A total of 68 schools across Quebec, as well as several Ontario schools, were targeted on Tuesday by the bomb threats, resulting in evacuations outside Montreal and around excavations in the province . In the evening, the Sûreté du Québec has indicated that these schools had been excavated and no bomb was found.
“As for the reopening of schools that have been closed, the decision will be taken by the authorities of the Ministry of Public Security, together with Ministry of Education […],” said the SQ through release.
It was during the night of Monday to Tuesday that email threats has been sent. Pierre Moreau, Minister of Public Safety, replacing Lise Thériault, who is off work, confirmed that the authors identified themselves as members of the “Sceptre red”, an unknown group of police officers.
In the email, the author or authors announce “a campaign of four days of death at all [sic] Canadians.” Saying “furious with teachers unions and the horrors they inflict on innocent children,” they argue have planted a bomb in a secondary school, a bomb in a primary school and two bombs in “school buses or town, used by these students. ”
Red scepter and investigation
The red Sceptre, the group whose name appears on emails sent to schools, is not known to police services. After initially managed and eliminated the threat rummaging institutions and ensuring the protection of students and teachers, police began to assemble the first elements of the investigation to find the perpetrator or perpetrators of this misdeed . As in the case of a terrorist threat, all police must send the information they collect to the Sûreté du Québec, who leads the investigation.
“We will start by seeing what we can extract emails. It is too early to determine how many people were behind it or keyboards that were used to send the emails. This is a complex and lengthy investigation that begins against individuals who usually have computer skills, “said a source at La Presse did not exclude that the perpetrators can be angry students against teachers.
The investigation continues
The police in Quebec and Ontario continue to investigate. Schools in the Ottawa area have also received threats last week and Tuesday, as Toronto schools.
This threat made against schools is a gesture “unacceptable”, “criminal” and “coward,” said the Prime Minister Philippe Couillard.
Those responsible “must know that they will continue and that the investigation will be thorough,” he added.
There was talk during the day, that Quebec lists the targeted schools, but the government changed its mind and decided not to do so before the conclusion of the police investigation.
In Montreal, we had to conduct searches in various schools of the school board Marguerite Bourgeoys.
Jean-Pierre Brabant, spokesman of the Police Service of the City of Montreal (SPVM), said that the St. Lawrence schools, Beaconsfield, Dorval and Rivière-des-Prairies had received the email.
In a joint statement, union members gathered in the common front called the staff leverage “to follow all the slogans that come out of the police to ensure the highest level of safety for pupils, students, and to all the staff of the school boards and CEGEPs. ”
“We condemn the action of the group that broadcast hate this message. We deplore that unions and unionism in general are threatened directly in the text circulated by the perpetrators of these bomb threats. We will make no immediate statement on the content of this text, but it will of course be addressed quickly on the reasons for this violence against the associations of workers that act legally and in compliance with the Labour Code “wrote the Common Front spokesman, Daniel Boyer (FTQ), Jacques Létourneau (CSN) and Louise Chabot (Inter-Secretariat of public services).
Six colleges outside Montreal – Drummondville in the Outaouais, in Lévis-Lauzon, L’Assomption, Saint-Hyacinthe and Sept-Îles – preferred to close their doors for at least part of the day, as of Other primary or secondary schools elsewhere in Quebec.
“For us, it was the third time in a few days we évacuions said Michael Randall, CEO of Legacy CEGEP in Gatineau. We are in our third email threats aimed directly at us or in general, among other institutions. ”
Recently, between strikes, pressure tactics and cuts, schools have little respite, he said. “We did not need that and more.”
At Cégep de Drummondville, we have shown the same caution and also conducted an evacuation. “Tomorrow [Wednesday] we will have more security guards than usual,” said Brigitte Bourdages, Director General of CEGEP.
A total of 21 of the 48 CEGEPs in Quebec have received the email.
For now, there is no evidence that the threat was based. But Minister Pierre Moreau ensures that the authorities treat the matter seriously.
“Parents concerned about the safety of their children need to know that in each establishment, there are evacuation plans in similar situations,” he said.
For its part, the Sûreté du Québec activated its control center to coordinate across Quebec police operations dealing with this threat. The police force simultaneously working on the implementation of emergency measures in the field and in the investigation to determine the origin of the letter.