Medicine Hat News

Male suspect arrested after Quebec teacher on picket line struck by car


A Quebec teachers strike was marred on Wednesday after a teacher picketing with her colleagues in Sherbrooke, Que., was struck by a car in what police described as a deliberate gesture.

Sherbrooke police spokesman Martin Carrier said the woman was participat­ing in a strike outside her high school around 9:30 a.m. when she was struck by a driver who allegedly drove into the picket line.

Carrier said the woman escaped with minor injuries.

The 54-year-old suspect left the scene but was later arrested at his home for assault with a weapon.

Carrier said witnesses indicated the suspect has a connection to the school and was possibly the father of a student, but said his identity had yet to be confirmed as of Wednesday afternoon.

The teachers union, called Centrale des syndicats du Quebec, wrote on its Facebook page that the incident was “unacceptab­le.”

Florent Tanlet, a spokesman for

Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel, said the act, if deliberate, “has no place in a civil society.”

The victim was one of tens of thousands of Quebec teachers who held an early morning strike on Wednesday that began just after midnight and lasted until 9:30 a.m. The teachers have been without a contract since March 2020.

In Montreal, teachers could be seen grouped outside schools waving signs and demanding better working conditions as they protested the stalled talks.

Robert Pigas, who teaches grades 5 and 6 at St. Patrick Elementary in Pincourt, Que., west of Montreal, said in a phone interview that the strike is not just about salaries — even though he adds that Quebec teachers are “the lowest-paid in the country.”

He said teachers are also fighting for better working conditions, smaller class sizes and more resources for special needs students, such as integratio­n aides in the classroom who can offer extra help.

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