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Pierre Trudeau and the 1970 October Crisis


de valera's' giddy goat

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Getting into a bit of Canadian history while i am living here, I was struck by the eloquence of former Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau in numerous youtube clips I have seen of him, particularly during the October Crisis.

The October Crisis stemmed from 2 kidnappings of government officals by the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) in Montreal. Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act which was the only time in peacetime Canada that it has been triggered. Federal Canadian Troops poured onto the streets of Montreal.

Having lived here for a year and a half in Canada it seems unbelievable that such an event would occur in Canada. I am struck by how opinion is so divided on Trudeau even to this day

Here are some clips....

[video=youtube;XfUq9b1XTa0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfUq9b1XTa0[/video]

[video=youtube;PHaoBD-eakk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHaoBD-eakk[/video]
 

davidcameron

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TiredOfBeingTired

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I notice the Irish connection to the crisis:

British Trade Commissioner James Cross was born in Dublin city (See Categories section at bottom of the following link:)

James Cross - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of the prominent Quebec personalities who, on 14 October, called for negotiating "exchange of the two hostages for the political prisoners", had Irish ancestry.

Claude Ryan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
No surprise re Irish people involved.

"The 1851 census reported that more than half the inhabitants of Toronto, Ontario were Irish, and in 1847 alone, 38,000 famine Irish flooded a city with fewer than 20,000 citizens.

Other Canadian cities such as Saint John, New Brunswick; Quebec City and Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Kingston and Hamilton, Ontario also received large numbers of Famine Irish since Canada, as part of the British Empire, could not close its ports to Irish ships (unlike the U.S.), and they could get passage cheaply (or free in the case of tenant evictions) in returning empty lumber holds.

However fearing nationalist insurgencies the British government placed harsh restrictions on Irish immigration to Canada after 1847 resulting in larger influxes to the U.S.

The largest Famine grave site outside of Ireland is at Grosse-Île, Quebec, an island in the St. Lawrence River used to quarantine ships near Quebec City."
Great Famine (Ireland) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My own suspicion is that, at that time, a lot of people emigrated to Canada (esp Quebec Port) and some moved on to USA.

This always amazes me:
Before the Famine, Leitrim had 155000 people. Now is has 31000.
County Leitrim - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

de valera's' giddy goat

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Leitrim was very hard hit in the famine, as a Leitrim person i wonder what kind of conditions the people were living in back then, they must have been terrible, there isn't much space for 155.000 people.

huge Irish influence here in Canada, so far while living here some of the town in Ontario i have been in include Waterford, Listowel, Tralee and Leitrim, my boss is from Newfoundland and you can here certain words and phrases and the irish accent comes out

the Quebec question still rumbles on, majority of the rest of Canada seem to want to be rid of them so long as it doesn't cost them any money and the Quebeckers can't hold Canadian passports or use the Canadian dollar
 

Boy M5

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Leitrim was very hard hit in the famine, as a Leitrim person i wonder what kind of conditions the people were living in back then, they must have been terrible, there isn't much space for 155.000 people.

huge Irish influence here in Canada, so far while living here some of the town in Ontario i have been in include Waterford, Listowel, Tralee and Leitrim, my boss is from Newfoundland and you can here certain words and phrases and the irish accent comes out

the Quebec question still rumbles on, majority of the rest of Canada seem to want to be rid of them so long as it doesn't cost them any money and the Quebeckers can't hold Canadian passports or use the Canadian dollar
Interesting thread DVGG.
Some (all?) St John Newfoundland people have very similar accents to Waterford people.
 

statsman

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Franzoni

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Radharc did a film about these people many years ago...it was shown again recently (just before christmas i think) during the RTE 50th celebrations.......well worth looking at....
 

statsman

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Radharc did a film about these people many years ago...it was shown again recently (just before christmas i think) during the RTE 50th celebrations.......well worth looking at....
I missed the repeat, but saw it first time around. It really is like Ireland abroad.
 

Franzoni

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I missed the repeat, but saw it first time around. It really is like Ireland abroad.
Yup...as you said yourself fascinating stuff....seemed like a timewarp and reminded me of being brought back to see distant relations down the country many years ago...
 

statsman

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Yup...as you said yourself fascinating stuff....seemed like a timewarp and reminded me of being brought back to see distant relations down the country many years ago...
I had much the same reaction.
 

Glaucon

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Trudeau was a visionary PM, a staunch liberal, a defender of human rights, and someone with a passionate internationalist ethic. He courageously opposed the United States when he felt they were doing wrong (which was often, especially under Nixon and Reagan). When called an a**hole by Nixon, he infamously retorted: "I've been called worse things by better people".

He is despised by many in Quebec as he did not support Quebec independence, and opposed the Quebec language laws, which severely limit the use of English and make French the sole official language. He also rammed through the repatriation of the Canadian constitution from London without Quebec's agreement, which further soured relations.
 

Quebecoise

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What strikes me about Quebec history in comparison to Ireland's is the almost complete lack of violence involved in their nationalist history. Yes two people were kidnapped and one was killed. But the reason the October Crisis played such a large part in Canada's history was because it was so unique. In fact some historians believed that Trudeau over-reacted by introducing the War Measures Act, that the crisis didn't warrant suspending civil liberties in Quebec.

Nationalism in Quebec has historically been more cultural than political. The opposite of Ireland in fact. In Ireland, independence from Britain was always more important than the revival of the Irish language. In Quebec, the maintenance of the language was always considered more important than independence.

While there has never been a Catholic prime minister of the U.K. and there only ever has been on Catholic president of the U.S., Canada has had no less than 9 Catholic prime ministers. 6 of them in the last 45 years. (Trudeau, Clark, Turner, Mulroney, Chrétien and Martin). Between 1968 and 2006, Canada had a Quebec prime minister for 37 of those 38 years.
 

TiredOfBeingTired

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What strikes me about Quebec history in comparison to Ireland's is the almost complete lack of violence involved in their nationalist history.
When you hear of Quiet Revolutions, you get the idea re lack of violence.
Quiet Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nationalism in Quebec has historically been more cultural than political. The opposite of Ireland in fact. In Ireland, independence from Britain was always more important than the revival of the Irish language. In Quebec, the maintenance of the language was always considered more important than independence.
When there is violence in Quebec & Canada, it can be due to language rather than independence.
Second Cup - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In 2001, Rhéal Mathieu.... was convicted of firebombing three Second Cup locations in Montreal. Mathieu targeted them because of the company's use of its incorporated English name "Second Cup." After the media coverage of the firebombings, many Second Cup locations in Quebec changed their signs to Les cafés Second Cup"
 

de valera's' giddy goat

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i think Trudeau was seen as a royalist by the majority of Quebeckers, which didn't help him in his home province.

Quebec is a very interesting province, culturally and socially, Montreal is party central, a great town to go out for a few drinks. going out into rural Quebec me and my friend happened across a north american fast food chain restaurant in the middle of nowhere, the young teenagers working there could not speak english at all, leading to some amusing exchanges
 

Morgellons

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Hey Dev's Goat, how are things out in Canada? Is it worth heading out there?
 

Ardillaun

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Trudeau essentially created modern Canada, an independent bilingual social democracy with its own constitution and charter of rights and freedoms. Rarely does one man have so much influence on the constitutional structures of a mature state. The 'just watch me' clip is typical of his extraordinary confidence and candour. If he had handlers, they must have felt ill.

But on other fronts, he left a less successful legacy. He had little interest in fiscal matters and public spending ballooned during his years in office, and with it the national debt. His successor Mulroney failed to rein it in and by the end of HIS term the situation was critical. Nearly twenty years later, it was left to his working class enforcer Jean Chretien to clear up the mess he left and start balancing the budgets.
 
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vladimir

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Trudeau essentially created modern Canada, an independent state with its own constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Rarely does one man have so much influence on the structures of a democracy. The 'just watch me' clip is typical of his extraordinary confidence and candour. If he had handlers, they must have felt ill.

But on other fronts, he left a less successful legacy. He had little interest in fiscal matters and public spending ballooned during his years in office. It was left to his working class enforcer Jean Chretien to clear up the mess nearly twenty years later and start balancing the budgets.

Saw that Trudeau's wife had an affair with Ted Kennedy too. Kennedys were great philanderers, and we had pictures of them up here beside the sacred hearts over the mantlepieces.
 

Ardillaun

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What strikes me about Quebec history in comparison to Ireland's is the almost complete lack of violence involved in their nationalist history. Yes two people were kidnapped and one was killed. But the reason the October Crisis played such a large part in Canada's history was because it was so unique. In fact some historians believed that Trudeau over-reacted by introducing the War Measures Act, that the crisis didn't warrant suspending civil liberties in Quebec.

Nationalism in Quebec has historically been more cultural than political. The opposite of Ireland in fact. In Ireland, independence from Britain was always more important than the revival of the Irish language. In Quebec, the maintenance of the language was always considered more important than independence.

While there has never been a Catholic prime minister of the U.K. and there only ever has been on Catholic president of the U.S., Canada has had no less than 9 Catholic prime ministers. 6 of them in the last 45 years. (Trudeau, Clark, Turner, Mulroney, Chrétien and Martin). Between 1968 and 2006, Canada had a Quebec prime minister for 37 of those 38 years.
For Quebec, Canada has always been the lesser of two evils compared to you know what. Laws protecting the Catholic faith in Quebec were passed before the American Revolution as the British shrewdly spotted a potential ally they would need against a dangerous nation. Sure enough, almost the first event in the 'War of Independence' was an invasion of Canada. By the time 1812 rolled around, Quebeckers were definitely in the British camp and helped defeat another attempt at liberation from the South. You don't hear too much about that campaign from Americans. Quebeckers were cut off from France before the revolution and remained more conservative in their attitudes to catholicism and the monarchy right up until the Sixties.
 
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