Today is the anniversary of perhaps the most dramatic moment in our country’s recent history. On Oct. 16, 1970, prime minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act to put down a terrorist movement in Quebec that threatened civil war.
The circumstances leading up to this crisis were as grim as they were unprecedented. A provincial cabinet minister, Pierre Laporte, was kidnapped by the Front de libération du Québec, a violent separatist group. Laporte was subsequently murdered by the FLQ, and his body stuffed in the trunk of a car.