Charest upset over Fete nationale act; says he's had enough with talk of violence - InfoNews

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Charest upset over Fete nationale act; says he's had enough with talk of violence

Quebec Premier Jean Charest responds at the legislature in Quebec City, Tuesday, May 15, 2012 . Charest is angry at organizers of a Fete nationale party, whom he accuses of ruining the spirit of Quebec's June 24 holiday with an irresponsible programming choice.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
June 14, 2012 - 11:38 AM

QUEBEC - Premier Jean Charest is angry at organizers of a Fete nationale party — whom he accuses of distorting Quebec's annual holiday.

He's upset that they have invited a rock band whose lyrics make insulting or threatening references to certain politicians, namely those who tend to be more conservative.

It's the same band that had a promotional item showing a likeness of the premier dead, at the feet of Quebec solidaire politician Amir Khadir.

The premier says he's had enough.

He says in the last few months, during the student protests, too many people in Quebec have been trivializing violence and he says it's becoming disturbing.

Charest says the June 24 Fete nationale belongs to all Quebecers and shouldn't carry political overtones that pit one Quebecer against another.

The event frequently does get infused with politics, as artists performing at the event and its hosts often show their pro-independence stripes.

This year, the group Mise En Demeure is being invited to the Quebec City party on the Plains of Abraham.

The band has sung about stabbing a university rector and slugging the education minister with a sledgehammer. It has also recorded a song suggesting, in crude terms, that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's mother regrets having conceived him.

Some of its promotional art features pictures of certain personalities — including Charest, ex-PQ premier Lucien Bouchard, and Quebecor boss Pierre-Karl Peladeau — with their heads severed and mounted on a wall, like hunted game.

The premier says it's everyone's responsibility to speak out against violence and intimidation. Charest is expected to make the theme a central part of his upcoming re-election plan — and pit his tuition hikes against social strife he says is being stoked by the opposition.

But the opposition says it's the premier stoking that unrest, for his own partisan reasons, by refusing to back down from his contentious tuition plan.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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