Brisson said Bain dealt with them in French, not English, though it was broken French. He complained about red tape, but there were no outbursts about language, she added.
Brisson said she last saw Bain in recent weeks and there was no change in his usual demeanor.
Jean Benoit Daigneault, of tour and charter helicopter company Heli-tremblant, said he and Bain met on a few occasions, but he wasn’t aware of any grievances Bain had with the Parti Quebecois.
Wednesday morning’s attack took place just after Marois began speaking in English — a rare occurrence in a speech at a partisan PQ event. She had promised English-speaking Quebecers that their rights would be protected, following an emotionally charged campaign that saw her party focus on language-and-identity issues.
The party’s victory is unlikely to signal a new push for independence. Opinion polls show little appetite for a separatist referendum. Previous referendums on separatism were rejected by voters in 1980 and 1995.
The last outbreak of major political violence in Quebec occurred in the 1970s, when Canadian soldiers were deployed after terrorist acts by a group seeking independence. Members of the militant FLQ kidnapped and killed Quebec’s labor minister and later abducted, then freed, a British diplomat. The ‘‘October Crisis’’ was considered one of the darkest periods in modern Canadian history.
Gillies reported from Toronto.