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Claude Poirier (born October 26, 1938 in Montreal, Quebec) is a negotiator and crime reporter for the Quebec-based Canadian French-language television network TVA. He is best known for negotiating with suspects during hostage situations.
His 50-year career as a legal chronicler started in 1960 when he did the description of a bank robbery. He continued to do the job for several months without receiving a salary. Soon after, he covered the assassinations of U.S. former president John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy as well as civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. In Quebec, he covered the kidnapping and subsequent murder of former Quebec Liberal Minister of Labor Pierre Laporte, by the FLQ militant group in 1970. He has, perhaps unwillingly, rebaptised the RCMP (Gendarmerie Royale du Canada in French) la "Genmarderie Royale du Canada" ("marde" is a slang term for excrement in French). Rumour has it that he does it on purpose because of a grudge he has against them. Due to such events, he is often the central character of several funny anecdotes in comedy routines.
During his career he participated in numerous inquiries and trials as an expert and as a witness. He covered the publicized biker gang war that occurred in the province of Quebec during the 1990s as well as criminal trials of well-publicized murder or other crime cases such as the trial of several biker gang members arrested during a province-wide police raid operation called "Printemps 2001" which significantly reduced their criminal activities around the province.
During hostage situations or other events, some criminals often asked police for a negotiation with Poirier. In August 2007, he has been heavily involved over the well-publicized case of the disappearance of a 10-year-old girl, Cédrika Provencher, in Trois-Rivières, in a possible case of abduction.
He received the Medal of Bravery by the Canadian government in 1977 while the Quebec government honoured him five times during his career.
Today,[when?] he still gives his comments on recent crime cases or cold ones on the TVA news bulletin at 5:00PM EDT on weekdays and during the LCN morning show. During his commentary, he also discusses the juridical system as well as federal or provincial governmental intervention or laws related to crime measures such as gun control, prison sentences and many more. He is also the host of Le Vrai Négociateur on LCN, a 60-minute show that discusses various cases involving the juridical system in Quebec or Canada as well as various crime or disappearance cases.
He also plays an important role in the production of the television series "Le Negociateur" which aired in 2005. The second season began on October 23, 2006, on the TVA television network. The series features well-known figures in Quebec culture such as Elvis Gratton star actor Julien Poulin, Frederick de Grandpré, Pierre Curzi, Les Boys actors Serge Thériault and Roc Lafortune, 2004 Star Académie winner Stephanie Lapointe and Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge.
- "Cedrika's parents enlist 'The Negotiator' to help". CTV. August 27, 2007. Archived from the original on August 30, 2007.
- Biography of Claude Poirier (in French)