Matt Hefler Presents: On This Day October 10, 1970

On this day (October 10th) in 1970: Pierre Laporte, the Minister of Labour and Immigration for the Canadian province of Quebec, was seized from his home at gunpoint. Laporte’s capture was one of the most high-profile events of what has become known as the October Crisis. The October Crisis was itself the culmination of a long run of terrorist activity conducted by Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), a radical group dedicated to the independence of Quebec. Laporte was captured just 5 days after the FLQ had taken the British trade Commissioner James Cross. Laporte was killed by the FLQ by 18 October – a murder that shocked Canada. Premier of Quebec Robert Bourassa and the Mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau, requested aid form Ottawa to handle the crisis. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act – the only time the drastic move has been enacted during peacetime – and sent members of the Canadian armed forces to Quebec.