Among the thousands of people paying their last respects today (19 October) to M. Pierre?
Among the thousands of people paying their last respects today (19 October) to M. Pierre Laporte, the Quebec Minister of Labour murdered by members of the Quebec Liberation Front, were his wife two daughters. The body of M. Laporte is lying in state in Montreal's courthouse, awaiting Tuesday's funeral in the Notre Dame Cathedral.
M. Laporte, 49-year-old-father of two children, was found dead on Saturday night (18 October), a single bullet hole through the head, in the boot of a car in which he was snatched from his last Sunday. Police found the body at St. Hubert airport in Montreal after the private radio station CKAC received a telephone tip-off.
The body of M. Laporte was discovered shortly after Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa said the Cuban government was to join in a plan for securing M. Laporte's and Mr. Cross's release.
The plan was for the FLQ to take the two hostages for handing over to the Pont de la Concorde bridge, linking Montreal with the island where Expo' 67 was held. The bridge would be regarded as an extension of the Cuban consulate, thus guaranteeing the safety of the Front members.
There are still hopes that the British diplomat kidnapped by the FLQ, Mr. James Cross, is alive. A Federal government spokesman in Ottawa said the offer of safe conduct remained open, despite M. Laporte's murder.
Mr. Cross and M. Laporte had been abducted by different cells of the FLQ, and "different cells might have reached different decisions", the spokesman said.