The glamourous image of Pierre Trudeau is largely false. His legacy to Justin Trudeu ... and Canada is heavy with danger for Canadian democracy.
The Legacy From Pierre Trudeau To Justin Trudeau … To The RCMP … To Stephen Harper … To The Canadian People.
Possessing perhaps too much personal glamour, Pierre Trudeau
has left a legacy mediatized into an unparalleled fantasy. The truth is painful.
Know first the despotism of Stephen Harper and the Prime Minister’s Office (the PMO) has been made possible by Pierre Trudeau. The construction of that office into a dictatorship, stripping cabinet ministers of anything but decorative power and leaving MPs with no power at all was work largely begun by Pierre Trudeau – and elaborated, of course, by his successors.
He set in play even worse initiatives than his remaking of power in Parliament. The worse initiatives spring from his (fraudulent?) imposition of the War Measures Act, the arrest and jailing of nearly 500 innocent Quebecers including opinion leaders, writers, entertainers, union members, politicians – as well as the undertaking of more than 4500 unnecessary and intimidating police searches – to say nothing of kidnappings and the uncounted number of “secret” police burglaries ….
The FLQ (Front de liberation du Quebec) was founded in 1963. Its members were working for an independent socialist Quebec. They placed bombs in mail boxes, stole money and military equipment, and were involved in the deaths of innocent people. They used bombs elsewhere than mailboxes - in one incident at the Montreal Stock Exchange, injuring 27 people. In the fall of 1969 the movement divided into two (and more?) parts. The FLQ was a lawless threat.
But what happened to it in 1970 with the arrival of “The October Crisis” was permanently to wound Canada’s democracy by means of – more and more people believe - a major, criminal, State-imposed trauma.
The whole elaborate action, called The October Crisis, has been presented by authority as a powerful and necessary move against the lawless and vindictive FLQ. The action was, rather, more likely a major, concerted, criminal attack on the wholly legitimate and peaceful Quebec independence movement – and upon Canadians everywhere who resisted the erasure of basic freedoms.
That it was not an attack on the FLQ was early made clear by the attack on opinion leaders, writers, entertainers, union members … and others who were dragged out in the middle of the night and jailed – for no crime whatsoever!
The very few seeking Quebec independence who were willing to engage in violent action - members of the FLQ – were another matter and another problem completely.
Pierre Trudeau, we may conclude, decided to dramatize the FLQ, to use it, to fake FLQ operations, to increase FLQ activity publicly as a way of turning the people of Quebec against the idea of independence.
In doing so, he took the RCMP into State-approved criminality, destroying its morale and integrity to this day. He made Parliament a lying machine in which a chosen few were informed and gave themselves up to misinforming Canadians. That institution is still on its knees.
No mainstream media operation has undertaken a major investigation of the official story. The slowly revealed truth is being discovered by, mostly, individual people - some who were involved accidentally, some who were puzzled participants, some who have been drawn to the perplexing story. Among the first group, Claude Jean Devirieux, long-time Quebec journalist, puts many of the pieces into what seems to be a final shape. [Claude Jean Devirieux, Derriere l’information officielle, Septentrion, 2012.]
If the theory growing out of the increasing mass of evidence is true, there is a single conclusion to be drawn. The whole exercise – including the 59-day kidnap of British trade officer James Cross and the kidnap and murder of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte – was set in motion and facilitated by the Trudeau forces.
What I believe is a stunning story of criminal complicity at the highest levels – from Pierre Trudeau down – was undertaken to mislead, to terrify, to brainwash and to divide Canadians, using lying government members, the RCMP, the Canadian military, and British MI6 members.
The real cause of Pierre Laporte’s death (and the propaganda purposes it was used for by the Canadian State) concentrates all the questions asked for the last more than forty years about the so-called FLQ crisis.
Who really killed Pierre Laporte?
Whoever did it, the death served the uses of the Trudeau government. Many, many Canadians who were deeply concerned about the removal of civil and human rights in Canada went silent as a result of the Laporte murder. How could they challenge the Trudeau government for lifting Canadian freedoms in the face of the brutal murder of a high-profile Quebec cabinet minister? And so they went silent.
That fact is etched in my mind. My wife and I were at a late night party in Ottawa on October 16, 1970. It was made up mostly of people who were going to demonstrate the next day on Parliament Hill to protest the imposition of the War Measures Act. The demonstration was going to be big. MPs from the NDP, the Progressive Conservatives, and the Creditiste parties would be there – with many more supporters.
When I was talking on the telephone to Yukon MP for the Progressive Conservatives Erik Neilson about the demonstration, the hand of the RCMP was shown. I was only a mile or two from his parliamentary office but he could hardly hear me. “You sound like you’re on the moon,” he said. I explained to him that the RCMP was tapping the line from both ends and so draining away power. He was plainly flabbergasted. He didn’t believe the RCMP would dare, secretly, tap the line of a Canadian elected to the National Parliament. He had much to learn.
The pre-demonstration party lasted past midnight. Someone flicked on the TV. There was the report of the murdered Pierre Laporte discovered in the trunk of a green Chevrolet on the grounds of Wandell Aviation property adjoining the Saint-Hubert airport. The party-goers were shocked!
“There goes tomorrow’s demonstration,” one of them said.
Parliament Hill flooded with people only hours later. Almost none of them were the supposed-to-appear demonstrators. No MPs, no politicos, no one from the political parties committed to the demonstration. Almost none from the last night’s party. The huge crowd of people on the Hill were the perplexed, the curious, the concerned – troubled Canadians seeking answers.
Ottawa’s famous political activist Charlotte McEwen appeared on the Hill early with a hand-made sign reading “Vive le Quebec libre”. A little later she returned with about 18 young Marxist Leninists … and me. We carried placards against the War Measures Act and moved around the Hill talking to people. Then the Marxist Leninists posted themselves by the concrete steps for hours. A generous and genuine discussion followed, almost completely courteous. But the murder of Pierre Laporte had effectively silenced important and influential voices that should have been heard on Parliament Hill that day!
(On that day, or very soon after, the Quebec police entered Ottawa, went through activist Charlotte McEwen’s house, and carried off materials that she could never get returned.)
Pierre Trudeau wanted to quash the nationalist movement growing in Quebec in the 1960s. That was a perfectly reasonable wish on his part, one that many Canadians shared and still share – even in Quebec. Democratic society equips a government in power with a large battery of lawful instruments to use against such a movement. The Pierre Trudeau group chose, instead, almost certainly, to use criminal means, and by doing so criminalized the Canadian State - which has not recovered from the series of blows it suffered.
At the Duchaine Inquiry (1980) the director of the Quebec Provincial Police said the whole operation had been set up to shock the population, to turn it from support for independence. John Turner, federal minister of Justice in 1970, justified the War Measures Act not as a way to meet FLQ lawlessness but as a means of reversing “an erosion of public will in Quebec”. That is an astounding statement, saying in effect, that the Canadian government erased all civil and human rights in Canada in order to change public opinion by a process involving criminal intimidation and fear.
The kidnap of James Cross and Pierre Laporte and the imposition of the War Measures Act didn’t happen suddenly. On December 17, 1969, Trudeau wrote to the RCMP about “security”. On January 5, 1970, a cabinet committee met to consider Quebec. And in May – nearly six months before its imposition – the War Measures Act was considered seriously and looked into. Of key importance, a special section of the RCMP was set up to learn about and – where possible – to establish sources and contacts in all organizations sympathetic to Quebec independence.
By October 1970 the RCMP had located almost all FLQ spaces, had installed listening devices in – or had assured access to – those spaces. In addition, they almost certainly had planted moles in the FLQ, had gained informants widely scattered in Quebec, and were prepared to create FLQ cells … which they did.
And still the RCMP blundered repeatedly. For two reasons, I suggest. They were not intended to apprehend the kidnappers but to pretend they were searching for them. And they were free to act outside the law. To their credit, they did that badly.
Evidence points to the conclusion that the October 5 kidnap of British trade officer James Cross was undertaken by the Trudeau forces. Before 1970 James Cross had made himself available to do work for the British secret service. The man who handcuffed him and brought him from upstairs in the FLQ raid on his home is widely suspected of being a mole for the RCMP.
The daughter of James Cross is said to have been present at a restaurant used by the FLQ. And she is reported to have been photographed at a major independentist gathering place. Her husband (separated by the time of the interview) offered a Quebec journalist (Claude Jean Devirieux) to “talk” for a large sum of money, but the price was too high. On the day of the Cross kidnap someone telephoned a Montreal hospital and reserved a VIP room for him … which was not used for 59 days. Who would have had the power to do that?
The “hideout” where Cross was held for 59 days was almost certainly bugged. RCMP knew every FLQ member. And yet for 59 days they couldn’t find James Cross in Montreal. On October 10 the Quebec minister of justice offered safe passage to the kidnappers in return for the liberation of Cross. That should have happened. But it was interrupted and came about only in December when the kidnappers received safe passage to Cuba. Was part of the original Cross kidnap deal a promise of safe passage for the kidnappers?
Cross was kidnapped on October 5, 1970. (According to plan?) Not according to plan, Pierre Laporte was kidnapped on October 10, just as the Cross kidnap was to be resolved. Paul Rose and the Chenier cell took Laporte to 5630 rue Armstrong in Saint-Hubert. Laporte’s nephew gave the police the license plate number of the kidnap car immediately after the kidnap. But the car arrived safely at rue Armstrong – an address well-known to the RCMP and almost certainly bugged.
Things - on the surface - were not going well for the Trudeau forces. The FLQ demanded their Manifesto be read on radio. It was read, probably with the idea that Quebecers would reject it and turn against it. But, instead, it caught their sympathy with its criticism of cronyism and corruption at the highest levels in Quebec – and its condemnation of the Quebec government for failing to respond to the needs of the people.
On October 15 an independence rally was held in the Paul Sauve arena in Montreal with thousands in attendance. The enthusiastic crowd endorsed the FLQ Manifesto. The tide seemed to be turning – but not in favour of the Trudeau plan. That plan, it seemed, was inspiring a strong backlash, fueling the independence movement.
On October 16 the War Measures Act was imposed. On October 17 Pierre Laporte was murdered.
A little later, after the apartment where the murder took place was cleared of the kidnappers, the anti-terrorist squad entered the apartment and smashed-up the place – ceilings, cupboards, walls, etcetera, probably to disguise the removed microphones and wiring earlier installed. Reporters on the scene were surprised at the damage. “Looking for cached evidence, arms, and explosives” they were told.
The place where Laporte was held was known by the RCMP, and it was almost certainly bugged. He could, then, have been freed. But he was a major problem to the Trudeau forces. A loud, public supporter of federalism, he had accepted election contributions from the Quebec Italian Mafia. A photograph existed of Laporte and two top Mafia leaders, Frank D’Asti and Nicola di Iorio. His connection to “le pegre” was admitted in the Quebec National Assembly in 1973.
Even in Ottawa, at the time of his death, the word on the street was that Laporte’s nickname in Quebec was “Mr. Ten Per Cent”, given, apparently, in relation to the cut he was alleged to have taken on
The Trudeau forces didn’t directly murder Pierre Laporte. Did they choose not to free him? Did they assist in his death? Did they sigh with relief when Laporte was removed from the scene? Not only were his Mafia connections pushed into the background by his murder but also it served to scare off Canadians from coast to coast concerned about police violations of human and civil rights. Pierre Laporte’s murder served many purposes. The death also, apparently, caused the membership of the parti quebecois to dive down by half.
To complicate what appears to be a deeply criminal set of events, police illegally recorded Paul Rose’s discussions with his lawyer – continuing the illegal activities of the Canadian State. What they learned was that Rose was not in the apartment at the time of Laporte’s death. He was jailed until the early 1980s for Laporte’s murder anyhow, though the 1980 Inquiry established he was not present for the event.
Others are certain that at least one stranger was in the apartment, possibly as murderer – a man who later died from serious burns caused by ignited paint thinner with which he had, apparently, been doused. The event was never investigated.
The government of Canada felt huge public sorrow at Laporte’s death. A state funeral was held in Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal and a major Quebec bridge was named for him.
RCMP bungling and criminality became famous. Arrest of hundreds of innocent people. Thousand of ridiculous, intimidating searches. Countless burglaries – especially burglary and theft from parti quebecois headquarters. Creation of fake FLQ cells and fake FLQ messages. RCMP dynamiting of property. Bugging of phones, opening mail, wire-tapping residences. Barn burning to implicate others. And even perhaps assistance at the deaths of troublesome participants who happened to die … strangely.
And … if James Cross was, indeed, party to a wholly fake kidnap operation, add to the above a Trudeau government conspiracy to undertake countless criminal actions as well as to engage in Criminal Breach of Trust.
Having released the RCMP genii from the bottle, Pierre Trudeau didn’t like what he saw. Laporte should not have been kidnapped. RCMP bungling was counter-productive. And so in 1981 the espionage and anti-subversion powers of the RCMP began to be lifted and given, eventually, to the newly-created CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service).
Inquiries and Royal Commissions – gagged and severely limited as they surely were – (Keable , Duchaine , McDonald Commission [1977-1981]) – became embarrassing in what they revealed of RCMP criminal activity. (All police forces resisted investigation.) No RCMP officer was ever charged – setting an almost unbroken pattern for the future. Criminal police actors were not charged, I believe, because the blow-back from RCMP officers telling the truth about the October Crisis would have exploded in the heart of the Trudeau cabinet.
The foul actions arising out of what many have no doubt was the determination by Pierre Trudeau to reverse the legitimate Quebec independence movement by criminal means have rotted Parliament, have hollowed out the RCMP, and have given despotic power to a dangerous political leader.
That seems to be the legacy that Pierre Trudeau has handed to Justin Trudeau … to the RCMP … to Stephen Harper … and to the Canadian people. There is no evidence, so far, that Justin Trudeau wants to reject the legacy and rebuild Canadian democracy.
There is every evidence that Stephen Harper likes the corrupt condition created and intends to widen and deepen it as much and as quickly as he can.