Trudeau’s Overreaction to the October Crisis in Quebec Essay
History Essay about the FLQ by Joe Muiruri on Prezi
In October 1970, in what became known as the October Crisis, the Front de libération du Québec, (commonly known as the FLQ) which was a French Canadian organization advocating independence from Canada, kidnapped two politicians.
Pierre Trudeau's role in the 1970 FLQ crisis The essay'
The October Crisis began 5 October 1970 with the kidnapping of James CROSS, the British trade commissioner in Montréal, by members of the (FLQ). It rapidly devolved into the most serious terrorist act carried out on Canadian soil after another official, Minister of Immigration and Minister of Labour , was kidnapped and killed. The crisis shook the career of recently elected Liberal Premier Robert Bourassa, who solicited federal help along with Montréal Mayor Jean Drapeau. This help would lead to the only invocation of the War Measures Act during peacetime in Canadian history.
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Early in December 1970, police discovered the location of the kidnappers holding James Cross. He was released after his FLQ captors were given safe passage to Cuba. Four weeks later Paul Rose and the kidnappers of Pierre Laporte were found in the corner of a country basement. They were tried and convicted for kidnapping and murder. The October Crisis was the first time in Canadian history the state itself, both in Ottawa and in Quebec City, was held to ransom by extremists and terrorists. It was also the first time, in peace time, that Ottawa invoked War Measures.
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It was a drastic step to take and one laced with very dangerous side effects. In the guilt-by-association atmosphere engendered by War Measures hysteria, the terrorism and extremism of the separatist FLQ tarnished all separatist movements in Quebec. Also, Rene Levesque's flat refusal to countenance or tolerate FLQ terrorism ultimately enabled Quebecers to see democratic separatism as an option they could live with. In the end, the cold shoulder shown to the FLQ by both Trudeau and Levesque, despite their bitter differences, completely destroyed the FLQ. By the time the crisis had ended, Quebecers and Canadians had for the first time seen a federal government willing to take extreme measures to fight - and fight very hard indeed - for federalism in Canada. Back to Canada in the 20th Century.