Police: Some Quebec schools closed as security precaution after bomb threats

Police: Some Quebec schools closed as security precaution after bomb threats

MONTREAL — Quebec’s acting public security minister says there was an emailed threat to schools in many parts of the province and that it led to closures and increased police presence as a security precaution.

Pierre Moreau said some 40 institutions were affected by the threat — a single email that was sent to various primary and secondary schools as well as some junior colleges in various cities across the province.

Moreau told reporters in Quebec City on Tuesday that no universities were targeted by the email, which threatened a bombing.

“It was a single email in that the content of the email was the same,” Moreau said. “It was the same one that was put to the attention of the Surete du Quebec last night and was, afterwards, received by about 40 institutions.”

The missive was signed by a so-called coalition that authorities have never heard of and it referred to the quality of education and the attitude of teachers.

Moreau said the email had nothing to do with the ongoing labour negotiations between the province’s teachers and the province over a new collective agreement.

A spate of schools and institutions, both French and English, from various parts of the province were closed after the threat, with some electing to shut for the day.

Media reports suggest schools are being searched in Western Quebec, in the Abitibi region, and in Sherbrooke.

Evacuation orders have also affected junior colleges in several cities, including Trois-Rivières and Drummondville.

Moreau confirmed the email suggested bombs being set at specific times and suggested the complicity of those working in some of the institutions.

All of it is under investigation by provincial police, he added.

Moreau said the group isn’t known to authorities, but the threat was taken seriously, noting the email was quite long, a sort of manifesto.

Police in Montreal and Quebec City also confirm certain schools received threats, but no institutions have been evacuated and no explosives have been found.

Montreal police said the threats came by email, sent to Montreal-area school boards.

“I can confirm that schools were searched this morning,” said Const. Jean-Pierre Brabant of Montreal police. “So far there are no evacuations and nothing was found on site.”

Earlier, provincial police Sgt. Daniel Thibodeau said an investigation has been opened into bomb threats.

Follow @sidhartha_b on Twitter.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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