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The October Crisis. Terrorism in Canada. Separatism in Quebec. The Quiet Revolution (1960-1967)

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the october crisis

The October Crisis

Terrorism in Canada

separatism in quebec
Separatism in Quebec
  • The Quiet Revolution (1960-1967)
  • 1960June: Victory of provincial Liberal party -- then nationalistic -- in Québec. Slogan: "It’s time for a change." Jean Lesage, plunges into a policy of emancipation, under the name of the 'quiet revolution.'
  • 1962Nov: Québec returns Liberals to power, slogan: 'Masters in our own home.'
  • 1963March: First bombs by the Québec Liberation Front (FLQ)
  • 1967May: invited for the Montréal Expo, French President Charles de Gaulle ends a speech with his notorious "Vive le Québec libre!" He cancels his visit to Ottawa, following a protest from the Canadian government; Oct: René Lévesque leaves the Liberal party and founds the Sovereignty-Association Movement
  • Rise of the Parti Québécois
  • 1968 creation of franco-Québec office for youth June: Prime Minister P.E. Trudeau faces rioting crowd on Saint-Jean Baptiste Day; Oct.: Creation of the PQ, which absorbs the small independentist movements; Nov: formation of Ministry of Immigration
  • 1969July: Increasing number of riots and bombs as politicians adopt an increasing number of anti- democratic measures vis-à-vis francophones;
  • Federalist: Two levels of government are needed (Federal and Provincial) Canadians who value some level of compromise to keep the country together
  • Separatist: 20% of Quebecois who want a political, social and economic separation from Canada because Quebec is already a nation
  • Sovereignty-Association: Separate political and Social Quebec, but an economic partnership with Canada
  • F.L.Q.( Front de Liberation de Quebec) Terrorist organization who want to use violence to overthrow the government and set up a Marxist styled society in Quebec
the flq
  • Bombed the Montreal Stock exchange
  • Bombed mailboxes in affluent English neighbourhoods
  • Robbed 20 banks
  • Blew up statues
  • Small isolated cells part of a larger terrorist network
seminal events of the 1970 october crisis
Seminal Events of the 1970 October Crisis

·        October 5 - Montreal, Quebec: British Trade Commissioner James Cross is kidnapped by members of the "Liberation cell" of the FLQ. This was followed by a communiqué to the authorities that contained the kidnappers' demands that included the release of a number of convicted or detained terrorists and the broadcasting of the "FLQ Manifesto". The terms of the ransom note were the same as those found in June for the planned kidnapping of the U.S. consul. At the time, the police did not connect the two.

·        October 10 - Montreal, Quebec: Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte is kidnapped by members of "Chenier cell" of the FLQ;

·        October 15 - Quebec City - The Government of Quebec calls in the services of the Canadian army, as is its right alone under the National Defence Act. All three opposition parties, including the Parti Québécois rise in the National Assembly and agree with the decision.

·        October 16 - The premier of Quebec, Robert Bourassa, formally requests the federal government in Ottawa to declare a state of "apprehended insurrection" and impose martial law under the War Measures Act. (The City of Montreal had already made such a request, the day before.) Martial law came into effect at 4:00 a.m.


seminal events of the 1970 october crisis cont d
Seminal Events of the 1970 October Crisis cont’d

October 17 - Montreal, Quebec: The "Chenier cell" of the FLQ announces that hostage Pierre Laporte has been executed. He is strangled to death and his body is dumped in the trunk of a car and abandoned in the bush near Saint-Hubert Airport, a few miles from Montreal. A communiqué to police advising that Pierre Laporte had been executed referred to him derisively as the "Minister of unemployment and assimilation." In a communiqué issued by the "Liberation cell" holding James Cross, his kidnappers declared that they were suspending indefinitely the death sentence against James Cross, that they would not release him until their demands were met and that he would be executed if the "fascist police" discovered them and tried to intervene.

·        November 6 - Police raid the hiding place of the FLQ's Chenier cell. Although three members escaped the raid, Bernard Lortie was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of Pierre Laporte.

·        December 3 - Montreal, Quebec: After being held hostage for 60 days, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross is released by the FLQ Liberation cell terrorists after negotiations with police. Simultaneously, the five known terrorist members of the cell are granted their request for safe passage to Cuba by the Government of Canada after approval by Fidel Castro. They are flown to Cuba by a Canadian Forces aircraft.

·        December 27 - Saint-Luc, Quebec: The three remaining members of the Chenier Cell still at large, Paul Rose, Jacques Rose and Francis Simard, are arrested after being found hiding in a 6 m tunnel in the rural farming community. They would be charged with the kidnapping and murder of Pierre Laporte.

the war measures act
The War Measures Act

the war measures act1
The War Measures Act
  • A 1914 statute giving emergency powers to cabinet, allowing it to govern by decree (without the usual approvals of democratic institutions) in times of war, invasion or real or apprehended insurrection. It was this power the federal government invoked in 1970 to deal with the FLQ crisis which the government called a state of ‘apprehended insurrection.’
  • The Act had been used in early years to intern members of the communist party, Japanese-Canadians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Italian-Canadians. In 1988 this statute was replaced with the Emergency Act..
  • Read the War Measures Act
  • Do you think there are situations that require personal rights to be suspended for the good of the whole society?
  • Can you think of an example?