Quebec 70: A Documentary Narrative

By John T. Saywell | Go to book overview

The Montreal Election

OCTOBER 21-26

MEANWHILE, the government remained under pressure to provide fuller details on the apprehended insurrection feared by Mr Bourassa and Mr Drapeau. Outside the House on October 21 Jean Marchand presented his views to Jack Webster, host of a hot-line show for CKNW in Vancouver. "What can you tell my west coast listeners what it means, apprehended insurrection. What are your fears?" asked Webster.

MARCHAND -- Well first, I understand that they don't understand exactly what is going on in Quebec because if there were 25 or 50,000 FLQ members in Quebec well everybody would be aware. But they are not so many. The problem is that they have had the training very important to insurrection and they have some sympathy outside. What if they had some front organization? (pause) and at this moment in Montreal as you know there is an election. There is no relation in our action to the election itself but we had good reason to believe that the FLQ which (pause) as a front has the organization called FRAP [le Front d'action politique] in Montreal and is running candidates in Montreal, wanted to disturb the election by explosions of all kinds and by further kidnappings or even shooting (pause) people. So we found it was very dangerous. It was not only a case of two kidnappings, though this was important in itself, our action couldn't be explained only by this. We knew something about this background and this is why we thought it was important to act and it was important because the province of Quebec asked us to act and the City of Montreal, too. And I don't know if what we were afraid of would have happened anyhow. I don't know. We'll never know. But if it had happened, knowing what we knew and we hadn't done anything of course nobody would have understood. You knew all these things. You had the requests from Quebec, from Montreal and you knew all what you are saying now and you didn't do anything. Of course the government of Canada would have blown up.

WEBSTER -- You have the FLQ. We are naming the FLQ as you have done as the outlawed activist, terrorist organization. Correct. Can you tell me what, have you any idea of the strength or the size, and I want you to tell me about the arms and ammunition of the FLQ.

MARCHAND -- This we don't know exactly. We know there are about two tons of dynamite that have been stolen in Quebec. Where are those two tons, I don't know, but presumably they are in control of them. There are more

-111-

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