MONTREAL - The businessman charged in a deadly shooting at a separatist rally says Montreal should break off from the rest of Quebec to promote linguistic peace.
Richard Henry Bain outlined his partition plan in an interview Wednesday with CJAD, an English talk-radio station in Quebec.
Speaking from the infirmary at an east-end jail, the 63-year-old murder suspect said it's time for English Quebecers to "retake control of our own island."
"My vision is that the island of Montreal separates to become its own province," said Bain, who faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder.
His friends have said Bain has a history of mental illness.
He refused to talk to the radio station about the Sept. 4 shooting in which technician Denis Blanchette was killed at a nightclub where Quebec Premier Pauline Marois was giving her victory speech.
Marois was hustled off the stage after a masked man dressed in black opened fire outside the Metropolis club with a machine gun, killing Blanchette and wounding his colleague.
Police tackled the suspect, who shouted "the English are waking up" before police led him away.
Police believe the shooter may have been targeting the Parti Quebecois leader.
Bain spoke to CJAD for more than half an hour Wednesday but refused to talk about the rampage.
"Don't look at what I'm accused of, okay?" Bain told the station. "Look at this action plan. Look at this vision. Does it make sense that we retake control of our own island?"
A London, Ont., couple that fished with Bain at his lodge north of Montreal last month has previously told QMI he made similar comments about a Montreal city-state.
Partition was widely discussed among Quebec anglophones and aboriginals in the early 1990s once it became clear that Jacques Parizeau's PQ would hold a sovereignty referendum.
The shooting this month has rekindled language tensions that had been largely dormant during the nine-year reign of federalist premier Jean Charest.
But partition is no longer discussed by mainstream English groups, and Bain's lawyer questions her client's mental state.
He's scheduled to return to court in October.