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FLQ sympathizers threaten B.C. mayor

In October 1970, tanks roamed city streets and soldiers in full battle gear raided homes in their hunt for "terrorists." They were looking for the Front de libération du Québec; French Canadian nationalists who abducted a British diplomat and a Quebec minister. Some felt like they were living in a police state. How far would Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau go? "Just watch me," he said. Three days later he invoked the War Measures Act and a nation waited with civil liberties suspended.

The message of the Front de libération du Québec made its way across the country on Oct. 15, 1970. Vancouver police received calls and letters from sympathizers of the French nationalist group, threatening to kidnap the city's mayor Tom Campbell. As a result, Campbell has two new companions today -- 24-hour RCMP bodyguards. So do the premier and two members of his cabinet. The supporters threatened to make a move by tomorrow, so the police aren't taking any chances.
• Police forces across the country increased their staff and security measures.
• In Quebec, the Police Act was invoked, giving the police director command of the army.
• Troops equipped with machine guns guarded Montreal mansions and raided homes of FLQ sympathizers across the country.
• During the crisis, 497 people were arrested under the War Measures Act and held without the right to a telephone call. In the end, 62 of the arrested were charged.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 15, 1970
Guest(s): Tom Campbell
Duration: 1:38

Last updated: January 12, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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