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The Quiet Revolution and the October Crisis in Quebec

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Quebec vs. Canada
Bilingualism, Quiet Revolution, Quebec Crisis
The Quiet Revolution
o During the 1960s there was a period of
rapid change in Quebec.
o The Quiet Revolution was characterized by:
o The rapid and effective secularization of
society;
o The create of an Etat-Province (welfare state)
o A transformation of the national identity among
Francophone Quebecers
Jean Lesage (L) and RenГ© LГ©vesque (R) are drawn into a common handshake by
jovial Daniel Johnson Sr. (C). This picture was taken on the eve of Daniel
Johnson's passing. All three are past Premiers of Quebec and actors of the Quiet
Revolution.
o Union Nationale Leader, Maurice Duplessis
died in 1959
o Paul Sauve took over.
o This put an end to the corrupt rule of the Union
Nationale which had been dominated by the
Roman Catholic Church.
o The Church had openly campaigned for the
Union National, as a result, allowing them to
control French education institutions and
hospitals.
o Duplessis’ death open the doors for the
Liberal party to elect Jean Lesage.
o Under the Liberal party, later to be known
as the National Assembly of Quebec, many
changes occurred, including the following:
o Investment in the public education system
Creation of a Ministry of Education;
o Unionization of the civil service;
o Provincial government measures meant to
increase Quebecers’ control over the
province’s economy Nationalization of
electricity production and distribution. (HydroQuebec)
o It is during the Quiet Revolution that the
Canadien(ne)s-francais(es) (French
Canadians) became Quebecoise(es), thus
marking a distinct evolution from passive
nationalism to a more active pursuit of
political autonomy.
o The sovereignist Parti Quebecois was
created in 1968, with Rene Levesque as its
leader.
The October Crisis
o The October Crisis was a series of dramatic
events triggered by two terrorist
kidnappings in Quebec, in October 1970.
o These events resulted in a Prime Minister
Pierre Trudeau invoking the War Measures
Act.
o Allows the government to assume sweeping
emergency powers. Citizens could be arrested
and imprisoned without the benefit of trial or
even a stated explanation.
Military cordon in
support of police
taking surrender
of terrorist
Liberation cell,
December 3,
1970.
October Crisis Timeline
o October 5, Montreal, Quebec ~ British Trade Commissioner
James Cross is kidnapped by members of the “Liberation
Cell” of the FLQ
o CBC release 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.
o Kidnapping demands:
o
o
o
o
The release of 23 “political prisoners”
$500,000 in gold
The broadcast and publication of the FLQ Manifesto
The publication of the names of the police informants for terrorist
activities
o An aircraft to take the Kidnappers to Cuba or Algeria
o The rehiring of about 450 Lapelme postal workers who had been
laid off
o The cessation of all police activities
o October 7 ~ Broadcast of FLQ Manifesto in
all French and English speaking media
outlets in Quebec.
o October 10, Montreal, Quebec ~ member
of the Chenier Cell approach the home of
Pierre Laporte while he was playing football
with his family. Laporte, the Minister of
Labour and Vice-Premier of Quebec is
kidnapped by members of the “Chenier
cell” of the FLQ
o October 11 ~ The CBC broadcasts a letter from
Pierre Laport to the Quebec Premier, Robert
Bourassa.
o October 13 ~ Prime Minister Trudeau is interviewed
by the CBC in respect to the military presence.
o October 15 , Quebec City ~ The Government of
Quebec formally requisitions the intervention of
the Canadian army in “aid of the civil power”. On
the same day about 3,000 students gather in a
Montreal arena to show support for the FLQ.
o October 16 ~ Premier Bourassa formally
requests that the Government of Canada
grant the Government of Quebec
“emergency powers” that allow them to
“apprehend and keep in custody”
individuals. This results in the War Measures
Act.
o At 4:00 am Prime Minister Trudeau made a
broadcast announcing the imposition of the
War Measures Act.
Children gather and stare at
a sight they have never
seen before – armed
Canadian soldiers on the
streets of Montreal.
o October 17, Montreal, Quebec ~ FLG
announces hostage Pierre Laporte has been
executed, and the cell holding James Cross
declared that they will not release Cross until
their demands are met and that he would be
executed if the “fascist police” discover them
and try to intervene.
o November 6 ~ Police raided the hiding place
of the FLQ. Although three members escaped
the raid, Bernard Lortie was arrested and
charged with the kidnapping and murder of
Pierre Laporte.
o December 3, Montreal, Quebec ~ British Trade
Commissioner James Cross is released by the FLQ
after negotiations with police.
o Marc Carbonneau, Yves Langlois, Jacques
Lanctot, Jacques Cossette-Trudel and his wife
Louise Lanctot are granted their request of safe
passage to Cuba by the Government of Canada
with approval by Fidel Castro.
o 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.
Paul Rose
Jacques Rose
Bernard Lortie
Francis Simard
The Aftermath
o As a result of the events from October 1970
their was an increase of support for political
means of attaining independence,
including support for the secessionists Parti
Quebecois, which went on to take power
at the provincial level in 1976.
o Some say that Brian Mulroney’s 1990
attempt to quell separatist aspirations
through constitutional reform was a byproduct of the October Crisis.
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