Allegations of aggression in Gaspésie: the MP calls for an update
In an interview with Métro, the MNA for the riding of Gaspé, Méganne Perry Melançon, criticizes the communication work of the Sureté du Québec (SQ) in connection with the allegations of forced intoxication and sexual assault that have been circulating in the MRC du Rocher-Percé since the weekend of July 27.
It’s not the first time she’s heard of forced intoxications in her riding: cases have been reported to her in the town of Percé as well, she said. The testimonies she receives span the last few weeks. According to her, it is “a phenomenon that affects an MRC”, that of Rocher-Percé, where people “take advantage of events like the festival [Festi-Plage] to make victims”.
August 4, Metrotried to reach the president of the Festi-Plage of Cap-d’Espoir, located on the outskirts of Percé, who refused to speak about the allegations of dangerous intoxications and sexual assaults alleged in the context of the event. The festival has since deleted its social media accounts.
“This drug has been circulating for a few weeks,” says the Parti Québécois MP. She also claims to have heard young girls discuss among themselves about the forced intoxications on the site of the festival. They would have suggested watching each other and signaling if they felt any bites.
“Me, it shocks me that the SQ does not have more to tell us about the incidents,” says Méganne Perry Melançon, who also challenged the Sureté du Québec in a tweet today.
The SQ said yesterday to Metro that, “if the safety of the population is in danger , [she was going] to be informed […] but there, we are not there”. Ms. Perry Melançon disagrees: “It's a public safety issue, we've come to this.”
It seems that the SQ's communication work is not being done.
Méganne Perry Melançon, Parti Québécois MP for the riding of Gaspé
“All the media, everyone is on it. We try to have more than rumours, ”said the MP.
If this interpellation for the Sûreté du Québec may have shocked some, it matters little to him: “I, as an elected official, cannot remain silent on something so important”.
I really would have liked an update, because if parents have to raise awareness before sending their young people to activities this summer , it seems to me that the population should be informed.
Méganne Perry Melançon, the Parti Québécois MP for the riding of Gaspé
She points out that there are “a lot” of testimonies from worried parents, “and with good reason”.
“I really hope that it will ensure that at some point, we will have a real clarification by the authorities, because it does not make good sense”, insists she said, explaining that she was very worried about the situation.
The MP also admits to being worried about upcoming festivals. “It is sure that they will be targeted”. She thinks of the festivals taking place in Bas-Saint-Laurent, where “bar owners came out in the media to say that there was an outbreak of GHB cases, that it had made two to three victims per month in their bars”.
As regards the cases of allegations of non-consenting intoxication, the SQ confirmed yesterday to Métro that “the sting challenge is known to [its] services and that she was verifying whether this stratagem had been used in the MRC Rocher-Percer.” Unable to confirm if this is indeed the case at this time.
What about the metropolis?
In Montreal, cases of non-consenting intoxication , possibly GHB and other drugs, surfaced in news media and social media in June.
Contacted by Metrotoday on this subject, the Montreal Police Department explains that it is “awaiting the results of toxicological analyzes in a very small number of files in order to determine whether the phenomenon of needle spiking would have reached, or not, the island of Montreal”.
In the eyes of the SPVM, “the prevalence of actual cases is unknown, and some experts express doubts about the ease with which such injections could be performed without it being immediately obvious to the victim”.
Métro was unable to obtain any information from the CIUSSS de la Gaspésie in connection with possible non-consenting poisonings in recent weeks, or specifically during the weekend of July 27. As for the CAVACS, it is impossible to answer our questions either. Their spokespersons, however, encouraged citizens to contact them if they believe they have been intoxicated without their knowledge.
The communications officer at the Montreal Sexual Assault Center, for her part, cannot confirm “having received cases of sexual assault facilitated by a drug injected by injection at our designated center service for the medico-social intervention with victims of sexual assault”. It would still be “quite possible that this type of sexual assault took place in Montreal”, she says.
Like the CALACs, she recalls that “the medico-social intervention for victims of sexual assault is accessible 24/7, so that people who need it can benefit from it as quickly as possible”.
The Sexual Violence Info-Aid telephone line is accessible throughout Quebec at 1 888 933-9007.
“I believe that it’s important not to be silent and that we talk about it as much as possible,’said the MNA for the riding of Gaspé.
Young people who do this kind of thing [need to know] that they can get caught, and then it could go a long way. It’s not true that they are all-powerful and unattainable.
Méganne Perry Melançon, Parti Québécois MNA for Gaspé
Today, Méganne Perry Melançon announced that she had $10,000 to CALAC de la Baume Gaspésie “so that they continue their prevention work”. She explains that these are often limited in their projects and “are not much funded by the secretariat for the status of women”.