Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A corporal with the Royal 22e Régiment of the Canadian Armed Forces, Lortie was disgruntled with a number of policies of the Quebec and federal governments. He planned a killing spree as a means of broadcasting his discontent.
At 9:30 a.m. on May 8 of that year, Lortie walked into the CJRP radio station in Quebec City and dropped off a sealed envelope containing an audiotape, which he instructed radio staff not to open until 10:00. They opened it anyway, discovering it was a statement of Lortie's plans, in which he declared that "The government now in power is going to be destroyed." However, by the time radio staff contacted police, Lortie's plan had already been put into action.
At 9:45 a.m., Lortie entered the Quebec Parliament Building through a side door located on boulevard Grand-Allée . He was dressed in combat fatigues and armed with two submachine guns. Based on later testimony, it is clear he intended to assassinate René Lévesque and other members of the governing Parti Québécois.
Lortie killed three government employees (Georges Boyer, Camille Lepage and Roger Lefrançois) and wounded 13 others. No politicians were killed or wounded.
The National Assembly's Sergeant-at-Arms, René Jalbert, was told there was a man with a gun in the Assembly Chamber. Upon stepping out the elevator, Lortie fired on him. Seeing that Lortie was in a military uniform, Jalbert told him that he too had been a soldier with the Van Doos, and that if Lortie allowed he would show him his discharge card. Lortie agreed, after which Jalbert persuaded him to show his own identification.
After this exchange, Jalbert persuaded Lortie to come to his office to discuss the matter, and release the other civilians in the Assembly Chamber. Jalbert talked to Lortie for over four hours, ultimately persuading him to surrender to military police (he was unwilling to surrender to civilian police). For his heroic act which likely prevented further death, the Canadian government several months later awarded Jalbert the Cross of Valour.
Lortie was paroled in 1996.
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