The Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) was a paramilitary group, who was very left winged; they believed in socialism and nationalism. These people were considered terrorists in the eyes of the British, whereas some Quebecois saw these people as heroes. The FLQ was responsible for 8 deaths with approximately 160 violent attacks on civilians. This terrorist organization endorsed the Quebec Sovereignty Movement. This movement was essentially a political movement that wanted Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada and become an independent nation. In addition, it declared that the members of the FLQ would rebel against anyone that were considered “Anglo-saxon” imperialism. It also wanted to overthrow the current Quebec government, and along with the separation from Canada, it wanted a French-speaking society with only Francophones. This group caused much chaos, but its peak and most destructive affect on Canada was known as the October Crisis.
The October Crises occurred from a chain reaction of other events which lead up to the kidnapping of two politicians: James Cross and Pierre Laporte. James was kidnapped on October 8th, and Pierre was kidnapped on October October 10th when he was playing football with his nephew on his front lawn. During this month, Premier Bourassa formally requests the government of Quebec (i.e. Prime Minister Trudeau) having “emergency powers” that allow them to “apprehend and keep in custody” people, i.e. members of the FLQ. This request ultimately resulted in the enactment of the War Measures Act. Some opposed Trudeau’s response of enacting the War Measures Act, such as Tommy Douglas who was a Social-democratic politician, but most of the public agreed with his decision.Trudeau’s famous quote “Just watch me” when asked how far he would go to stopping the FLQ. He wanted this group to be abolished as soon as possible.
In the end of the October Crisis, however, unintentionally, the FLQ strangled Pierre Laporte, killing him. This was an accident, which made the FLQ appear weak because they longer had two powerful hostages who they could use to negotiate with the government. So eventually, the FLQ were forced to disassemble to prevent any death of the members in the 1970s, with the release of James Cross unharmed.
While the FLQ were busy with their terrorism, Quebec was undergoing a period known as the Quiet Revolution. This revolution occurred during the 1960s. This was one of Quebec’s most important period of time, in that after the death of Duplessis in 1959, Quebec started revolutionize, in that society became more secular. The Roman Catholic church, which one had an immense amount of power, particularly in education, now was starting to lose power. In fact, health and education affairs was now dealt with the Canadian government; the Church were relieved of this power. By doing so, the education and health system of Quebec expanded unbelievably. The Church would purposely deny teaching students about critical thinking, in fear they might grow to question whether God was real or not. However, the government expanded education, and thus more intelligent people were in society. Society in Quebec was slowly transforming from a conservative province to a nationalist during this revolution.
After Duplessis’s death, a new government was elected: a liberal government. Because of this, the Quiet Revolution was able to take place. Its leader, Lesage, changed Quebec and brought it to an era of much advancement. In 1966, there was a new election. The Liberal Party was expecting to win another election, but lost against Daniel Johnson in the conservative Union Nationale Party, a party that Duplessis created in hopes of separating from Quebec. People believed that Lesage lost due to his lack of interest in local, regional, and rural issues. This election was what stopped and interrupted Quebec’s transformation into a nationalist province.