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The Royal Commission, The Flag Debate, Bilingualism and the October Crisis.

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Presentation on theme: "The Royal Commission, The Flag Debate, Bilingualism and the October Crisis."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Royal Commission, The Flag Debate, Bilingualism and the October Crisis

2  When Lester Pearson became Prime Minister in 1963, French/English relations was the most important political issue in Canada  After a CN Rail scandal ( where it was revealed that these was almost no French senior management in the Canadian Government ), Pearson started the “Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism”  In 1964, Pearson granted Quebec the right to opt out of Federal Programs while receiving full compensation (Quebec could say no to a Canadian program but still receive the money for it)

3  In 1965, Pearson attempted to introduce a new Flag  Pearson believed the “Red Ensign” only represented British Canada and that we needed a new symbol that every Canadian could identify with  Thousands of proposals were sent to Pearson  What followed was a furious debate in the House of Commons  In the End, the “Red Maple Leaf” design was adopted  However, the loss of the Red Ensign was heartbreaking for many English Canadians – many felt Pearson had gone too far




7  After Pearson steps down, Trudeau becomes Canada’s Prime Minister  Trudeau is young, well spoken and energetic  He gains enormous popularity (Trudeau Mania)  Trudeau works for a “Just Society” in Canada  This means that all Canadians should be equal – no special status for anyone  His policies create immediate conflict with most of Quebec  However, Trudeau does make Canada officially Bilingual to ensure the preservation of the French language

8  Meanwhile, in Quebec, the situation became more desperate  A group calling themselves the “Front de Liberation du Quebec” (FLQ) started to blow up mailboxes in English neighborhoods in Montreal  Within Quebec, the FLQ gained support and were seen as freedom fighters

9  On October 5, 1970 four men from the FLQ abducted a British politician (James Cross)  They demanded $500,000 ransom and a declaration of beliefs read over the radio  On Oct. 10 th, Pierre LaPort (A French Canadian politician) was also abducted  Trudeau reacted by sending in the military to guard Canadian politicians and landmarks Just watch me!


11  The FLQ popularity soared during the Crisis and rallies filled arenas as FLQ lawyer Robert Lemieux promised to “overcome and conquer”  Seeing a possible revolution, Trudeau steps in a declares the “War Measures Act”  This allowed arrests and searches without warrant and imprisonment without arrest  The FLQ panic and kill Laport  Jams Cross was released in exchange for asylum in Cuba

12  After the death of Laport, the FLQ lost its popularity  After the October Crisis, the FLQ was basically dead  However, Trudeau’s introduction of the War Measures Act was seen as an over-reaction and further proof of English Canada’s domination of Quebec  Although the violence was gone, separatist feelings were stronger than ever

13  Pearson tries to solve the French English Problem through the “Royal Commission for Bilingualism and Biculturalism,” and the new Flag  Trudeau makes Canada Bilingual but angers Quebec with his “Just Society” idea  The FLQ is a French Canadian Terrorist Group  They Kidnap politicians in the October Crisis  Trudeau uses the war measures act to stop them  The FLQ is dead but separatism lives on

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