Canada has the reputation among many folks as being a quiet land where nothing dramatic happens. For the most part, this is generally true. But there was a time more than forty years ago when the entire country was shocked by a blatant act of domestic terrorism.
On October 5, 1970, the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ), a group dedicated to violently removing the province from confederation, kidnapped British trade commissioner, James Cross. Five days later, they kidnapped Quebec Minister of Labour and Immigration, Pierre Laporte.
These events troubled me deeply. Was this one of the end time signs? Would Christ come and take us to be with him before the nation broke up?
“I’m worried, Stephen,” I confessed to my room mate one evening. “What are we going to do when Canada is no more?”
“Don’t be such a moron,” he scorned. “Canada’s not gonna break up. The government will deal with the FLQ and that will be the end of it. You’re so naive,” he added.
Though I made no reply, I still felt that the country was in peril.
Prime Minister Trudeau seemed to have the same opinion. The War Measures Act was enacted on October sixteenth. It drastically curtailed personal freedoms and gave the police powers to enter homes without a warrant. Most Canadians applauded this action but some felt it was an unjustified intrusion into personal freedoms. Though some innocent people were arrested and a barn, used as an FLQ meeting place, was burned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Government of Canada had valid reasons for concern.
During the years 1963 to 1967, the FLQ planted 35 devices in a systematic program of bombings of government and English Canadian business establishments. From 1968 to 1970, they planted over 50 bombs.
the body of Pierre Laporte was found in the trunk of a car on October seventeenth and James Cross was freed on the third of December. Some FLQ members were arrested, some fled the country, and the group was disbanded.
I thanked God for his intervention in the crisis, though I wished that nobody had been killed. I’m still thankful that the police took down the FLQ and that the country is still intact today.
I wrote about my naivete and how God watched over me in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers for more information on the Lord’s providential guidance in my life.