July 18th, 2024

After courthouse stabbing, Quebec prosecutors, constables call for more security

By The Canadian Press on January 18, 2024.

Associations representing groups that work in the Quebec justice system are calling on the provincial government on step up security at the province's courthouses. Quebec Superior Court is seen in Montreal, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – Organizations representing workers in the Quebec justice system are calling on the provincial government to increase security at courthouses.

The letter released today by 10 groups is in response to a knife attack last week that seriously injured a court interpreter at the courthouse in Longueuil, Que., south of Montreal.

Alexandre Garcés, 44, faces a number of charges including attempted murder, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon in connection with the attack on Hai Thach, 68.

The letter’s signatories want the government to implement a series of measures, such as installing permanent security checkpoints and hiring of enough constables to staff them.

Currently, only certain Montreal-area courthouses have airport-style security in place with metal detectors and X-ray equipment.

This week constables at the Longueuil courthouse started using hand-held metal detectors and digging through bags to screen visitors.

Among those who signed the letter are associations or unions representing Crown prosecutors, defence and legal aid lawyers, provincial government lawyers, special court constables and Quebec government staff.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024.

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