Former Canadian minister’s cars set on fire, Montreal police investigate possible anarchist connection
The Montreal Police Service (SPVM) arson squad is investigating after a fire where a former federal minister destroyed two vehicles.
Possible arson can be caused by arsonists.
Police confirmed that a 911 call at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday May 4 reported an explosion on Chester Avenue in the affluent suburb of the town of Mount Royal (TMR).
Police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant said a Jaguar and a Land Rover were destroyed in the blaze, but no residences were damaged and there were no no injuries.
Police have been watching surveillance footage, the charred carcasses of luxury vehicles are being analyzed.
“At this point we are still collecting information,” Brabant said.
An anonymous letter sent to the anarchist site Montreal Counter-info said the act was directed at former Stephen Harper’s Conservative cabinet minister, Michael Fortier.
This was done, the letter reads, “in a spirit of vengeance” in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders and “all who fight the extractive industry.”
Fortier is currently vice president of RBC Capital Markets, having left politics in 2008.
The authors of the anonymous letter say RBC’s involvement in the controversial pipeline in northern British Columbia is the reason for the alleged fire.
“Hidden in his big house in Ville Mont-Royal (an affluent neighborhood of Montreal separated by a long wall from the poor and exploited), Mr. Fortier no doubt feels comfortable with his employer’s decision to continue funding the Coastal GasLink pipeline. (or any other disgusting RBC-funded project),” the letter read.
“As glaciers melt and drought, fires and famine spread, Mr. Fortier may think that his money and his connections will protect him, his children and his grandchildren. But the ecologically dispossessed will know the names of those responsible. He needs to understand that no one is safe in the midst of this storm.”
The letter states that an incendiary device spread “to the engine block of his Jaguar, parked outside his home”.
Police said after questioning residents of the house where the vehicles were parked that no threats had been made, no letters had been sent and there had been no conflicts before the fire.
The SPVM takes the anonymous letter seriously.
“We will investigate, but we are still trying to clarify the reason for the arson,” Brabant said.