Case put off for man charged in Quebec election-night shooting

MONTREAL – The man charged in Quebec’s election-night shooting has refused to speak to a French-speaking psychiatrist, causing a delay in his case.

Richard Henry Bain was expected to receive the results of his assessment on Monday to determine whether he was fit to stand trial.

But the case was put off until Jan. 11 while the hospital that conducts the evaluation finds a different doctor. Bain will remain at Montreal’s Pinel Institute until then.

Stagehand Denis Blanchette was killed, and another worker was wounded in the Sept. 4 attack at a downtown club where the Parti Quebecois was celebrating its election victory.

Wearing a mask and a bathrobe, Bain shouted that the “English are waking up” as officers ushered him to a police cruiser after his arrest.

Bain faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder; three of attempted murder; arson; and a number of weapons counts. The Crown said Monday the investigation remains open and other charges have not been ruled out.

Premier Pauline Marois, who was on stage when the attack occurred nearby, told a TV show recently she believes the shooting was an attempt on her life.

Crown prosecutor Eliane Perreault told a Quebec court judge on Monday that Bain refused to speak to a psychiatrist who addressed him initially in French.

“This examination could not take place because the last time Mr. Bain was seen by a doctor from Pinel, he didn’t want to talk to her because she was French-speaking,” Perreault said.

“We’re trying to make arrangements that he’s seen by an English-speaking doctor in the coming days.”

Perreault said she didn’t know if the fact the doctor was a woman had anything to do with Bain’s refusal.

Bain’s lawyers say they have not been able to prepare a defence because Bain has been unwilling to co-operate. They had made the request for the evaluation.

Also Monday, one of those lawyers said she and another legal-aid colleague planned to withdraw from the case because a study of Bain’s finances revealed the fishing-lodge owner didn’t qualify for legal aid and could afford to pay for his own defence.

“The people responsible for legal aid decided he was able to pay so they decided he can’t be represented by them,” Perreault said.

The decision about Bain’s legal representation was also put off until Jan. 11 once the assessment is complete.

Bain’s court appearance Monday was far less dramatic than his previous one when he delivered a lengthy rant about being sent on a mission by Jesus Christ to rid Quebec of its ”separatist problem.”

He referred to Jesus Christ several times during the Dec. 7 hearing and that he’d been sent as an ambassador to deliver his vision of “peace and harmony for all Canadians.”

“I fight for freedom, democracy, justice and to speak one’s mother’s tongue,” Bain told the court.

This time, the 62-year-old kept mostly quiet, his eyes darting around the room while the lawyers addressed the judge. At one point near the end of the roughly six-minute hearing, he demanded to address the court, pulling a piece of scrap paper from his sports coat.

Even as Judge Nathalie Fafard told him he could not do anything other than postpone the case, Bain spoke loudly over her and demanded a provincial police investigation into an alleged assault against him at a court appearance in October.

He showed up on that date with a pair of fresh, bloody wounds on his head. Bain’s lawyer, Elfriede Duclervil, told reporters at the Dec. 7 appearance that an investigation didn’t turn up anything.

Bain said he has filed three complaints with the detention centre wanting provincial police to investigate a “bodily assault” on him on Oct. 11.

Fafard told Bain the matter was outside her jurisdiction.

“You bring me into a court with no jurisdiction,” Bain huffed as he was led out of the court. “Anyway, God bless you all, happy holidays.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.