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Witness recounts kidnapping of Quebec labour minister

The Story

On Oct. 10, 1970, kidnappers with machine guns pulled up to Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte's home and shoved him into the backseat of their car. It happened during broad daylight at the minister's suburban Montreal home while he played football with his family on the front lawn. His nephew Claude Laporte saw the whole thing and recounts the story a day later.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 11, 1970
Guest: Claude Laporte
Duration: 1:42

Did You know?

• Just after Front de libération du Québec member Paul Rose -- one of the kidnappers -- abducted Laporte, police nearly apprehended him at a subway station known for FLQ drop-offs. When Rose realized he was being tailed, he smashed himself in the face with a brick to produce swelling in order to make himself unrecognizable.

• Rose later said Laporte's abduction was a last-minute decision.

• The FLQ planned to kidnap a British diplomat, symbolizing anglophone oppression of Quebec, and an American diplomat, representing U.S. economic domination.

• Wrestling with divergent ideas, the FLQ instead abducted Laporte who, to them, represented the Liberal Party's right wing ideals.

• The next day, while in captivity, Laporte sent a letter to Premier Robert Bourassa pleading for police to call off the search for him or his captors would kill him.


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