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COLUMN: Quebec’s Bill 96 an act of separation, kidnapping of our Constitution

"Constitutionally classifying Quebec as a nation sets the stage for that province to have a veto power over any federal legislative action that impinges on their citizens."
Murdock Alan-col
Columnist Alan Murdock

I was living in London, U.K. on Oct. 5, 1970, when the BBC news shocked us all with the announcement that James Cross, the British trade commissioner to Canada, had been kidnapped by Quebec separatist terrorists from his home in Montreal. That sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen in Britain’s former colony – Canadians were too polite.

The kidnappers were the Liberation cell of a militant independence movement founded in 1963 called the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ). At that point in time, the Fequistes (Parti Quebecois members) had conducted dozens of robberies and more than 200 bombings – including the residence of Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau, the Quebec Department of Labour, and the Montreal Stock Exchange. They had killed six people.

The Quebec liberators demanded the release of 23 of its members (political prisoners) from prison, broadcasting and publishing of the FLQ manifesto, $500,000 ransom, and safe passage to Cuba or Algeria, otherwise they would assassinate Cross. They didn’t, but five days later they also kidnapped Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte and killed him by strangulation.

On Oct. 12, Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa were deployed to protect "key people and places (just watch me)." On Oct. 15, 3,000 students attended a rally in Montreal to support the FLQ and 1,000 soldiers were sent to protect Montrealers. On Oct. 16, then prime minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act.

James Cross was released alive on Dec. 2 in exchange for safe passage to Cuba for all members of the Liberation cell of the FLQ.

The Coalition Avenir Quebec and the Bloc Quebecois are the children of the FLQ.

On May 13, 2021, in the midst of our national preoccupation with COVID-19 vaccine delivery hiccoughs and celebrating World Cocktail Day – Manitoba reported the highest number of new cases in a single day while Ontario once more extended a province-wide stay-at-home order. This same day, Quebec’s national government invoked Bill 96, an act of separation and the kidnapping of our Constitution.

Camouflaged as a cultural law to protect the survival of French as the principal language in Quebec, this act of law would, in effect, suppress and eliminate our national commitment to be a bilingual country and deprive Quebec children of their right to learn their second language.

Further, constitutionally classifying Quebec as a nation sets the stage for that province to have a veto power over any federal legislative action that impinges on their citizens. The other provinces will naturally seek the same powers. That includes collecting all income-related tax dollars and controlling what is sent to Ottawa.

If the provisions of Bill 96 are adopted by our Ottawa parliamentarians, we will have a loose federation of independent provinces, each going their own way – just like we do now with the national management of COVID-19.

The Canadian Senate would become important and The British Trade Commissioner to Canada would reside in Toronto.

Dr. Alan Murdock is a local pediatrician.


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