The only use of the War Measures Act in a domestic crisis occurred in October and November 1970, when a state of "apprehended insurrection" was declared to exist in Québec and emergency regulations were proclaimed in response to 2 kidnappings by the terrorist FRONT DE LIBÉRATION DU QUÉBEC (see OCTOBER CRISIS). Afterwards Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau pledged to refine and limit the application of the Act in internal crises, but by the time of the Liberal defeat in 1984 the Act had not been modified. Finally, in 1988, a more detailed and limited law, the Emergencies Act, was passed into effect.
Author DENIS SMITH
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Historica-Dominion Institute, parent organization of The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Check out their extensive online feature about the War of 1812, the "Heritage Minutes" video collection, and many other interactive resources concerning Canadian history, culture, and heritage.
Last Lunch with Trudeau
Pierre Elliott Trudeau reflects on the October Crisis and related issues in this article by William Tetley, McGill law professor. Click on links on the left side of the page for additional articles about the October Crisis.
The October Crisis: Civil Liberties Suspended
CBC radio and television news stories chronicle the major events of the 1970 October Crisis.
October Crisis, 1970
Trudeau's notes for his nationally televised "War Measures Act" speech, October 16, 1970. From the Library and Archives Canada website "First Among Equals."
War Measures Act
A selection of newspaper clippings that vividly chronicle the imposition of the War Meaures Act in 1970. From the Winnipeg Tribune fonds, the University of Manitoba.
Sir Robert Laird Borden
This biography of Sir Robert Laird Borden includes interesting details about Canada's role in the First World War and related issues. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
Just Watch Me
Watch a CBC News clip of the memorable interaction between reporters and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on the steps of Parliament during the October Crisis.