WATCH:Couillard sees solidarity rallies as a 'turning point' for Quebec
Premier Philippe Couillard says the solidarity rallies that took place across the province on Monday night represents a "turning point" for Quebec when it comes to openness and inclusion.
On Tuesday, Couillard and several of his ministers gave an update on efforts to respond to Sunday's deadly mosque shooting — many of which involve making sure schools, health care institutions., and the victims' families get the support they need to deal with the tragedy.
Police patrols have also been stepped up outside the province's mosques.
Couillard thanked everyone who showed up at the rallies — often in the bitter cold.
"There were several in Quebec: in Quebec City, in Montreal, and I hear in Victoriaville as well," the premier said. "Spontaneously, citizens wanted to express their solidarity, and their rejection of all hateful rhetoric.
"I think this is a turning point for Quebec, to see Quebecers rally around such values. And now it's up to all of us to express the kind of society we hope for."
He says that the sometimes contentious debate over identity continues in Quebec, as it does in other places. He says Quebecers should "combat words with words", and says those who've been blamed for stoking hate in Quebec have freedom of speech — unless they violate federal laws against hate speech.
As he did yesterday, he also urged Quebecers to choose their words more carefully.
"Words matter. It means that words can hurt. Words can be knives slashing at people's conscience, and we have to be more cognizant of this. What we say here, and elsewhere, is not trivial."