Paul Joseph Chartier
Paul Joseph Chartier (1921-May 18, 1966) was a Canadian man who died when a bomb he was preparing exploded in a washroom of the Parliament of Canada. It is believed that he was preparing to bomb the House of Commons.
Born in rural Alberta to parents who owned a small hotel, Chartier became a trucker at age 20. However, in 1960 he ran into financial trouble and was forced to declare bankruptcy and sell his truck. He was also investigated for fraud and his marriage failed. Moving to Toronto, he settled in a rooming house on Major Street.
After his death, police found a number of writings and letters earlier sent to newspapers were uncovered. He stated that because of government actions, no one could afford to live and that politicians were rich and greedy. He attacked politicians and homosexuals in his writings. He wrote that his plan was to "exterminate as many members as possible," and that he was prepared to die in the process. He declared his desire to become President of Canada, and stated that he would appoint Toronto alderman June Marks as his Vice President. When police raided his apartment, they found several other sticks of dynamite.
Before the attack, Chartier had purchased ten sticks of dynamite in Newmarket, Ontario. After assembling a bomb, he travelled to Ottawa and entered the gallery of the House of Commons. At the time, visitors to Parliament were not searched. He watched the proceedings for a time, and then departed for a nearby washroom. There he lit the fuse of his dynamite-based bomb, likely intending to return to the gallery and throw it upon the Members of Parliament below. However, the bomb exploded as Chartier exited the washroom. He was carrying it in his right hand, and it blew off his arm and tore open his torso, killing him instantly, but harming no one else. The washroom was heavily damaged, but the thick wooden door contained the blast in that room. No other part of the Centre Block itself was seriously damaged.
- "Chartier Wanted Presidency with June Marks as his Deputy." Globe and Mail May 21, 1966 pg. 10
- "MPs Say Explosion Premature, Man's Bomb Meant for Chamber." Globe and Mail May 19, 1966 pg. 10
- James Fontana. The Mad Bomber of Parliament Hill In this book published in 2005 by Borealis Publishers, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Fontana describes in detail how Chartier plotted to bomb Parliament, how he smuggled the bomb into the House of Commons and the curious circumstances causing the plot to fail even as it destroyed Chartier.