Citizen@175: 'I would as effectively offer you a blast to wake you up'

On May 18, 1966, a bomb intended for MPs detonated prematurely in a Parliament Hill bathroom, killing 45-year-old Paul Joseph Chartier, who had planned to kill as many members as possible, 'for the rotten way you are running this country.'

To mark our 175th anniversary yr, we characteristic a special entrance web page every week from previous editions of the Ottawa Citizen. At present: the bomb that missed its mark.

A 45-year-old unemployed safety guard dwelling in Toronto, Paul Joseph Chartier was desperately sad with the way in which MPs had been working the nation. He even wrote to the Speaker of the Home of Commons, asking if he might handle the chamber.

When advised that he couldn’t, Chartier selected a special plan: he would blow it up as an alternative, killing as many MPs as attainable.

On the afternoon of Might 18, 1966, Chartier was sitting within the public gallery overlooking the Home of Commons. Shortly earlier than three p.m., he went into a close-by washroom to mild the fuse of a home made dynamite bomb he supposed to toss among the many politicians under. The bomb, nonetheless, as an alternative went off as he was about to depart the washroom, claiming Chartier’s personal life.

In a search of the room he rented in Toronto, police discovered the speech Chartier had hoped to ship in particular person. “For all of 1 yr I’ve deliberate this,” he wrote. “Do you individuals know what I got here to Ottawa for, was to drop a bomb and kill as many as attainable for the rotten manner you’re working this nation.”

Chartier indicated that he anticipated to lose his life within the course of, “however at the very least somebody would possibly profit by this.” He laid blame on Parliament for divorces, separations, suicides and wrote “lots of people are in jail not with the ability to make a dwelling.” He additionally described the prime minister of the day, Lester Pearson, and opposition chief and former prime minister John Diefenbaker as “a few youngsters, jealous of each other as to who’s going to get the most important share of the cash and scandal. The wealthy feed their canine higher than we glance after our individuals.”

“Mr. Speaker, gents,” he mentioned elsewhere in his speech, “I would as effectively offer you a blast to wake you up.”