Joe Scanlon is a Professor Emeritus at Carleton University and the Director of the Emergency Communications Research Unit. He also happens to by my father.
CBC News personalities kept implying all day yesterday that somehow the world had changed and that Canada until yesterday had been immune to acts of terrorism. It was the same on CTV.
In fact terrorism was alive and well in Canada long before there were a series of incidents in the United States and some incidents involved attacks on legislatures including one mishandled incident which could have led to a bomb exploding on the floor of the House of Commons.
It took just a few minutes to assemble the following admittedly incomplete list of incidents that if not labelled as terrorist at the time they occurred probably would be so labelled today.
(No date), 1963 FLQ The bombing of Canadian Army Recruiting Centre in Montreal killed Sgt. Wilfred V. O’Neil.
March 7th 1963 – Molotov cocktails were planted at the Royal Victoria Rifles Armoury, the Royal Montreal Regiment, and at the 4th Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment (in Chateauguay).
May 17, 1963 — Explosives expert Walter Leja was maimed for life while digging out a bomb in a Westmount mailbox.
May 18, 1966, Paul Joseph Chartier accidentally blew himself up in Centre Block with 10 sticks of dynamite. He had planned to throw them from the visitors’ gallery to the floor of the House of Commons.
April 29, 1964 – Two men — Leslie MacWilliams and Alfred Pinisch – were killed during a store robbery by a group of revolutionaries known as L’Armée Révolutionnaire du Québec.
February 13, 1969, the Front de libération du Québec set off a powerful bomb that ripped through the Montreal Stock Exchange causing massive destruction and seriously injuring 27 people.
June, 1970 — Jeanne d’Arc St.-Germaine was killed when a bomb was set of at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.
September 27, 1982 A Turkish embassy military attaché Col. Atilla Altikat was driving to work and stopped at a red light at Island Park Drive and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. A gunman pulled up and fired about 10 shots from a handgun toward the father of two. He died at the wheel.
October 14, 1982 – The anarchist group the Squamish Five, who were Canadian version of Direct Action, bombs a Litton Industries factory north of Toronto, Ontario that is manufacturing guidance devices for American cruise missiles, ten are injured.
May 8, 1984 – A Canadian soldier named Denis Lortie walked into the Quebec legislature with a submachine gun and killed three people and wounded 13.
September 3, 1984 – Montreal, Quebec’s Central Station is bombed; three are left dead and 30 are injured. The man responsible claims he was protesting Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada.
March 12, 1985 – Armenian terrorists killed a security guard and occupied the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa. The ambassador was severely injured when he tried to escape.
June 23, 1985 – A bomb planted by Sikh terrorists exploded in an Air India flight en route from Montreal to London killing all 329 on board, most of whom were Canadian citizens. That same day two baggage handlers at Tokyo’s Narita airport were killed by a bomb on another Air India flight.
In 1986, a gunman held a female diplomat hostage at the former site of the Bahamian High Commission on Kent Street
April 7, 1989 – Charles Yacoub hijacked a bus in Montreal and forced the driver to take him to Parliament Hill where he fired shots at tourists before the bus became mired on the front lawn. He claimed to represent a group called the Liberation Front for Christian Lebanon. Although the Parliament Buildings were evacuated, no one was killed or injured.
September 4, 2012 – Richard Bain, an Anglophone Quebecer attempted to assassinate Parti Québécois leader and Premier elect Pauline Marois at a victory gathering in Montreal. He also set fire to the Metropolis concert hall where the event was being held. A man was killed and another was injured.