René Jalbert

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Major (retired)
René Jalbert
René Jalbert.jpg
Jalbert while serving as Black Rod
10th Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod
In office
July 1985 – March 1989
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Preceded by Claude Lajoie
Succeeded by Rene Gutknecht
Sergeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly of Quebec
Personal details
Born (1921-02-20)20 February 1921
Died 21 January 1996(1996-01-21) (aged 74)
Resting place Quebec City, Quebec
Awards Cross of Valour, 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp, 1939-45 War Medal, United Nations Korea Medal, United Nations Medal for Cyprus, International Commission for Supervision and Control Medal, Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, Canadian Forces Decoration with 22 year clasp.
Military service
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service c. 1939-1969
Rank Major
Unit Royal 22nd Regiment

René Marc Jalbert, CV CD (20 February 1921 – 21 January 1996) was a Canadian soldier and sergeant-at-arms of the National Assembly of Quebec, known for his role in ending Denis Lortie's killing spree in the Parliament Building on 8 May 1984.

Military career[edit]

Jalbert served in World War II and the Korean War, attaining the rank of major in the Royal 22e Régiment.


After his military career, he served as sergeant-at-arms in the National Assembly of Quebec.

On 8 May 1984, Denis Lortie entered the Parliament Building in the morning, before government business had begun, and killed three government employees on his way to the Assembly Chamber. Upon learning of Lortie's presence, Jalbert entered the Assembly Chamber. Seeing Lortie in uniform, Jalbert showed the gunman his identification as a war veteran from the same regiment as Lortie, opening a dialogue with him. Jalbert convinced Lortie to allow several employees to leave the premises. Then he invited Lortie into his downstairs office to discuss the situation, in effect setting himself up as hostage while removing Lortie from the scene. At extreme personal risk, Jalbert spent four hours persuading Lortie to surrender to police.

Jalbert's actions almost certainly prevented a higher death toll. For his bravery, Jalbert was awarded the Cross of Valour, Canada's highest civilian award for bravery, which was presented to him 9 November 1984, by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé in a ceremony at Rideau Hall, Ottawa.

The award citation reads:

In a rare display of coolheadedness and courage, René Jalbert, Sergeant-at-Arms at the Quebec National Assembly, subdued a man who had killed three people and wounded thirteen more on the morning of 8 May 1984. The man had entered a side door of the National Assembly building and immediately opened fire with a submachine-gun; moments later he climbed the main staircase toward the assembly chamber, known as the Blue Room, shooting repeatedly, and then burst into the chamber. As bullets peppered the wall, Mr. Jalbert entered the Blue Room and with icy calm convinced the man to allow several employees to leave the premises. Then he invited the heavily armed man into his downstairs office, in effect setting himself up as hostage while removing the man from the scene. At extreme personal risk, but with unflinching authority, Mr. Jalbert spent four hours persuading the man to surrender to police. The audacity of this retired Major of the Royal 22nd Regiment, a Second World War and Korean War veteran, almost certainly prevented a higher death toll.[1]

In 2006 a street in Quebec City was named after René Jalbert:[2]


  1. ^ "M. René Marc Jalbert, C.V., C.D." Decorations for Bravery. The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Toponymy