The October Crisis of 1970: Extremism and Terrorism in Canada

TLDR The October Crisis of 1970 in Canada saw the rise of the Quebec independence movement and the actions of the separatist guerrilla group FLQ, resulting in violence, abductions, and the invocation of the War Measures Act. While support for Quebec's independence has declined over the years, the crisis remains a significant event in Canadian history.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Fifty years ago, Canada faced the threat of extremism and terrorism during Quebec's October Crisis of 1970.
02:14 The Quebec independence movement began to grow in the early 1960s, with the idea of Quebec becoming an independent country gaining traction due to economic conditions and the visit of French President Charles de Gaulle in 1967.
04:05 The FLQ, a separatist guerrilla group in Quebec, committed over 160 violent acts between 1963 and 1970, resulting in deaths and injuries, leading to the group being declared a terrorist organization by the Canadian government.
05:57 On October 10, the Quebec Minister of Labor Pierre Laporte was abducted by the FLQ's Chignet cell, escalating the crisis and causing panic among politicians in Quebec.
07:51 The War Measures Act was invoked, outlawing the FLQ and leading to the arrest of over 250 people in Quebec, including known members of the FLQ and those who sympathized with them.
09:44 The death of Pierre La Porte led to the issuance of arrest warrants for the members of the Chignet cell, while the actions of the FLQ backfired as the incumbent mayor Jean Drapeau and his party won 92% of the vote in the municipal elections, and James Cross was eventually released in exchange for the safe passage of liberation cell members to Cuba.
11:36 Support for Quebec's independence has declined over the years, with current polling showing only 36% in favor, and a formal apology for invoking the War Measures Act during the October crisis has yet to be issued.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History