Transcript: October Crisis: Finding Common Ground | Oct 13, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and gray plaid tie.

A caption on screen reads "October Crisis: Finding common ground. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT IS AN EVENT WITHOUT PRECEDENT IN CANADIAN HISTORY. IT'S COME TO BE CALLED THE OCTOBER CRISIS. BUT IN TRUTH IT LASTED WELL BEYOND OCTOBER 1970. THE EVENTS THEMSELVES CHANGED THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, FEDERAL POLITICS AND THE COURSE OF RELATIONS BETWEEN ENGLISH AND FRENCH CANADA EVER AFTER. WITH US NOW FOR MORE, IN LES ILE D'ORLEANS, NEAR QUEBEC CITY, ANNE TREPANIER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT CARLETON UNIVERSITY AT THE SCHOOL OF INDIGENOUS AND CANADIAN STUDIES AS WELL AS THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF QUEBEC CITIES...

Anne is in her forties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a printed blouse.

Steve continues AND IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC, JULIUS GREY, A LAWYER AT THE MONTREAL LAW FIRM OF GREY CASGRAIN...

Julius is in his seventies, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing glasses, a black suit, green shirt and golden tie.

Steve continues AND MARIAN SCOTT, A JOURNALIST WITH THE MONTREAL Gazette...

Marian is in her fifties, with shoulder-length wavy blond hair. She's wearing glasses and a printed black blazer.

Steve continues AND IN PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO, D'ARCY JENISH, AUTHOR OF "THE MAKING OF THE OCTOBER CRISIS: CANADA'S LONG NIGHTMARE OF TERRORISM AT THE HANDS OF THE FLQ."

D'arcy is in his seventies, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing a blue sweater and a checkered blue shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a black and white picture of an armoured car with two armed soldiers driving down a city avenue.

Steve continues SO GLAD ALL OF YOU COULD SPEND SOME TIME WITH US ON TVO. JULIUS YOU WERE THERE. YOU WERE A MCGILL UNIVERSITY STUDENT IN MONTREAL 50 YEARS AGO. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT TIME?

The caption changes to "Julius Grey. Grey Casgrain."
Then, it changes again to "How history is remembered."

Julius says WELL, I WAS A LAW STUDENT. AND WE ALL DEBATED THE PROBLEMS. BUT THERE WAS SUCH UNANIMITY AMONG McGILL STUDENTS THAT THE CRISIS WAS THE FAULT ONLY OF THE TERRORISTS AND THAT THE MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT TO DECLARE EMERGENCY RULE WAS JUSTIFIED. EVEN THOUGH I FELT THAT WAS WRONG, THERE WAS NOTHING YOU COULD SAY. I LATER LEARNED THAT FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTREAL IT WAS QUITE DIFFERENT. YOU READ DENYSE BOMBARDIER'S MEMOIRS, THEY SAW IT THE OTHER WAY.

Steve says BECAUSE THEY WERE A FRANCOPHONE UNIVERSITY AS OPPOSED TO McGILL THAT WAS ANGLOPHONE.

Julius says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says MARIAN TAKE US BACK 50 YEARS AGO. ENGLISH CANADIANS HOW DID THEY REGARD THE EVENTS OF OCTOBER 1970? MAZE.

The caption changes to "Marian Scott. Montreal Gazette."

Marian says I THINK ENGLISH CANADIANS WERE HORRIFIED TO SEE THESE EVENTS UNFOLD TO SEE SOMEONE KIDNAPPED IN DAYLIGHT AND TAKEN AWAY AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON. BUT I THINK THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUEBEC AND ENGLISH CANADA WAS THAT WE HAD A RISING SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT WHICH HAD STARTED IN 1960 AND WAS BASED ON THE IDEA THAT QUEBECKERS WERE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS IN THEIR OWN HOME. AND I BELIEVE THAT AT THE TIME THEY LOOKED TO OTHER COUNTRIES LIKE ALGERIA WHICH WAS HAVING ITS WAR OF INDEPENDENCE AND QUEBECKERS SAID: THAT'S OUR SITUATION, TOO. WE REALLY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR SITUATION. AND THE MAJORITY OF THE SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT WAS PEACEFUL. BUT THERE WAS A FRINGE OF IT WHICH WAS THE FLQ WHICH GREW OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM SOVEREIGNTY GROUP AT THE TIME WHICH WAS CALLED THE RIN, AND THERE WERE SOME YOUNG HOT HEADS, ANGRY YOUNG MEN IN THE YOUTH WING OF THE MOVEMENT WHO STARTED THE FLQ IN 1963.

Steve says ANNE IN YOUR VIEW COULD YOU PICK UP THE STORE I THERE? HOW MUCH OF THIS SENSE OF FEEL LIKE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS IN THEIR OWN PROVINCE AND COUNTRY CONTRIBUTE TO THE EVENTS OF 50 YEARS AGO?

The caption changes to "Anne Trepanier. Carleton University."

Anne says I THINK IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. THIS FEELING WAS VERY MUCH SUPPORTED BY MANY, MANY ACTIVISTS AS MUCH AS 3,000 ACTIVISTS, ARTISTS, YOUNG INTELLECTUALS SUPPORTING THE FLQ AT ITS BEGINNING. EVEN POETS LIKE GASCON, MIRON, VERY HIGHLY ESTEEMED ARTISTS SUPPORTED THE FLQ, OF COURSE, BEFORE THE KIDNAPPINGS.

Steve says D'ARCY, YOU'VE TAKEN A LOOK AT THIS FIVE DECADES LATER. WE NOW KNOW WHAT THE NARRATIVE OF THE TIME WAS. HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT NARRATIVE HAS CHANGED IN THE INTERVENING DECADES?

The caption changes to "D'Arcy Jenish. Author, 'The making of the October crisis.'"

D'Arcy says WELL, IT'S CHANGED SUBSTANTIALLY. IT'S QUITE INTERESTING. AT THE TIME THE WAR MEASURES ACT WAS INVOKED AND RIGHT AFTER THE MURDER OF PIERRE LAPORTE, QUEBECKERS TO THE TUNE OF 86 percent SUPPORTED THE WAR MEASURES ACT. BUT THE LATE 1970s. '77, '78, '79, YOU GET THIS COALESCENCE OF ACTIVISTS, ARTISTS, ACTIVISTS, LABOUR LEADERS, ACADEMICS, COME TOGETHER, AND THEY STARTED TO PRESSURE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL PAROLE BOARD TO RELEASE THESE TERRORISTS WHO WERE STILL SITTING IN FEDERAL PENITENTIARIES, MANY OF THEM SERVING LIFE SENTENCES FOR MURDER, KIDNAPPING, ARMED ROBBERY OR IN THE CASE OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS BOMBER SERVING CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES IN 1967 AND 1969. TRYING TO SPRING THESE GUYS. FROM 1980 ON YOU GET THE ACCUMULATION OF A SUBSTANTIAL BODY OF WORK, MEMOIRS, STUDIES ON THIS SUBJECT. BY THE TIME I WANDERED ONTO THE SCENE IN 2014, THERE WAS A LOT OF WORK PRODUCED. BUT IT WAS ALL DONE BY ARDENT NATIONALISTS, COMMITTED SOVEREIGNTISTS AND FORMER TERRORISTS. AND IT'S ALL DONE BY OUTLANDISH FABRICATION IN SOME CASES AND, THEREFORE, I THINK QUEBECKERS WERE SOLD A NARRATIVE ON THESE EVENTS THAT IS, AS I SAY, TWISTED AND TAINTED BY REVISIONISTS.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says ANNE I WONDER IF YOU COULD TAKE UP THE STORY THERE. AS YOU LOOK AT THE COVERAGE OF THE EVENTS OF 50 YEARS AGO RIGHT NOW CARING HOW THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA AS WELL AS THE FRENCH LANGUAGE MEDIA ARE COVERING THE EVENTS WHAT KIND OF DIFFERENCES ARE YOU NOTICING?

Anne says ABLE ABSOLUTELY. AT EVERY COMMEMORATION, CHOICES ARE BEING MADE. EVENTS, MOMENTS, ACTORS OF THE OCTOBER CRISIS ARE BEING PULLED OUT OF THE CHRONOLOGY. WHY IS THAT? BECAUSE IN ORDER TO REMEMBER ONE ALSO HAS TO FORGET. WHY ARE WE REMEMBERING THIS PAST? IT'S PROBABLY FOR SOCIAL PEACE. FOR OUR CURRENT TIMES. LIKE HISTORY IS ALWAYS WRITTEN FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PRESENT. AND IN THAT VIEW, I SEE THAT ENGLISH MEDIA SO FAR TALKS ABOUT THE OCTOBER CRISIS AS A DARK MOMENT OF CANADIAN HISTORY. THAT IS NOW RESOLVED. THERE WAS AN OTHER WITHIN, THERE WAS UNREST. AND IT'S BEEN TAPED. IT'S ALL GONE NOW. BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE THE CHARTER. AND THERE'S A NEW SENSE OF BELONGING TO CANADA. AND QUEBEC IS NOW PART OF CANADA. THERE'S NO INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT THAT IS MAKING PEOPLE THAT PART OF THE LIFE OF CANADA. AS IN FRANCOPHONE MEDIA, IT'S NOT ABOUT HISTORY. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE PAST. IT'S ABOUT MEMORY. IT'S ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL CONNECTION TO THE COLLECTIVE PAST. AND THIS MEMORY IS BEING ALWAYS TACKLED AS KIND OF IMPORTANT. SO THERE ARE LOTS OF DETAILS INQUIRIES, NOVELS, FICTION, EVEN NOVELS FOR THE YOUTH. GRAPHIC NOVELS LIKE IF WE ARE COLLECTIVELY IN QUEBEC VERY MUCH INTERESTED IN EVERY DETAIL. SO THIS IS NOT SOMETHING FROM THE PAST. THIS IS A MEMORY. AND A MEMORY TO A COLLECTIVE TRAUMA.

Steve says JULIUS, AS YOU LOOK AT THE COVERAGE, WHAT'S JUMPING OUT AT YOU?

Julius says WELL, I THINK BOTH SIDES WERE ENTIRELY WRONG. THERE'S NOBODY VERY SYMPATHETIC THERE. IN THE FIRST PLACE THEY MADE THE SAME MISTAKE. THE ROSES AND THE FLQ BELIEVED THAT, YOU KNOW, THEY BELIEVED THAT WE WERE IN THE SAME POSITION AS CUBA OR VIETNAM OR SOUTH AFRICA. AND THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. THERE WAS SOME SOCIAL INJUSTICE. FRANCOPHONES, QUIET REVOLUTION WAS BRINGING ABOUT GREATER EQUALITY BUT THERE WAS NO COMPARISON BETWEEN QUEBEC AND THE THIRD WORLD. STRANGELY ENOUGH, THE WAR MEASURES ADVOCATES MADE THE SAME MISTAKE. THEY THOUGHT THERE WAS AN APPREHENDED REVOLUTION. IN FACT, THERE WAS NO CHANCE OF REVOLUTION, NO CHANCE OF REVOLUTION THAT WOULD JUSTIFY KIDNAPPING AND MURDER. THOSE ARE JUST SIMPLE CRIMES THAT SHOULDN'T BE ROMANTICIZED. THAT SHOULDN'T BE PART OF SOME SORT OF SELF-DETERMINATION QUEST. AND AT THE SAME TIME THERE WAS NO REASON TO ARREST SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE BECAUSE THERE WAS NO DANGER THAT THE STATE WOULD FALL APART. ONE HAD TO FIND TWO CELLS OF TERRORISTS. BUT THAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED SOONER OR LATER ANY WAY. SO THEY BOTH MADE THE SAME MISTAKE. BUT THEY WERE BOTH VERY UNAPPEALING. THE MURDERS AND THE TERRORISTS ON THE ONE HAND AND THE UNJUST AND ARBITRARY ARRESTS OF PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT GUILTY OF ANYTHING ON THE OTHER. AND I THINK WITH THE PARADOX THAT IT'S THE SAME MISTAKE THEY MADE. THE POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION IN QUEBEC JUST SIMPLY WASN'T THERE.

Steve says D'ARCY THAT WAS NOT THE WAY IT WAS PORTRAYED 50 YEARS AGO. HOW DO YOU REACT WHEN YOU ARE HEAR THE WAY JULIUS DESCRIBE IT IS NOW?

The caption changes to "D'arcy Jenish, @d_jenish."

D'Arcy says WELL, I THINK JULIUS IS OVERLOOKING SOMETHING. THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION. BUT I REALLY BELIEVE THERE WAS A POSSIBILITY OF INSURRECTION. AND WHAT JULIUS IS OVERLOOKING IS BETWEEN OCTOBER 10 AND OCTOBER 16, OCTOBER 10 PIERRE LAPORTE'S KIDNAPPED AND FRIDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 16th, THE WAR MEASURES ACT COMES INTO EFFECT. THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE POLICE WERE MAKING NO PROGRESS IN THEIR INVESTIGATION. BUT THE OTHER ISSUE IS THAT THE POT WAS REALLY BOILING ON THE CAMPUSES AND THE FRENCH LANGUAGE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. STUDENT LEADERS WERE ADVOCATING WALK OUTS AND STRIKING TO SUPPORT THE FLQ. YOU HAD THESE FOUR SERIOUS RABBLE ROUSERS: DALLIERS. CHARLES DANIELS, MICHELE CHARTRAND AND ROBERT LEMIEUX. AND THEY'RE MAKING THE ROUNDS OF THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND GETTING THE STUDENT THE FIRED UP. SO THAT BY THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15th, A VERY IMPORTANT DATE IN THE WHOLE NARRATIVE, UQAM IS OUT OF CONTROL. THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEBEC AND MONTREAL. THE RECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY HAD TO CLOSE THE UNIVERSITY. THE STUDENTS ARE POURING OUT. THEY'RE PLANNING OPERATION WALK OUT. THEY'RE GOING TO PRINT COPIES OF THE MANIFESTO. THEY'RE GOING TO BE GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR TO ROUSE SUPPORT. PIERRE VALLIERES. WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF THE MOST INFLAMMATORY POLEMIC EVER PUBLISHED IN THIS COUNTRY. HE LEADS THE STUDENTS THAT WANT TO GO OUT FRIDAY AFTERNOON. THEN YOU HAVE THE FAMOUS PAUL SAUVE INCIDENT AT EVENING OF THURSDAY OCTOBER 15th WHERE YOU HAVE, IS IT 3,000, 5,000 STUDENTS... THE NUMBERS VARY. THEY PACK THE ARENA YOU HAVE VALLIERES, DANIEL, CHARTRAND AND LEMIEUX THERE. THEY READ THE FLQ MANIFESTO. THERE ARE FIERY SPEECHES. THERE ARE KIDS, STUDENTS AND OTHERWISE. DOWN THERE FIST PUMPING AND CHEERING FLQ, FLQ. AND FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16th IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE BIG DAY WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS POURING OUT OF THE SCHOOLS AND ONTO THE STREETS OF MONTREAL. AND IT'S NOT REVOLUTION BUT IT COULD BE INSURRECTION. IT'S ALL LAID OUT IN THE BOOK THEIR AIM IS TO BRING PARALYSIS TO THE SYSTEM. AND THERE IS A GUY WHO RAN THE KNIGHTS OF INDEPENDENCE AND WHEN HE WASN'T TEACHING KIDS HOW TO BOX ALL THROUGH THE 60s HE HAD SHOWN UP THAT HE AND HIS KNIGHTS OF INDEPENDENCE HAD SHOWED UP AT DEMONSTRATIONS AND INCITED VIOLENCE. SO LET'S PUT THOUSANDS OF KIDS IN THE STREET. LET'S HAVE PIERRE VALLIERES AND MICHEL CHARTRAND GIVING FIERY SPEECHES AND CHARTRAND IN THE STREETS INCITING VIOLENCE WHILE THERE ARE CANADIAN SOLDIERS ON THE STREET. THAT'S A RECIPE FOR CATASTROPHE. WHAT THEY FEARED WAS RIOTING, BLOODSHED AND CHAOS IN THE STREETS OF MONTREAL. AND THE AUTHORITIES, THE LEADERSHIP OF THE MOMENT: PIERRE TRUDEAU, ROBERT BOURASSA, AND MAYOR DRAPEAU REALIZED THAT THEY FACED A FUNDAMENTAL CHOICE... ORDER FOR THE MANY HAD TO TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF THE FEW. AND I BELIEVE ANYBODY SITTING IN THOSE OFFICES TODAY WOULD MAKE EXACTLY THE SAME DECISION.

The caption changes to "The FLQ."

Steve says WE'LL PICK UP ON THAT IN A LITTLE BIT. BUT I DO WANT TO GO BACK AND MARIAN I DO WANT TO GET YOU IN HERE BECAUSE YOU WROTE A PIECE FOR THE MONTREAL.

Marian says HE THE CALLED TRUTH AND MYTH TRACING THE OCTOBER CRISIS AND YOU GO BACK TO THIS REGION WHERE FOUR MEMBERS OF THE FLQ GREW UP. GIVE US A SENSE OF THE TIME THAT MAY HAVE FORMED THEIR VIEWS AT THE TIME.

The caption changes to "Marian Scott, @JMarianScott."

Marian says SO VILLES JACQUE CARTIER WAS A WORKING CLASS SUBURB OF MONTREAL AND IT WAS STARTED BY PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN POPULAR NEIGHBOURHOODS IN THE EAST END OF MONTREAL. THEY HAD THE DREAM OF OWNING THEIR OWN HOMES. AND AT THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, YOU COULD GO TO THE SOUTH SHORE, IT WAS ALL FARMLAND. AND YOU COULD BUY A LITTLE PIECE OF LAND FOR 150 dollars AND PUT UP YOUR OWN SHACK. AND VILLES JACK CARTIER WAS KNOWN AS THE TOWN OF 10,000 SHACKS BECAUSE THAT'S REALLY HOW IT STARTED OUT. AND FOR MORE THAN A DECADE THERE WERE NO SEWERS IN VILLES JACQUES CARTIER. IT TOOK YEARS AND YEARS THERE WERE NO SIDEWALKS, THE STREETS WERE NOT PAVED. PEOPLE IN VILLES JACQUES CARTIER DIDN'T HAVE CARS OFTEN AND THEY WOULD GO ACROSS THE BRIDGE TO GO TO LOW PAYING JOBS AND WOULD LEAVE THEIR BOOTS IN THE LOCAL HARDWARE STORE BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH MUD ON THE STREET THAT THEY COULDN'T GO TO THEIR JOB IN MONTREAL WITHOUT CHANGING INTO THEIR GOOD SHOES. SO THERE WAS ONE BUS ACROSS THE BRIDGE AND THEY WOULD LEAVE THEIR BOOTS AT THE HARDWARE STORE AND GET ON THE BUS IN RESPECTABLE LOOKING SHOES THERE. WERE FOUR MEMBERS OF THE FLQ WHO CAME FROM VILLES JACQUES CARTIER. AND WHEN YOU HAVE FRENCH SPEAKING QUEBECKERS FEEL LIKE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS THIS WAS THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF THIS. THEY LOOKED AROUND THEMSELVES AND SAID WE'RE LIVING ACROSS FROM SAINT-LAMBERT WHICH IS A PROSPEROUS ENGLISH SUBURB AND THERE IS A STORY ABOUT PAUL ROSE WANTING TO GO TO THE SWIMMING POOL IN SAINT-LAMBERT AND GETTING KICKED OUT BECAUSE HE LIVED IN VILLES JACQUES CARTIER AND THE SAME THING HAPPENED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF VILLES JACQUES CARTIER. WHAT WAS LONGUEUIL PUT UP A WALL SO THAT THESE SCRUFFY PEOPLE IN VILLES JACQUES CARTIER WOULDN'T BE STEALING THEIR WATER. PEOPLE WOULD GO TO WATER FOUNTAINS BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE RUNNING WATER IN VILLES JACQUES CARTIER. THIS GIVES YOU AN IDEA WHERE THE IDEOLOGY... IT WAS AN IDEOLOGY NOT ADHERED TO ONLY BY THE FLQ. BUT ALSO BY THE SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT GENERALLY THAT WE QUEBECKERS, WE FRENCH SPEAKING QUEBECKERS ARE THE HEWERS OF WOOD AND DRAWERS OF WATER AND ARE AN UNDER CLASS IN THEIR OWN HOME. WHEN WE GO TO EATON THERE IS A FAT LADY AT EATON'S WHO WON'T SPEAK FRENCH TO US. OBVIOUSLY THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF MYTH TO US IN MANY OF THESE STORIES BUT THERE IS ALSO A LOT OF TRUTH IN THESE STORIES BECAUSE ALL NARRATIVES CONTAIN BOTH TRUTH AND MYTH. I THINK YOU CAN'T SAY IT'S AN UNFAIR PICTURE BECAUSE AT THE TIME THERE WAS A ROYAL COMMISSION, THE FEDERAL ROYAL COMMISSION THAT SHOWED THAT IN 1960, FRANCOPHONES IN CANADA EARNED 34 percent LESS THAN ANGLOPHONES. SO THERE WAS TRUTH TO THE ECONOMIC INEQUALITY.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says THAT IS THE STORY AT HOME. LET'S NOW PICK UP THE STORY AND LOOK WHAT WAS HAPPENING ABROAD. TO THAT END, SHELDON OSMOND, OUR DIRECTOR I WOULD ASK YOU ON PAGE 3, IF YOU WOULD LET'S GO THROUGH THE SERIES OF PICTURES AND VIE WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD. I THINK MARIAN REFERENCED THIS ALREADY. ALGERIA WINNING INDEPENDENCE FROM FRANCE IN 1962. THEN WE GO FORWARD TO 1968 WHERE THE PARIS STUDENT PROTEST TOOK PLACE. AND JULIUS I BELIEVE YOU WERE ACTUALLY IN PARIS DURING NOTE PROTESTS.

A series of black and white pictures flash by on screen. The first shows a multitude of protesters waving Algerian flags. The second shows a young man throwing a stone during street riots.

Julius says I WAS IN PARIS AND IT WAS VERY SIMILAR. THERE WAS NO CHANCE OF REVOLUTION. AND, IN FACT, THE FRENCH TURNED AGAINST THE PROTESTS. AS THE QUEBECKERS WOULD HAVE, WITHOUT THE WAR MEASURES ACT. QUEBECKERS, IT'S TRUE THAT THEY WERE BEHIND ECONOMICALLY AND THERE WAS AN INJUSTICE. THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE ALLOWED THE STUDENTS TO PARALYZE THEIR WORK AND THEIR ABILITY TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES. AND IT WAS POINTED OUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PROGRAM, MOST PEOPLE SUPPORTED THE REPRESSION. SO IT WAS VERY SIMILAR TO FRANCE WHERE PEOPLE IMAGINED THEY WERE IN THE THIRD WORLD AND THEY WERE.

Steve says LET'S SHOW ANOTHER PICTURE FROM PARIS, FRANCE AGAIN WITH THE STUDENT PROTESTS.

A picture shows massive protests of people holding signs in French.

Steve continues THERE WE GO ON THAT ONE. SHELDON LET'S DO ONE MORE HERE. PEOPLE MAY REMEMBER THIS: THE BLACK PANTHERS MARCHING IN THE UNITED STATES.

A picture shows a few dozen black people marching down a street in black clothes and berets, waving flags with a black panther.

Steve continues THIS IS JULY 1968. AND I GUESS WE NEED TO ASK THE QUESTION ABOUT HOW MUCH OF THIS... MAYBE ANNE DO YOU WANT TO PICK UP THE STORY HERE? HOW MUCH OF THIS GOING ON INTERNATIONALLY DO YOU THINK WAS HAVING AN EFFECT INSIDE QUEBEC?

Anne says WE FORGOT TO MENTION THERE WAS ALSO AN INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL POVERTY IN QUEBEC. THE WORKING CLASS ENVIRONMENT WAS OPPRESSIVE. SO NO SURPRISE THAT WITH THE POPULATION, WITH THE MEDIAN AGE OF 24, THAT IT'S JUST RECENTLY ABLE TO READ BALZAC, BOUVOIR...

Steve says CAN I JUST REMIND EVERYBODY THAT THE AVERAGE AGE IN QUEBEC IS 42 TODAY. BACK THEN IT WAS 24. IT WAS A MUCH YOUNGER PLACE.

Anne says EXACTLY. AND WHAT ABOUT THE YOUTH. THE ENERGETIC, RESPONSIBLE, I IDEALISTIC YOUTH. IT WAS HEATED. AND ALSO THE IDEA OF THE WORKING CLASS AND THE GLOBAL WORKING CLASS AND THE UNION AND THE INTERNATIONALE WERE VERY APPEALING TO THESE YOUNG STUDENTS. SO THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE THAT THE ARGUMENT CAME FROM THE BOOKS IN THE STREET. AND QUEBEC DOES FEAR THAT WITHOUT COMMEMORATIVE VIGILANCE, HISTORY WOULD SWEEP AWAY. AND THAT WE WILL FORGET THIS ENERGY AND THAT THE CLASS, THE WORKING CLASS IS A VALID PARADIGM TO UNDERSTAND QUEBEC HISTORY.

The caption changes to "Julius Grey, @JuliusGrey."

Julius says THIS WAS NOT A SOCIALIST REVOLUTION. ALL WE CAN SAY, HISTORY OF QUEBEC DID SHOW A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF DISCRIMINATION AND JUSTICE TOWARD FRANCOPHONES. BUT SINCE 1960, THERE HAD BEEN A CONSIDERABLE IMPROVEMENT. AND BOTH EDUCATIONALLY. YOU TALK ABOUT CULTURAL DEPRIVATION. BUT THE 60s WERE A GREAT PERIOD IN QUEBEC LITERATURE IN QUEBEC THEATRE. SO THE... THERE WAS NO REAL JUSTIFICATION AT ALL FOR RESORTING TO TERROR. ON THE OTHER HAND, I CAN'T SEE ANY CONNECTION BETWEEN THE REPRESSION AND THE ARREST OF SEVERAL HUNDRED COMPLETELY INNOCENT PEOPLE AND THE SOLVING OF THAT CRISIS. BECAUSE QUEBECKERS WOULD HAVE TURNED ON THE... THE STUDENTS WOULD HAVE SENT THEM HOME VERY QUICKLY ANY WAY.

Steve says D'ARCY, GO AHEAD.

D'Arcy says JUST TO TAKE UP THAT POINT. LET'S REMEMBER A FEW THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE 60s. STREET DEMONSTRATIONS GOING BACK TO DECEMBER OF 1962 WERE LARGE, UNRULY, AND SOMETIMES VIOLENT. AND THERE WERE REGULAR STREET DEMONSTRATIONS ON VICTORIA DAY, LA FETE DE LA REINE WHICH RUBBED YOUNG QUEBECKERS THE LONG WAY. WE ONLY GET TO THE St. JEAN BAPTISTE RIOT OF 1968, THE FAMOUS INCIDENT. THERE WAS ALSO THE SAINT-LEONARD VIOLENT INCIDENT IN 1969. THERE WAS THE TAXI RIOT OF OCTOBER 1969. SO THERE HAD BEEN REPEATED STREET DEMONSTRATIONS AND THREE RIOTS BETWEEN JUNE 24, '68 AND EARLY OCTOBER 1969. NOT TO MENTION THE McGILL FRANCAIS MOVEMENT OF MARCH 1969 WHERE THE UNIONS AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS CAME TOGETHER. THEY PUT NINE OR 10,000 PEOPLE IN THE STREET IN SHERBROOKE STREET, MARCHED WEST. MAJOR SECURITY OPERATION TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY KEEP THE ANGLOPHONES AND THESE PROTESTERS APART. SO THERE WAS AMPLE EVIDENCE TO CERTAINLY MAYOR JEAN DRAPEAU OF WHAT WAS... THESE DEMONSTRATIONS, HOW THEY COULD EVOLVE, HOW THEY COULD SPIN OUT OF CONTROL AND HOW YOU COULD HAVE THIS CHAOS, RIOTING, CHAOS AND BLOODSHED IN THE STREETS OF MONTREAL. AT A MOMENT OF GRAVE NATIONAL CRISIS. AND I AGREE WITH YOU, JULIUS, THAT THE ARREST AND DETENTION OF THESE PEOPLE, THESE 497 PEOPLE WAS OBVIOUSLY ARBITRARY. IT WAS OBVIOUSLY A VIOLATION OF THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS. BUT YOU HAVE TO SAY WHAT'S THE GREATER GOOD? ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW CHAOS AND BLOODSHED IN THE STREETS OR ARE YOU GOING TO MAINTAIN PUBLIC ORDER? IT WAS JUST A SIMPLE CHOICE.

Julius says THE RIOTS IN MONTREAL WERE LESS THAN IN THE UNITED STATES IN THOSE DAYS, LESS THAN IN FRANCE.

Marian says IF I COULD JUST JUMP IN. I THIS I WOULD HE HAVE TO HAVE DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE SUPPORT FOR THE FLQ IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE OCTOBER CRISIS AND THE REACTION WHEN PIERRE LAPORTE WAS KILLED. BECAUSE I THINK IN THE EARLY DAYS, YES, THERE WAS EUPHORIA AMONG SOME OF THESE RADICAL YOUNG SOVEREIGNTISTS, PARTICULARLY AT UNIVERSITY DU QUEBEC BECAUSE THAT WAS AN ABSOLUTE HOT BED OF RADICALISM. IT WAS A NEWLY FOUNDED UNIVERSITY. AND I DON'T KNOW IF THERE WAS ANYBODY THAT WASN'T A SOVEREIGNTIST. IT WAS VERY RADICAL THERE. BUT WHEN LAPORTE'S BODY WAS FOUND IN TRUNK OF A CAR AT St. HUBERT AIRPORT, PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED AND THE AIR WENT OUT OF THE BALLOON. AND I DON'T THINK THIS WAS BECAUSE OF THE WAR MEASURES ACT. I THINK THE WAR MEASURES ACT OBVIOUSLY HAD A VISUAL IMPACT BUT THE ARMY WAS IN QUEBEC BEFORE THE WAR MEASURES ACT. THERE WERE TWO EVENTS CALLING IN THE ARMY AND DECLARING THE WAR MEASURES ACT. AND THERE WAS A WONDERFUL COLUMN BY NATHALIE PETROWSKY IN LA PRESSE WHO WAS 16 YEARS OLD WHEN THE OCTOBER CRISIS HAPPENED. AND SHE TALKED ABOUT BEING A RADICAL YOUNG STUDENT. AND SHE WAS A BOURGEOIS, WELL OFF, FROM A NICE PART OF TOWN. AND SHE TALKED ABOUT THE EARLY DAYS OF, YOU KNOW, PUMPING HER FIST AND GOING "FLQ." SHE DIDN'T ACTUALLY GO TO THE RALLY WITH 3,000 PEOPLE AT THE PAUL SAUVE ARENA BUT SHE WAS FULLY SUPPORTIVE AS WERE A LOT OF STUDENTS. THEN SHE HEARD ON THE NEWS ABOUT THE DEATH OF LAPORTE AND SHE FELT DEVASTATED. AND SHE WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE. MANY OF THE PEOPLE I SPOKE TO FOR THIS ARTICLE SAID THAT WHEN THEY LEARNED OF LAPORTE'S DEATH, SUDDENLY EVERYTHING CAME CRASHING DOWN FOR THEM. BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THAT THESE YOUNG RADICALS. IT WAS LIKE CHE GUEVARA. WHO IN THE 1960s ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS DID NOT HAVE A POSTER OF CHE GUEVARA ON THEIR WALL? WE THOUGHT HE WAS COOL AND WORE A COOL BERET AND WORE A STAR. IN REALITY DID WE WANT PEOPLE TO DIE? I DON'T THINK PEOPLE SAW THAT COMING. I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THIS INSURRECTION IT WAS YOUNG PEOPLE. IT WAS A BIT OF A FANTASY AND I DON'T THINK PEOPLE SAW THE VIOLENCE THAT CAME.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says LET ME JUMP IN HERE WITH ANOTHER QUESTION RELATED TO WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO ABOUT THIS NOW. BECAUSE THERE IS A STRAND OF BELIEF WHICH SAYS 497 PEOPLE WERE, AS IT TURNS OUT, INAPPROPRIATELY ARRESTED. THEY HAD THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATED. LET'S PLAY... LET'S PLAY A CLIP FROM THE SON OF THE MAN WHO WAS THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE DAY WHO HAPPENS TO BE THE PRIME MINISTER TODAY. AND HERE'S WHAT HE SAID WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT AN APOLOGY OUGHT TO BE OFFERED TO THE PEOPLE OF CANADA TO THOSE WHOSE CIVIL RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED AT THE TIME. SHELDON, THE CLIP, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "October 1, 2020."
In the clip, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gives a press conference.

He says THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE EVENTS OF OCTOBER 1970 HAD A DIFFICULT IMPACT ON MANY QUEBECKERS. BUT I THINK WE NEED TO FIRST AND FOREMOST REMEMBER THAT THIS DIFFICULT ANNIVERSARY IS GOING TO BE PARTICULARLY PAINFUL FOR THE FAMILIES OF PIERRE LAPORTE.

The clip ends.

Steve says THE PRODUCER OF THIS SEGMENT REACHED OUT TO PIERRE LAPORTE'S FAMILY AND Mr. LAPORTE'S SO SAID: MY FATHER ESSENTIALLY WAS SACRIFICED IN ORDER TO BRING THIS TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION. THAT IS A VERY TOUGH STATEMENT TO MAKE. BUT THAT IS HIS VIEW. AND ANNE, I WONDER, LET'S HAVE SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS: WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA OUGHT TO APOLOGIZE TO THOSE WHOSE CIVIL RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED 50 YEARS AGO.

Anne says I THINK WE NEED TO MAKE SOME DISTINCTIONS HERE. QUEBEC IS NOT ASKING FOR AN APOLOGY TOWARD THE TERRORISTS. RIGHT? THEY'RE ASKING FOR AN APOLOGY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN JAILED WITHOUT MANDATE, ABOUT 500 PEOPLE, FOR THE THOUSANDS OF HOUSEHOLDS VISITED BY THE POLICE OVERNIGHT.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE AN APOLOGY?

Anne says I THINK THE VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS IN OUR COUNTRY IS MATTER FOR AN APOLOGY, YES.

Steve says JULIUS WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THE ISSUE OF APOLOGY.

Julius says I DON'T LIKE PUBLIC APOLOGIES FOR ANYTHING... APOLOGIZES FOR ANYTHING. JAPANESE CANADIANS OR ANYBODY. I THINK WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO IS TO HAVE A FRANK DISCUSSION SO THAT BOTH THE FRENCH AND THE ENGLISH VIEW BECOME RATHER SIMILAR. THERE SHOULD BE NO FLQ NOSTALGIA. THE PEOPLE WHO KIDNAPPED AND MURDERED SHOULD NOT BE THE SUBJECT OF A NOSTALGIA CULT. THERE SHOULD BE NO WAR MEASURES ACT EXCUSE. I THINK ARRESTING 497 PEOPLE AND KEEPING THEM AND SEARCHING HOMES SAY THERE GO IS AN INSURRECTION, REVOLUTION, CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT IS WRONG. AND REMEMBER, CIVIL RIGHTS ARE ONLY IMPORTANT IF THERE IS SOMETHING AT STAKE. IF EVERY TIME YOU THINK THAT THERE IS SOME MAJOR DANGER, YOU START ARRESTING PEOPLE DEMOCRACY IS NOTHING MORE THAN A LITTLE SLOGAN TO BE USED IN GOOD TIMES. SO WHAT I WOULD LIKE IS NOT AN APOLOGY BUT A REALIZATION BY EVERYBODY... OR A DISCUSSION OF THE FACT THAT NOBODY CUT A GOOD FIGURE AND THAT THERE REALLY WAS NO COMPARISON BETWEEN QUEBEC AND SOUTH AFRICA OR VIETNAM ORAL JEER.

Steve says SHELDON I WOULD LIKE TO PUT UP A PICTURE OF PIERRE LAPORTE. BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE FOR ONLY 150 YEARS WE HAVE HAD ONLY TWO POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS, THOMAS D'ARCY MCGEE IN THE 19TH CENTURY AND PIERRE LAPORTE, 50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK.

A black and white portrait picture of Pierre Laporte appears on screen. He is shown in his forties, clean-shaven, with short, side-parted dark hair.

Steve continues I DO WANDER AND WORRY AND MAYBE MARIAN YOU COULD PICK UP THE STORY, I DO WORRY THAT Mr. LAPORTE'S STORY IS LOST IN THE SHUFFLE HERE. HE WAS KILLED BY TERRORISTS 50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK. WE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT, SHOULD WE NOT?

Marian says ABSOLUTELY.

The caption changes to "A lost afterthought?"

Julius says WE SHOULD ALSO REMEMBER THAT HE IS ONE OF THE MEN WHO SET THE QUIET REVOLUTION GOING. HE HAD TREMENDOUS MERIT IN HIS ARTICLES LE DEVOIR. HE DID MORE FOR QUEBEC THAN ANY OF THE HARDLINERS. HE ACTUALLY STARTED IT.

Steve says LET'S SHOW SOME OF THE PICTURES HERE AT THE FUNERAL AND MARIAN MAYBE YOU COULD PICK UP THE STORY. GO AHEAD, MARIAN. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PIERRE LAPORTE.

As Marian speaks, a clip captioned "October 20, 1970" plays on screen. Another caption reads "State funeral of Pierre Laporte. Montreal, October 20, 1970." Clips show a casket covered in a Quebec flag being carried out of a church as thousands line the streets.

Marian says PIERRE LAPORTE WAS A COURAGEOUS JOURNALISTS. HE WAS ONE OF THE VERY FEW WHO DARED TO STAND UP TO PREMIER MAURICE DUPLESSIS WHO WAS PREMIER FOR QUEBEC FROM THE 30s TO THE 50s EXCEPT FOR FIVE YEARS WORLD WAR II. HE BROKE A LOT OF STORIES EXPOSING CORRUPTION. JOURNALISTS ALL COLLECTED BROWN ENVELOPES AND OTHER GIFTS. DUPLESSIS HANDED OUT CARS, BOTTLES OF BOOZE AND NICE BRIEFCASES TO THE JOURNALISTS AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. AND THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY HAPPENING EVERYWHERE. AND, OF COURSE, PIERRE LAPORTE, BECAUSE HE DARED TO CRITICIZE THE REGIME DID NOT COLLECT THIS LARGESS THAT WAS USUALLY HANDED OUT.

Julius says KICKED OUT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY PRESS GALLERY. HE WASN'T ALLOWED TO ATTEND PRESS CONFERENCES.

Marian says BECAUSE THE PREMIER BASICALLY WOULD SAY WHAT HE WANTED TO SAY AND HE DIDN'T LIKE QUESTIONS FROM THE JOURNALISTS. HE WAS A VERY BRAVE MAN. AND THEN HE WAS PART OF WHAT THEY CALL THE TEAM OF THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAT BROUGHT IN THE QUIET REVOLUTION IN QUEBEC THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING IN QUEBEC. AND YOU'RE RIGHT WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT INEQUALITIES BETWEEN 1960 TO 1970 WERE VERY MUCH REDUCED BECAUSE THAT 34 percent WAGE GAP WAS CUT IN HALF BY 1970 THANKS TO THAT LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAT DID BRING IN HUGE REFORMS AND EDUCATION AND NATIONALIZING HYDRO ELECTRICITY WHICH WAS THE PROJECT OF RENE LEVESQUE WHO LATER BECAME PREMIER WITH HIS PARTI QUEBECOIS. AND SO, YEAH, LAPORTE WAS A MAJOR FIGURE. AND THE SAD THING IS THAT SOMEBODY WHO WROTE A BIOGRAPHY OF HIM WHO SAID THERE REALLY WERE TWO DEATHS OF PIERRE LAPORTE. IT WAS THE DEATH WHEN HE WAS MURDERED AND THEN THERE WAS THE DEATH OF HIS REFUTATION AND HIS MEMORY BECAUSE PEOPLE DO NOT REMEMBER HIM FOR HIS LIFE. ONLY FOR HIS DEATH.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says I'M GLAD WE'RE REMEMBERING FOR BOTH HIS LIFE AND HIS DEATH TODAY, 50 YEARS AGO. 50 YEARS ON FROM WHEN ALL OF THIS HAPPENED. MARIAN SCOTT FROM THE MONTREAL GAZETTE. D'ARCY JENISH YOU CAN READ MORE IN THE MAKING OF THE OCTOBER CRISIS. JULIUS GREY FROM GREY CASGRAIN AND ANNE TREPANIER FROM CARLETON UNIVERSITY. WE'RE REALLY GRATEFUL TO ALL FOUR OF YOU FOR JOINING US ON TVO TONIGHT. THANKS SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: October Crisis: Finding Common Ground