The October crisis ends

As soon as the War Measures Act was proclaimed, even Eliott Trudeau himself warned of the dangers of an authoritarian approach, but the situation was salvaged in November with the arrests of the cellules responsible for Pierre Laporte’s kidnapping and murder.

On 3 December 1970 the police discovered the secret location where the British representative James Cross was held. Negotiations resulted in Cross’s release in exchange for safe passage to Cuba for his kidnappers. The immediate political effect of the October Crisis fulfilled almost all expectations and intentions of the federal government.

Indeed, the FLQ was utterly destroyed, the vacillation of the Quebec provincial government was abruptly halted and the popular unrest – demonstrations, meetings, student strikes – was stopped dead. In fact, nobody will ever know what might have been without the energetic measures.

In Quebec Mayor Jean Drapeau crushed the left opposition and won a 92% victory in the 25 October Montreal municipal election.

As to the destinies of the FLQ members, all those convicted were out of prison, either on parole or with sentences completed, in eleven years or fewer. A few have written books about their experiences, most have remained politically inactive and silent about the October events (often as a condition of parole).

Some others became influential members of the society and at least one of the ex-FLQ members was appointed Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec…

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