Just Watch Me!

English: Pierre Trudeau speaking at a fundrais...
English: Pierre Trudeau speaking at a fundraising meeting for the Liberal Party at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montréal, Québec. Cropped version of File:Pierre_Elliot_Trudeau.jpg Français : Pierre Elliott Trudeau lors d’une campagne de fonds pour le parti Libéral du Canada à l’hôtel Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth à Montréal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canadians were shocked on October 19, 1970 when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the House of Commons passed the War Measures Act.

The federal and Quebec governments where struggling with the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ). The had kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross on October 5. They held him for a ransom of $500,000 and demanded that the CBC broadcast the FLQ manifesto.

Then they abducted Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte on October 10; his body was discovered eight days later.

At one point, from the steps of parliament, the press asked him about the extreme implementation of the War Measures Act, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau replied, “Just watch me.” That statement would forever become a part of Trudeau’s legacy.

The FLQ, basically, were a group intent on separating the Province of Quebec from Canada. The had planted nearly one hundred bombs in the Montreal area, some of which caused death and injury.

Eventually, a deal was made, and the kidnappers were allowed to go to Cuba. Those responsible for the murder of Laporte were caught and sent to trial.

For more on the FLQ, Wikipedia

Also I suggest going to the CBC site for even more.


  1. The whole FLQ crisis I find interesting probably because it seems so out of the ordinary for what usually happens in our country.

    No matter what your politics, I think everyone will agree Trudeau was memorable.


    • I still remember tanks driving down the streets — too young to understand, old enough to ask, and aware enough to feel fear when my answer was, “Don’t look. Don’t ask.”

      and yep, “memorable” is a good word for him! 🙂


    • You are right: he was either loved, or not. But he had his own way of doing things, whether Canadians agreed or not. As for Justin … we’ll see … thanks for the comments! 🙂


  2. I can’t blame him for implementing that act. And I read the Wikipedia article. What a sad but fascinating account. How awful that so many people were harmed because of one group’s demands.


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