A Tragic First Run For The Hells Angels In Quebec

As the snow melts in the northern regions of Quebec, it’s time to store the snowmobiles away and get the bikes out, whether it be dirt bikes or motorcycles. One thing is for sure, the presence of motorcycles are very numerous out on highways such as the Highway 40 and Highway 20 in the province of Quebec. Almost yearly, motorcycle clubs do a ‘mandatory run’, in which all members are required.

This year is quite a different year for MC members, most notably the Hells Angels MC members. They are facing flack from a number of protesters that are sympathizing with the opposing side, the independent dealers and street gangs throughout the province. At the turn of the year, the Hells Angels Quebec City chapter was at war with a street gang named the Blood Family Mafia, who claimed allegiance to the color red and went as far as torturing and filming the torture of multiple people who had aligned themselves with the Motorcycle Club. A bloody war, but not by the count of casualties.

Quebec has always been a pro-biker province with history dating back to before the movie The Wild One, filmed in 1953 starring Marlon Brando. Although Quebec being littered with snow for nearly 6 months of the year, it seems as the pistons of bikes have a prominent and lasting effect on the province. This has seen a switch as of the recent years as street gangs have been getting more uplift in the province.

As the motorcycles are out due to summer, the provincial police helicopter’s are also out for the event, documenting all they can. Biker’s are so prominent in Quebec, that before the run, each and every biker needs to check in with the SQ (Surete de Quebec, Provincial Police) to check whether their license and insurance are up to date. Further more, if asked, they need to pull-in to a secondary SQ station to check if their bikes are up to code to be driving along the scenic highways.

SQ checkpoint at Saint-Denis-de-Brompton

This year the gathering had started on Friday (3/5/2024) at Saint-Denis-de-Brompton in the Estrie region of the province, close to Sherbrooke in the afternoon. Nearly 250 club members had showed up to the event from the 30 or so different Motorcycles Clubs around the province. Around 400 or so bikes were present in the event which occurred throughout the weekend. Close to 300 fines were handed out throughout the event after the SQ had did their part in checking if all motorcycles were up to standard to be driven on the scenic/highway routes.

Saturday (4/5/2024) just before noon a member of a puppet club for the Hells Angels MC, Marc-Antoine Ghaleb had hooked a circulating vehicle towards 11am and suffered the consequences of a motorcycle accident. The incident happened near kilometer 69 in Saint-Francois-de-Brompton near Saint-Denis which is where the bikers set foot for the First Run of the year.

The victim of the accident was 32 year old member of the Marauders MC. Jean-Philippe Celestin just recently joined the MC, a name which has been on the news several times throughout 2024, with his mother’s adobe being shot at and his brother, Jean Brandon Celestin, being riddled with bullets upon exiting Elio’s restaurant in Saint-Leonard.

Ghaleb was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, but eventually fell off, leaving him without protection. Ghaleb was rushed to the hospital, suffering non-life threating injuries including a laceration to his forehead. He was circulating along highway 55 when the accident had happened.

Although, facing flack from protesters and independent dealers across the province, the situation barely compares to the incident which took place from 1994-2002 with the Rock Machine. It’s hard to say whether this will persist, with violence taking place in the Saguenay region of the province, but only time will tell whether the conflict will turn. It’s also important to note that one of the six Quebec Hells Angels MC’s is in Sherbrooke.

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