In 1970, Prime Minister Trudeau replied "Just watch me" when asked by a CBC reporter how far he would go with respect to the military presence in Quebec. Three days later, he announced the imposition of the War Measures Act in order to grant the armed forces emergency powers to deal with an "apprehended insurrection and provisional government aimed at usurping power in Quebec".
Just Watch MeThe perpetrators were a fifty man terrorist organization known as the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ). Active since 1963, they had launched a terror campaign by kidnapping the British Trade Commissioner James Cross and also Minister of Labour of the province of Quebec, Pierre Laporte, while he is playing football with his nephew on his front lawn. During the negotiations, the Canadian Government permitted the FLQ to broadcast their case for separatism.
The deployment of four thousand five hundred troops in Montreal alone, and the suspension of the constitutional rights of Canadian Citizens, was of course excessive, even if the RMCP had proven themselves unable to tackle the crisis. When five hundred arrests followed, it soon became clear that the real target was the Parti Québeeacute;cois (PQ).
Fortunately for the PQ, they had a powerful sponsor who knew all about the liberation of occupied countries from Anglo-Saxons. That was the President of France, Charles de Gaulle; in an impassioned final speech from the Elysses Palace he denounced Trudeau's brutal crackdown. The following day, both Cross and Laporte were released unharmed. Trudeau was forced to resign two days after de Gaulle died on the 9th November.