in the morning in Montreal, Khadir went further, accusing CJAD and "some English media" for wanting "to promote hate against nationalists."

And finally, when he was asked about whether he thought his comments disrespected the memory of Pierre Laporte, and those who continue to live with his loss more than four decades later, he deflected the question entirely.

"I hope that Laporte's family are able to understand that in a society, someone who recognized his error and goes to prison...we are not in a society of revenge, we are in a society of rehabilitation."

Reaction negative on social media

The reaction to the suggestion that Rose would be honoured with a National Assembly motion was almost unanimously against him on Twitter, with those reactions coming from both anglophones and francophones alike. And even a handful of his own supporters appeared to turn against him on Khadir's Facebook page.

"I'm handing in my QS [membership] card, I've had enough," wrote Steve Pearson. "If politicians take the side of terrorism, we face anarchy." Others quoted a statement from René Lévesque made the day after the Laporte murder which described those who "coldly and deliberately" assassinated Pierre Laporte as "inhuman beings".

Meanwhile, in Quebec City, the PQ indicated that it would have nothing to do with any kind of motion honouring Rose.

"There can never be any excuse for violence in a democratic society like ours." said PQ MNA Scott McKay. "We need to have a thought, also, for the family of Mr. Laporte."

Photos: La Presse

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