Popular, but not drinkable

Queen (Mary) Sun

There was an almost monastic silence in the newspaper’s newsroom. Sun. Not unusual on a Sunday night in August 1997, when regular journalists, even weekend ones, took advantage of their annual vacation.

Posted yesterday at 8:15 am

There was only one reporter on duty: me, the supernumerary news sentinel, locked in a windowless listening room where police scanners crackled constantly. Great summer job, we’ll tell each other, as we wait for college classes to resume in the fall.

At that time, the little new ones “closed” the newspaper, that is, they entered the newsroom at the end of the afternoon and collected all the news that came rolling in until the end of the day. , yes, yes – of the final edition between 23:00 and 00:00. Basically, these were fires, car accidents, bomb threats, or, on rare occasions, murder.

I have always liked to work at night and I “shut down” Press for several years afterwards. It was the best school to learn how to trade quickly and well.

On Sunday, August 10, 1997, Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon’s Cessna crashed into a mountain south of Kuujjuaq in the early afternoon, but the Sûreté du Québec did not confirm his death until late at night. .

In my chest of miscellaneous facts, I screamed, before landing in a panic in the office of the head of the table: Marie-Soleil Tougas is dead, it can’t be, come on, it’s big, it’s big, it doesn’t make sense. , she just she was 27 years old, I feel like she passed out, what do we do?

It was the first time that a story I was covering had shaken me up so much. As if this tragedy was directed at a member of my own family. Zoe Fall In Banana peelJudith Letourneau in chopsuey, had grown up with Marie-Soleil Tougas on television. I felt that he knew her personally.

I vividly remember his time in Fort Boyard where he was screaming in disgust, his hand plunged into a jar full of sticky bugs: “The mice, what the fuck are they eating there,” he had yelled in a classic moment of nervousness.

I remembered the time he shaved off his beautiful brown hair, on a whim, just to bleach it. I remembered the Griffe d’or, the television series Jasmineof rooms in the city and its advertisements for the prevention of AIDS or STDs (as the time was called). She was beautiful, Marie-Soleil. She was perfect, brilliant, talented, funny and endearing. The shock was immense for Quebecers that Sunday, all generations together.

Not only did the darling of show business suddenly disappear, but the general public discovered at the same time that Marie-Soleil Tougas was dating Jean-Claude Lauzon, 43, the terrible child of Quebec cinema. An unlikely couple, she, the angel, he, the devil, that no one imagined dating.

Come on, come on, come on, you have 20 minutes to write tomorrow’s headline, the head of the desk had then ordered me, who hastily redid his front page. The deadline did not forgive the delay, and I mass-produced the text at lightning speed, with a rush of adrenaline coursing through my body. He couldn’t believe the words scrolling across the screen: “Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon lost their lives when their plane crashed in the far north of Quebec.”





These memories surfaced after watching the documentary. Marie-Soleil and Jean-Claude: beyond the stars, which Videotron’s Vrai platform has been offering to its subscribers for a week. It only remains to hope that a general public channel from Quebecor (TVA or Moi et cie) recovers this quality production to make it shine more, it is urgent.

The 1h20 film by director Jean-François Poisson (The Order of the Solar Temple) does not expose new facts about the accident, but delves into the stormy relationship between the actress and the creator of Leoloin particular by reading excerpts from their respective journals.

Your heart can only sink when you see again the images of the funeral of Marie-Soleil Tougas, my God, or those of the press conference that Gaston Lepage and Patrice L’Ecuyer gave two days after the terrible events. Gaston Lepage and Patrice L’Ecuyer accompanied Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon on this disastrous fishing trip.

Twenty-five years later, the wound remains acute for those close to Marie-Soleil, including her mother Micheline Bégin and her brother Sébastien Tougas.

Former colleague Nathalie Petrowski, whose father, André, had taken Jean-Claude Lauzon under his wing in his late teens, paints a fair and uncompromising portrait of the talented but ill-timed filmmaker.

Marie-Soleil and Jean-Claude: beyond the stars It represents a time that no longer exists. A time without social networks, without LCN and during which the beautiful Marie-Soleil shone like a star that did not shoot up in our hearts.


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