The October Crisis Essay Research Paper THE

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The October Crisis Essay, Research Paper THE OCTOBER CRISIS The story of the FLQ (Front de Liberation du Quebec) and the October Crisis has taught us not to take the first signs of terrorism lightly. The federal government and the government of Quebec acted appropriately given the situation presented by the FLQ?s actions. This essay will focus on three areas of importance in protecting our country?s safety during the October Crisis of 1970: the protection of high profile politicians that were in danger from the FLQ, the placement of military officers in Quebec City, Montreal, and Ottawa; and the federal government?s implementation of the War Measures Act. The first important action by the government was the protection of high profile politicians, who had a direct and indirect

involvement with the FLQ?s actions. The FLQ had kidnapped two politicians, British diplomat, James Cross, and Quebec Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte before any action was taken.1 These kidnappings forced the government into action. The action was to bring the Canadian Military into Quebec, and to put Canada under the War Measures Act, which suspended the civil liberties of all Canadians. These criteria will be outlined in the following paragraphs. These two decisions were very important in the protection of politicians as well as civilian Canadians. The government was not acting out of fear. It was acting to prevent fear from spreading. It was acting to maintain the rule of law because without it freedom is impossible. It was acting to protect Canada. But the protection was

not perfect. The War Measures Act, brought in to protect Canadians, was, according to the FLQ the reason they murdered Pierre Laporte. The murder however, increased the level of protection given to politicians. The first example of this increased protection was at Laporte?s funeral. All traffic had been sealed off for four-blocks around the church where the funeral was to take place. When Robert Bourassa, the Premier of Quebec arrived, guards escorted him in, with their guns drawn; Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was escorted in a similar way, however no guns were visible. Sharp Shooters from the Canadian Armed Forces in position on top of all tall office buildings within a five-block radius of the Notre Dame Church in Montreal. Police carrying rifles with bayonets patrolled the

area around the church. Soldiers with machine guns were at every window of the church, and at the church?s main towers. A country where the Prime Minister could normally walk unprotected as he pleased, had been changed by terrorists into a place where the Prime Minister was being guarded at all times. Another time of great security was when James Cross was to finally be released, on December 2, 1970, 59 days after he was captured. Nearing his release, police had moved into all houses surrounding the triplex were Cross was being held. They could hear everything that was going on inside. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were so secretive about its actions that the Montreal Police did not even know what the RCMP was doing. In fact the cover was almost blown when a neighbour

had reported strange things happening in a house, a house that the RCMP occupied. On the morning that James Cross was to be released, hundreds of police and soldiers had moved around the area. Full blocks had been sealed from traffic. Snipers and riflemen were everywhere; the FLQ could not escape if they had tried. Because of all this protection and precautions, James Cross was returned safely.2 In addition to these specific security measures during the October Crisis, there were general protection procedures. The RCMP secured federal government buildings in Ottawa, to provide armed escort to federal government officials, and to provide a quick reaction force. A special liaison staff was established at Canadian Forces Headquarters, including members of the RCMP and Ottawa police,