Quiet Revolution

When Maurice Duplessis died in 1959, the Unione Nationale is overthrown by the Liberals under the leadership of Jean Lesage.  He turns Quebec liberal with the ideas surrounding the right of an individuals and gradual change etc. (for more info on Liberals click here)  There was no longer room for the church to be involved in government affairs thus many people left Quebec. Because of the individual rights, the 3 F’s were disregarded. Great advancement occurred during the period called “The Quiet Revolution”. The Quit Revolution was improved many things such as:

  • education
  • hospitals
  • labour code
  • legal status of women
  • voting age lowered
  • modernization of the economy
  • pension plan
  • nationalization of Hydro

The Quiet Revolution goal was to guarantee the people of Quebec to be “Masters of their own House”.


At the same time, people did not know what to do after Duplessis’ death. Many people realized that most of the rich people were the English and that their French language was useless in the rest of Canada. Thus the French blamed the English for this happening. Lesage also wanted Quebec to change in the basis of Confederation, but the people wanted the opposite. Quebecois wanted Quebec to be a separate nation from Canada. So in 1963, the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) was established to attain independence with any means necessary such as putting bombes in mailboxes in English sections of Montreal and government buildings.

October Crisis

The FLQ kept on with the bombings and in 1970, they kidnapped James Cross, the British Trade Commissioner.  They demanded gold, safe passage to Cuba and the release of the FLQ members who participated in bombings.  The federal government became involved because Cross was a foreign diplomat.  Five days later, the FLQ kidnap Pierre Laporte, a Quebec cabinet minister. Robert Bourassa the Quebec Premier at the time went into hiding. The FLQ realized that they wouldn’t get what they wanted and killed Pierre Laporte. Bourassa feared any more trouble and asked Ottawa to send troops into Montreal to maintain order. So Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, which allowed the police to search or arrest without the process of law. A few months later, Cross was found alive and the murders were arrested. The October Crisis was over.

Though many people thought the War Measures Act being invoked was excessive and an unnecessary display of government power.  Trudeau justified his argument by stating that the FLQ was attempting to violently overthrow the government. Even though terrorism stopped, the separates became more determined because they were arrested and held even though they had no connection to the FLQ or the kidnappers.


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