The following chronology covers the October Crisis which began with the kidnappings of James Cross and Pierre Laporte by the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) in October 1970.

The Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) is established

The FLQ produces its first manifesto

A number of bombs associated with the FLQ explode, including at the federal tax building, residential buildings, and a railway

Pierre Trudeau becomes Prime Minister of Canada

Robert Bourassa wins the provincial election in Quebec

The FLQ produces a second manifesto

Two men kidnap James Cross, a British Trade Commissioner, marking the official beginning of “the October Crisis”

The FLQ sends several demands to the Quebec government for Cross’ safe release. These demands include “the release of 23 political prisoners”, “the broadcast and the publication of the FLQ manifesto” and “provision of an aircraft to the take the kidnappers to a safe haven”

The FLQ contacts the CKAC radio station and threatens Cross’ life if their demands are not met. The FLQ manifesto is published by several newspapers

After more threats on Cross’ life, CKAC radio reads the FLQ manifesto on air.

The FLQ manifesto is read on national television

The government accepts the FLQ’s demand for safe-conduct out of the country if Cross is released safely. The demand regarding the release of political prisoners is rejected

Pierre Laporte, Quebec Minster of Labour, is kidnapped from his home

A communication is received from the FLQ reiterating the demand regarding the release of the political prisoners in exchange for the two hostages

Robert Demers is appointed by the government to negotiate with the FLQ

Premier Robert Bourassa’s cabinet rejects the demand regarding the release of political prisoners

A statement signed by 16 key figures in Quebec, including Jacques Parizeau and Fernand Dumont, is publicized urging the government to end the “Quebec drama”. Prime Minister Trudeau offers a public commitment to “keep law and order”

Premier Bourassa announces that he’s called for the Canadian army to enter Quebec to protect the public. In addition, the government offers the kidnappers safe-conduct out of Canada if the hostages are safely returned

The federal cabinet invokes the War Measures Act Regulations

Pierre Laporte’s body is found

The federal government establishes the Committee to Aid Persons Arrested under the War Measures Act led by Senator Jacques Hébert, a long-time friend of Prime Minister Trudeau

Jean Drapeau is re-elected as mayor of Montreal

A federal government introduces the Public Order Temporary Measures Act to replace the original regulations

The Canadian and Quebec governments offer a monetary reward for anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of Cross’ kidnappers

The first person is indicted under the War Measures Act

A police raid results in the arrest of Bernard Lortie

Jérôme Choquette, provincial Justice Minister, requests the Canadian army remain in Quebec for an additional month

James Cross is released by abductors

FLQ cell members Jacques Lanctôt, Marc Carbonneau, Yves Langlois, and Jacques Cossette-Trudel are provided safe-conduct to Cuba

John Turner, the federal Minister of Justice, announces that the abductors flown to Cuba will not be permitted to return to Canada

Paul Rose, Jacques Rose, and Francis Simard are arrested

The Canadian Army withdraws from Quebec

Paul Rose, Jacques Rose, Francis Simard, and Bernard Lortie are charged with kidnapping and murder

A report by John Turner reveals that – of the 497 people arrested under the War Measures Act – “435 were released and the other 62 were charged, 32 were without bail”

The government announces that compensation will be provided to those “unjustly arrested under the War Measures Act

Francis Simard is sentenced to life in prison for Pierre Laporte’s murder

Louis Marceau, Quebec’s ombudsman, reports that “103 of the 238 complaints arising from the application of the War Measures Act [are] justified”

Bernard Lortie is found guilty of kidnapping Pierre Laporte

Bernard Lortie is sentenced in the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte

Paul Rose is sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte

Pierre Vallières publicly renounces terrorism and distances himself from the FLQ

Pierre Vallières is given a one-year suspended sentence for “counselling kidnapping for political purposes”

Jacques Rose is acquitted of the kidnapping charges in the Pierre Laporte case

Jacques Rose is acquitted of the murder charges in the Pierre Laporte case

Jacques Rose is convicted of being “an accessory [to kidnapping] after the fact” in the Pierre Laporte case

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces that Canada will not seek the extradition of the FLQ members sent to Cuba

Three senior police officers in Quebec are discharged “after pleading guilty to a break-in into L’Agence de Presse Libre du Québec in 1972”. An inquiry (Keable Inquiry) into the circumstances of the raid is ordered

The Keable inquiry reveals the theft of computer tapes containing information on the Parti Québécois by the RCMP

The Quebec Court of Appeal rules that the Keable inquiry is unconstitutional and cannot force state agencies to provide documents

Marc-André Bédard, Minister of Justice for Quebec, confirms that if the FLQ members in Cuba returned to Quebec they would be charged for their crimes

In an article, editorialist Marc Laurendeau, “[reveals] that a sixth man was involved in the kidnapping of James Cross” – Laurendeau makes this claim based on interviews he carried out with former FLQ members

The sixth kidnapper is named: Nigel Barry Hamer, a professor at McGill university

Jacques Lanctôt denies that Hamer was a member of the Liberation cell

The Cossette-Trudels, having returned from Cuba, are sentenced for their role in the James Cross kidnapping

The Keable inquiry explores “police actions before, during, and after the October crisis.” They discover that Hamer was considered a suspect in the kidnapping of Cross

The Cossette-Trudels are released on parole

Pierre-Paul Geoffroy is granted parole

59.6% vote “No” in the Quebec referendum on separation

Nigel Barry Hamer is charged for the kidnapping of James Cross

A report by Jean-François Duchaine finds no evidence that politicians provoked the October Crisis to discredit the separation/independence movement

The Keable Report outlines that “paranoia gripped the police forces after the Crisis” and that “there had been unprecedented interference into the lives of individuals by the security forces”

Hamer is sentenced to twelve months in jail for his role in the kidnapping of James Cross

The Keable Report leads to charges for “17 present or past members of the RCMP”

Marc Carbonneau is sentenced for his role in the James Cross kidnapping

Yves Langlois, having returned from Cuba, is sentenced to two years in prison for his role in the James Cross case

Paul Rose is granted full parole

50.6% vote “No” in the second Quebec referendum vote on separation

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