Revelstoke for Refugees “saddened and shocked” by Quebec City shootings

By David F. Rooney

Revestoke for Refugees, which is seeking to bring a Syrian refugee family here, is “saddened and shocked” by the Quebec City massacre.

“We of Revelstoke for Refugees are saddened and shocked by the shootings at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec on Sunday evening,” Co-chairwomen Rana Nelson and Laura Stovel said in a statement released on Monday evening, January 30.

“We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and abhor violence and discrimination against them based on religion, nationality, or country of birth. This hate-inspired attack is an attack on the diversity and multicultural community that is a treasured part of the Canadian fabric. We all belong to the human family, and to help others in our family escape conflict and uncertainty, Revelstoke for Refugees is working to bring a Syrian family to Canada. We trust that they will be warmly welcomed and shown compassion and kindness.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims in Quebec and to all who experience discrimination and violence.”

Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old Laval University student, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm, said to be a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Facebook photo

The attack on about 60 people praying at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec occurred at 7:55 am ET.

CBC News reports late Monday identified the lone-wolf gunman as Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old Laval University student. He has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm, initially reported to be a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Bissonnette made a brief court appearance at 6 pm ET Monday. His next court appearance is set for Feb. 21.

A report in The Globe & Mail said Bissonnette was known in the city’s activist circles as an online troll who was inspired by extreme right-wing French nationalists, stood up for US President Donald Trump and was against immigration to Quebec – especially by Muslims.

RCMP spokeswoman Camille Habel told reporters in Quebec City that he could later face terrorism-related charges, depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.