An assassination attempt was made on the elected leader of a Canadian province Tuesday night.
Normally, this would have warranted front-page news in every daily newspaper in the country and would have been the top item in every newscast.
But that province was Quebec and the attempt came at a victory rally for the Parti Quebecois, back in power after 10 years of opposition, and for La Belle Province's first female premier, Pauline Marois.
The initial reports were more about guards pushing Marois off in the middle of her acceptance speech, then dismissed as a "security incident" than it was about shots fired and an attempted arson. As the story developed, it was revealed one person was dead and another critically wounded.
Marois continued to downplay the whole thing Wednesday.
Never, never will I accept that Quebec is associated with violence, she said. "It is an isolated event and it does not represent who we are... Quebec is not a violent society. One act of folly cannot change this.
Call it folly, call it election night euphoria, but Marois should also know that a fellow Quebecer tried to kill her Tuesday night.
Mariois's pronouncements on Wednesday that she plans to toughen up the province's language laws and freeze tuition hikes to appease students will be -- and should be -- discussed far more extensively than the attempt on her life.
Still, there are some people in Canada taking what happened Tuesday seriously. The security squads for every other provincial premier and the prime minister are no doubt studying the news reports and talking to their counterparts in Quebec.
Where did security fail?
Where did it succeed?
Did security personnel respond correctly?
Where were the mistakes made and by whom?
Would Stephen Harper's team or Christy Clark's detail have been prepared?
It's no secret that more money and effort was plowed into security for the premier under Gordon Campbell than his predecessors. Seeing the stereotypical team of men in dark suits with ear pieces, scanning a crowd in Prince George was startling at first but it's come to be expected, just like the black SUV left running outside at any public appearance by the premier.
Meanwhile, back in Quebec, Marois is trying to project an aura of calm and professionalism by brushing off the attempt on her life but she's also dismissing a serious issue and ignoring recent provincial history.
Quebec's separatist movement will forever be remembered across Canada for the October crisis of 1970, when Pierre Trudeau had to send in the military to help restore order and security after the kidnapping and assassination of deputy premier Pierre Laporte.
The Parti Quebecois was born from this violent episode, out of a desire to seek power and ultimately independence through more peaceful means through the political process. But the anger and intolerance runs through the PQ to this day.
After the last referendum vote, PQ Premier Jacques Parizeau bitterly declared in a televised address that "money and the ethnic vote" were to blame for the narrow loss. In Quebec, that's code for the Jews, the First Nations and the immigrants.
During Marois's speech, loud boos broke out whenever she even mentioned the English population or Quebec federalists. Her own party faithful threatened to drown her out when she had the nerve to include a few sentences of her victory speech en Anglais.
Even the most notorious acts of violence in Quebec history have been politically motivated. When Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in December 1989, his actions were quickly dismissed as the isolated action of one insane man. But he was making a statement, separating his victims from the men, and he made it perfectly clear what he thought of the "radical feminists" in his suicide note.
Marois was also saying Wednesday her would-be assassin had mental health issues but she ignores, at her peril, the political statement he was trying to make with the barrel of a gun.
Even violence can be political and Quebec's history is loaded with it, whether the new premier wants to admit it or not.