“The October Crisis 1970” – A Virtual Exhibition Told from a Soldier’s Perspective

Westmount, Quebec – 07 October 2020: Je Me Souviens (JMS), a Canada Company educational program created in collaboration with the Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) Foundation and le Royal 22ieme Régiment (R22eR), today launched “The October Crisis 1970”, a virtual exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of a controversial period in Canadian history.

The October Crisis refers to events that took place in Québec in the autumn of 1970. It was the culmination of terrorist attacks by the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), a militant Québec independence movement, that started in 1963. In October 1970, FLQ members kidnapped British trade commissioner James Cross, and kidnapped and killed Québec Minister of Immigration and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte. In response, the federal government invoked the War Measures Act and mobilized the Canadian Armed Forces. It was the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act in Canadian history.

Based on the Québec Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) curriculum, “The October Crisis 1970” is an interactive exhibition intended primarily as a resource for high school teachers and students.

The exhibition features interviews with veterans who served with le Royal 22ieme Régiment and were deployed in October 1970. It showcases archival footage, interactive learning exercises and seeks to place the October Crisis within a larger historical context. Video testimonials explore four themes:

  • The Sixties in Québec: Years of Celebration… and Uncertainty
  • The Army Arrives: Soldiers’ Roles
  • Respect and Cooperation
  • In Hindsight

“While much has been written about the October Crisis, we feel that this virtual exhibition provides a new and unique perspective by featuring the testimonials of soldiers who were there,” says Colin Robinson, Honorary Colonel, RMR. “Our objective is to present eye-witness accounts that are engaging and accessible to high school students and the general public. No matter one’s opinion of the October Crisis, we believe that the soldier’s point-of-view is an important element in a balanced understanding of our history. We invite everyone to visit our virtual exhibition and hope that it will encourage discussion, debate and greater appreciation of the events of a half-century ago.”

To see “The October Crisis 1970”, please visit: https://jemesouviens.org/en/students/octobercrisis/

Canadian soldier in Montreal, October 1970 (Photo: Graham Bezant, Toronto Star)

About Je Me Souviens (JMS)

JMS is a Canada Company education program created in collaboration with the Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) Foundation and le Royal 22ieme Régiment (R22eR). Providing free teaching materials to supplement the new Québec history curriculum and to help students have a greater knowledge of Québec’s role in military conflicts throughout the last 100+ years, and ultimately to help them understand the long-term impacts of war upon all facets of our peaceful society. For more information, please visit https://jemesouviens.org/en/

About Canada Company

Canada Company began in May 2006, at the height of the Afghanistan conflict, with a pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with our troops for the sacrifices they make every day. As champions for our soldiers, Canada Company strives to protect the legacy of our soldiers and leverage their unique skillset and experiences to improve our nation. For more information, please visit https://www.canadacompany.ca/en/

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