The kidnapping crisis gripping Canada took a new turn yesterday (Thursday) as Quebec State Premier Robert Bourassa called Federal troops into the cities of Montreal and Quebec.
The kidnapping crisis gripping Canada took a new turn yesterday (Thursday) as Quebec State Premier Robert Bourassa called Federal troops into the cities of Montreal and Quebec. The move preceded the Canadian Government's use of emergency powers to outlaw the extremist Quebec Liberation Front.
At the same time, lawyer Robert Lemieux, who has been negotiating on behalf of the Quebec Liberation Front, said that he feared the government hunt for the kidnapped Quebec minister and British diplomat could end with the use of "Armed force". He had information that the authorities had discovered the FLQ cell at which one of the kidnap victims was being held.
In Montreal, troops were rushed to the city by helicopter to relieve the hard-pressed police force. The soldiers were soon guarding key public buildings including City Hall and police headquarters. They are also to help the police in guarding political figures.
At his news conference on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Lemieux condemned the government for failing to respond to the latest terms demanded by the kidnappers. Then he spoke of a government information leak. He had learned that the government had discovered "Cell Chenier" -- the FLQ cell believed responsible for kidnapping Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte - and that they were close to discovering the cell holding British Trade Commissioner James Cross:
Today (Friday), Mr. Lemieux was among more than 200 members or sympathisers of the Quebec Liberation Front arrested in sweeping police raids in Montreal and Quebec City. Under the emergency regulations of Canada's War Measures Act, suspects can be arrested and detained for up to 90 days.