Luxury vehicles of former federal cabinet minister torched in Montreal suburb

Incendie/fire - FILE PHOTO. (Daniel J. Rowe/CTV News)

The Montreal police (SPVM) arson squad is investigating after a fire at a former federal cabinet minister's residence destroyed two vehicles.

The possible arson may be the act of anarchists.

Police confirmed that a 911 call at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4 reported an explosion on Chester Ave. in the affluent suburban Town of Mont Royal (TMR).

Police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said a Jaguar and Land Rover were destroyed in the fire, but no residences were damaged, and there were no injuries.

Police have looked at surveillance footage and the charred carcasses of the luxury vehicles are being analyzed.

"At this point, we're still gathering some information," said Brabant.

ANARCHIST ACT

An anonymous letter sent to the anarchist website Montreal Counter-info said the act was directed at the former Conservative cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, Michael Fortier.

It was done, the letter reads, "in the spirit of vengeance" in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en land defenders and "all those who fight the extractive industry."

Wet’suwet’an land defenders could not immediately be reached for comment.

Fortier is currently vice-chairman of RBC Capital Markets. He left politics in 2008.

The authors of the anonymous letter say RBC's involvement in the controversial pipeline in northern BC was the reason for the alleged arson.

"Tucked away in his big house in the Town of Mount-Royal (a wealthy Montreal neighbourhood separated by a long wall from the poor and exploited), Mr. Fortier no doubt feels at ease with his employer’s decision to continue funding the Coastal GasLink pipeline (or any other disgusting project financed by RBC)," the letter reads.

"As glaciers melt and drought, fire and famine spread, Mr. Fortier may think that his money and connections will protect him, his children and his grandchildren. But the ecologically dispossessed will know the names of those responsible. He must understand that no one is safe amid this storm."

The letter says that an incendiary device spread to "the engine block of his Jaguar, parked in front of his home."

Police say, after interviewing the residents of the home where the vehicles were parked, that there were no threats made, no letters sent and no conflicts before the fire.

The SPVM is taking the anonymous letter seriously.

"We're going to look into it, but we're still trying to clarify what the reason is for the arson," said Brabant. 

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