Waiting for the other shoe to drop

The FLQ? Not these guys again. Ah those heady 70s days. Back then, we didn’t play cops-and-robbers, we played police-v-FLQ (no really).

Meanwhile, the RCMP says the force is taking “very seriously” a recent threatening letter signed by a group claiming to be a new cell of the FLQ.

That’s reassuring what with the Mounties under fire on all fronts, and ongoing recruitment problems (They need to fill 2,000 jobs? Attention Montrealers: stay away from all mailboxes).

Then there’s the report that Montreal police initially thought the Dawson college shooting rampage was terrorism. And then the phones went out,

“The near-simultaneous collapse of the mobile communications network further complicated the situation as senior officers who arrived on the scene found their phones didn’t work.

“They’re going to have to look into another way of communication, maybe by looking at satellite phones,” (retired LT -Det. Stephen Roberts)”


Shouldn’t Quebec police have this down by now? With the FLQ crisis and the 1976 Olympics under their belt haven’t local law enforcement had over 20 years to prepare and prevent such things?

If you’re as flummoxed as I about all of this it is interesting to note a recently declassified U.S. Department of State document describing the safeguards in place for the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Games.

Document CK3100537984

Remember that the Montreal Olympics were coming in the wake of the tragedy that occurred in Munich at the 1972 games. The document references a Security Coordination Center that was set up in Montreal and included representatives of participating agencies involved in these security arrangements:

“At the operational level, a committee existed called the Comite Principal de Securite de Police pour les Jeux Olympiques which included representatives of {the Montreal Urban Community Police Department (MUCPD), Canadian Armed Forces, Quebec Provincial Police, Federal Minister of Transport, Solicitor-General of Quebec, Solicitor-General of Canada (including RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police, Montreal Fire Department, Emergency Measures Organization, National Harbours Board, Toronto City Police, and other agencies at need…. The Comite was wracked by jurisdictional disputes and, as the Department’s observer notes, perhaps it is well that it was never seriously tested.”

Plus ca change. Once again friends, it’s time to duck and cover.


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