Terrorism and Crime
Relating to Gun Control in Canada
Canada has a long standing of being perceived as a Peaceful Country.
Growing up in Canada during the 1960's creates pictures of a strong united peaceful Country by many. Looking back I now see the anger, fear and displacement that promotes and accompanies violent behaviour!
The 1960's were a time of Global unrest due to the nuclear arms race, the cold war, Cuban missile crises, Vietnam. Times were changing rapidly in Canada and the United States not only by technology but the social and economics structure was changing as well. We couldn't listen to the radio or watch tv without updates on the war or of a feminist rally, equal rights but in Canada actions of the Quebec Separatists were making the news, This is still a sore spot in the Quebec society and within Canada.
I have reviewed events in Canada and verified my results based on statistics provided by Statistics Canada. Crime statistics were very low in Canada during the 1950's but began to climb during the 1960's peaking in 1974-75 and continually dropping since then. I have noticed that the escalating rate of crime in Canada was directly proportional to civil unrest in our own Country.
At a time of already high tensions in Canada due the the changing face of the world, the tensions between French and English Canada were escalating as well, Quebec was feeling betrayed by Canada and small separatist groups were forming, by 1963 some of these groups joined forces and became the paramilitary terrorist group the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ).
The FLQ were responsible for many bombings and killings within Canada notably Quebec. This prompted Prime minister Trudeau in fear of a full fledged revolution to implement bill C-150 and prohibit all automatic weapons in 1969. In 1970 the October Crises took place the kidnapping on 5 October 1970 of James Cross, the British trade commissioner in Montréal, by members of the FRONT DE LIBÉRATION DU QUÉBEC on the same day a second FLQ cell kidnapped the Québec minister of labour and immigration, Pierre LAPORTE. On October 15 the Québec government requested the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces to supplement the local police, and on October 16 the federal government proclaimed the existence of a state of "apprehended insurrection" under the WAR MEASURES ACT. Under the emergency regulations, the FLQ was banned, normal liberties were suspended, and arrests and detentions were authorized without charge. Over 450 persons were detained in Québec, most of whom were eventually released without the laying or hearing of charges.
On October 17 the body of Pierre Laporte was found in a car trunk near St Hubert airport. In early December 1970, the cell holding James Cross was discovered by police, and his release was negotiated in return for the provision of safe conduct to Cuba for the kidnappers and some family members. Four weeks later the second group was located and arrested, subsequently to be tried and convicted for kidnapping and murder. Emergency regulations under War Measures were replaced in December 1970 by similar regulations under the Public Order (Temporary Measures) Act which lapsed on 30 April 1971. The federal response to the kidnapping was intensely controversial. According to opinion polls, an overwhelming majority of Canadians supported the Cabinet's action, but it was criticized as excessive by Québec nationalists and by civil libertarians throughout the country. Supporters of the response claim that the disappearance of terrorism in Québec is evidence of its success, but this disappearance might equally be attributed to public distaste for political terror and to the steady growth of the democratic separatist movement in the 1970s, which led to the election of a PARTI QUÉBÉCOIS government in 1976.
During the period of 1971 to 1976 was a struggle for Canada as change was taking place in our language laws and the attitudes of distrust and anti-English anti-French sentiment were taking hold in Canada, during this period more rallies and public debate were taking place tearing the threads of unity for Canada apart. As panic and hostile feeling were being felt by most Canadians a cry for more gun control was being presented to fight the crime rate and in fear or another terrorist cell developing. Noted 1975 was the last year of the high crime rate in Canada which started it's decline in 1976 as it became more evident a PARTI QUEBECOIS government would be elected.
Due to undue pressure bill C-51 was passed in 1977. once again we were hearing more opposition to Canada by Quebec and the future of Canada seemed uncertain During 1982-83 Illegal strikes in the public-service sector caused social unrest; the young people had become indifferent to politics in general. The péquiste government had to use legislation (Bills 68, 70 and 72 of June 1983) to force public-sector workers to accept salary rollbacks, and lost much of its union support. At the same time, the PQ was losing members because of its reduced commitment to sovereignty-association and to social-democratic legislation.
Could this social unrest been responsible for the May 8th1984 shootings at the Quebec National Assembly by Denis Lortie headline CBC News “A Canadian soldier goes on a shooting spree at the Quebec National Assembly”? Once again cries for stiffer gun control were being howled, strange how these people seemed to think gun control would alter access by a Canadian Soldier to a Military owned firearm.
Both as government and, from 1985 to 1994, as the opposition, the PQ has demonstrated a certain ambiguity. The party has had to attack the federal system from which it wishes to detach itself, while seeking to extract maximum benefit from this very system. A good example of this dilemma was the PQ's position during the federal-provincial constitutional negotiations of fall 1981 concerning the patriation of the Constitution. Québec joined 7 other dissident provinces to oppose the intention of the Trudeau government first to bring back control of the constitution and then to make a new agreement. However, Québec found itself isolated when the other dissidents accepted a new constitutional agreement. Québec under a Liberal government did not endorse the constitutional agreement until further concessions were made in 1987. During this period more Separatist advertising and news was seen by Canadians who feared the Country would be broken up and Quebec was still feeling betrayed and left out of Canada.
Children growing up in Quebec during the 60's and 70's with deep rooted beliefs of modernism destroying their way of life, their culture and society and groups like the FLQ willing to kill and die, to preserve the beliefs, values and culture. The fear of change, the changing role of women in society, the decline of the Church, advances in technology and modernizing of business away from traditional industry. Thee fear of loosing their heritage prompted many children to become isolated and angry at not only the English but anyone who posed a threat to their beliefs many children were raised this way.
The Constitutional debate and the feelings of isolation and betrayal by the people of Quebec and given many felt they were loosing more control in their Province by the endorsement of the Constitution in 1987. This as we see it could be the basis for the 1989 shooting at Montreal's École Polytechnique by Marc Lapine, prompting even more cries for gun control prompting the passing of Bill C-17 in 1991.
As far as I can see the the Valery Fabrikant shooting spree in Montreal at Concordia University in 1992 are not related to the separatists movement but the actions of a person who should have been institutionalized due to mental defect who might have been driven to the breaking point by the recent passing of Bill C-17 and the social unrest that was and still is evident in Quebec.
Feeling that another referendum soon after 1995 would be destined to fail, Bouchard chose to focus on improving Quebec's economy, implementing massive cuts to health care and social spending in an effort to balance the provincial budget. Overall, the PQ's fiscal policies were somewhat successful in repairing Quebec's fractured economy and they won another term in 1998. Bouchard served another 3 years as premier, but despondent over the lack of success of the separatist cause in Québec during his time as premier, he resigned in 2001.
Bouchard was succeeded as party leader and premier by his former finance minister, Bernard LANDRY, on 8 March 2001. Yet by 2002 opinion polls showed a significant decline in the PQ's popularity, which began to be split by the success of Jean CHAREST's Liberal Party and the emerging Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ) and its vibrant young leader, Mario Dumont. The party regained some of its popularity when the ADQ's more conservative views were revealed to Québecers. Moreover, more socialist legislation such as the Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion increased the PQ's popularity even further. Still, it was not enough and the PQ was defeated by Charest's Liberals in the 2003 election.
On 15 November 2005, André Boisclair, a former cabinet minister under premiers Bouchard and Landry, was elected the PQ's 6th leader, edging out former PQ leadership candidate Pauline Marois and former PQ cabinet minister Richard Legendre. Boisclair furthered the party's position on separatism by denouncing the Clarity Act, claiming that sovereignty was a political rather than a legal decision, and he declared that he would seek a mandate for a sovereignty referendum in the next provincial election. Opinion polls at the time of Boisclair's election showed the PQ to be ahead of the Liberals, but later polls indicated that support for the PQ had begun to decline.
In 2001, Rhéal Mathieu, a member of Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) who in 1967 was sentenced to nine years in prison for terrorist activities including murder, was convicted of firebombing three Second Cup locations in Montreal. Mathieu targeted them because of the company's use of its incorporated English name "Second Cup." After the media coverage of the firebombings, many Second Cup locations in Quebec changed their signs to Les cafés Second Cup. Seven McDonald's restaurants were also firebombed.
Once again during those years Quebec sovereignty issues were hitting the news. Hardcore separatists and their decedents were once again feeling the emotions of the time. Is it possible the 2006 Dawson College incident in Montreal where Kimveer Gill opened fire leaving one victim dead at the scene, while another 19 were injured, eight of whom were listed in critical condition with six requiring surgery. Could have been a result of the turmoil and psychological damage incurred by many within Canada and especially in Quebec due to the violence, hatred and anger bought on by the frustration of the separatist movement.
The Dawson College incident spawned more calls for gun control and was responsible for the formation of many groups including the coalition for gun control.
Everyone is born a law abiding person what they see, how their raised and the conditions they endure are the foundations at which they will remain law abiding or become criminals. Unfortunately some will become criminals and no amount of firearms control will stop that.
1963-1969 - FLQ starts bombing at the average rate of one every ten days. Targets included English owned businesses, banks, McGill University and the homes of prominent English speakers.
1963 - Montreal - FLQ bombing of Canadian Army Recruiting Centre, killing Sgt. Wilfred V. O'neil.
January 29, 1965 - Two U.S. jets (F-84s) being overhauled by Northwest Industries in Edmonton, Alberta were destroyed and a third damaged when a left-wing group protesting the Vietnam War dynamited the planes; a security guard was killed during the incident.
May 18, 1966 - Paul Joseph Chartier's attempt to bomb the House of Commons fails when the device goes off prematurely in a Centre Block washroom.
late 1960s - the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) placed a bomb in a window well of the National Defence Headquarters on Lisgar St in Ottawa, Ontario. The explosion killed a cleaning lady.
late 1960s - the FLQ placed a bomb in a mailbox next to the Canadian Tire store on Wellington St in Ottawa, Ontario.
February 13, 1969 - the FLQ set off a powerful bomb that ripped through the Montreal Stock Exchange causing massive destruction and seriously injuring twenty-seven people.
October 5, 1970 - British diplomat James Cross and October 10 Quebec Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte are kidnapped by the FLQ in Montreal. (The dead body of Pierre Laporte was discovered in the trunk of a car in Montreal, Quebec on October 17, 1970; Cross was released on December 3, 1970.)
October 14, 1982 - The anarchist group the Squamish Five, who were Canadian version of Direct Action, bombs a Litton Industries factory north of Toronto, Ontario that is manufacturing guidance devices for American cruise missiles, ten are injured.
April 20, 1995 - Roger Charles Bell places a bomb outside Province House, the Prince Edward Island legislature, injuring one
2000 - The Brigade d'autodéfense du français bombs a church where an English fundraiser was to be held.
2001 - Quebec - The FLQ/The Brigade d'autodéfense du français firebombs three "Second Cup" locations in Montreal. They were targeted because of the company's use of its incorporated English name "Second Cup". Rhéal Mathieu, a previously convicted FLQ terrorist was convicted for all three bombings. Seven McDonald's restaurants were also firebombed.
April 2004 - Quebec - Bombing of the library in a Jewish school in Montreal.
October 2008 to July 2009 - Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Six natural gas pipelines owned by Encana Corp. were bombed after letters were sent to a local newspaper opposing the gas industry.
May 18, 2010 - Ottawa, Ontario, an RBC bank was firebombed by an anarchist group causing $300,000 in damages.
September 22, 1966 - A bazooka attack on the Cuban embassy in Ottawa, Ontario is made.
October 5, 1966 - Anti-Castro forces bomb the offices of the Cuban trade delegation in Ottawa.
May 31, 1967: A small bomb explodes at the Cuba Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal. The attack is attributed to Cuban Nationalist Action.
October 15, 1967: A bomb explodes at the offices of the Cuban trade delegation in Montreal, Quebec.
May 29, 1969: A bomb is placed in the doorway of the Cuban consulate in Montreal, it fails to go off.
July 12, 1971: A small bomb goes off at the offices of the Cuban trade delegation in Montreal, Quebec.
April 4, 1972: Cuban official Sergio Pérez Castillo is killed by an explosion at the Cuban consulate at Montreal, Quebec.
January 21, 1974: A bomb explodes at the Cuban embassy in Ottawa. It is attributed to Orlando Bosch.
September 22, 1976: An explosive device is thrown from a car at the Cuban consulate in Montreal.
January 14, 1980: A large explosion significantly damages the Cuban consulate in Montreal.
June 23, 1985 - Air India flight 182 leaving Montreal, Quebec's Mirabel International Airport is blown up mid-flight to London, England.
May 26, 1986 - An attempt is made in Vancouver, British Columbia to assassinate Malkiat Singh Sidhu, a cabinet minister in the Indian province of Punjab
August 28, 1988 - Indo-Canadian Times editor Tara Singh Hayer is shot and partially paralyzed
November 18, 1998 - Newspaper editor Tara Singh Hayer is assassinated for his strident opposition to Sikh militants.
April 8, 1982 - Turkish Commercial Counselor to Canada Kani Güngör is paralyzed after an attack by Armenian nationalists at his Ottawa, Ontario apartment.
August 23, 1982 - Turkish military attaché to Canada, Col. Atilla Altıkat, is assassinated by Armenian militants in Ottawa while sitting in his vehicle at a traffic light.
March 12, 1985 - A group of Armenians seize the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa, killing a Canadian security guard.
April 7, 1868 - Thomas D'Arcy McGee is assassinated in Ottawa, Ontario by an alleged Irish nationalist or Fenian rebel sympathizer named Patrick Whelan.
November 25, 1965 - Croatian nationalists bomb the Yugoslavian consulate in Toronto, Ontario.
January 29, 1967 - The Yugoslavian embassy in Ottawa and the consulate in Toronto, Ontario are among six Yugoslavian offices bombed in North America.
September 3, 1984 - Montreal, Quebec's Central Station is bombed, killing 3 people and wounding more than 30. Thomas Bernard Brigham, an elderly retired American armed forces officer, claims to have been protesting Pope John Paul II's visit to Canada.
April 9, 1989 - Charles Yacoub hijacks a bus and drives it to Parliament Hill to protest the Syrian invasion of Lebanon
April 5, 1992 - The Iranian embassy in Ottawa is stormed by members of MEK, an Iraq-supported left-wing group.