Paul Rose (political figure)

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Paul Rose
Born (1943-10-16)October 16, 1943
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died March 14, 2013(2013-03-14) (aged 69)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Cause of death Stroke
Nationality  Canada
Criminal charge Kidnapping and murder
Criminal penalty Life imprisonment
Criminal status Paroled
Allegiance Front de libération du Québec
Conviction(s) Kidnapping and murder

Paul Rose (October 16, 1943 – March 14, 2013) was a leader in the Quebec sovereignty movement, known as a terrorist for his role in the October Crisis.[1] He was convicted of the kidnapping and murder by strangulation of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte in 1970. A Quebec government commission later determined in 1980 that Rose was not present when Laporte was killed, despite a recorded confession.[2] He was the leader of the Chenier cell[3] of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), an armed group which was fighting what they considered the oppression of French Quebecers.

On October 10, 1970, the cell kidnapped Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. Laporte's strangled body was found in the trunk of a car on October 17. Rose was among those convicted of the kidnapping and murder.[4]


Rose was born in the Saint-Henri district of Montreal. At the age of eight, his family moved to Ville-Emard and later on his family moved to Ville Jacques-Cartier, now part of Longueuil, where he spent most of his teenage years.

Paul Abigal Rose was named Paul after his father, Paul Henply Rose. His second name came from his mother, Abigal, who was a very important part of his life.

A member of the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale political party, Rose's involvement with radical groups began in 1968 after meeting Jacques Lanctôt, a member of the FLQ, during a rally against Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste parade.[5]

Role in October Crisis

During what became known as the October Crisis, on October 5, 1970, members of the FLQ's Liberation Cell kidnapped the British Trade Commissioner James Cross from his Montreal home as part of a violent attempt to overthrow the elected government and to establish a socialist Quebec state independent of Canada.

On October 10, Paul Rose as leader of the FLQ's Chenier Cell joined with members Jacques Rose (brother), Bernard Lortie, and Francis Simard to kidnap Quebec Vice Premier and cabinet minister, Pierre Laporte. Believing many others would follow in an uprising, their goal was to have Quebec live up to the fate wished for it by the Lower Canada rebellions of 1837-8, namely to become an independent country. However, the kidnapping did not work out as planned and they killed Laporte. The FLQ said they killed him without hesitation in order to show to the population they were serious.[6] In 1971, Rose was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Laporte and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 1980, the Duchaine Report found that Rose was not present when Laporte was killed. He was released on parole in 1982.[7]

Later evidence would prove the contrary. "A coroner’s inquest soon after the murder determined that Laporte had been strangled by a gold religious medal he wore around his neck. In a conversation wiretapped by police, Rose even admitted to his lawyer that he “finished” Laporte with the gold chain."[8][9] Another version of this story, less biased, says rather that this secretly recorded conversation was between Paul Rose's brother, Jacques, and his lawyer, Robert Lemieux. Jacques Rose then told that Pierre Laporte was accidentally strangled during a struggle after he tried to escape while two of the kidnappers were about to release him. As this conversation was recorded without the consent of Rose and Lemieux, it could not be used as evidence.[10]

Rose also remained unrepentant. In an interview he gave to Le Devoir, he said:

I regret nothing: 1970, the abductions, the prison, the suffering, nothing. I did what I had to do. Placed before the same circumstances today, I would do exactly the same thing. I will never deny what I did and what happened. It was not a youthful indiscretion.[11]

Later life and death

During the 1990s, he contributed to the monthly L'aut'journal. He was nominated the New Democratic Party of Quebec candidate in a 1992 provincial by-election. His nomination was controversial, and resulted in the federal New Democratic Party denouncing its former provincial wing (ties between the two parties had been severed in 1989) and seeking legal options in an attempt to force the provincial party to change its name.[12][13]

In 1996, Rose was elected leader of the NDPQ which by this time was called the Parti de la démocratie socialiste. He led the party until 2002 when it joined the Union des forces progressistes. Rose worked for the Confédération des syndicats nationaux labour union. Rose remained a strong supporter of the Quebec sovereignty movement, which he likened to "a liberation nationalism. It’s a people being denied its existence that is trying to find its place in the sun, in the same way as Palestine and Ireland."[14]

He died of a stroke on March 14, 2013, at the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal at the age of 69.[15]

Even in death, Rose was the source of controversy. Amir Khadir, one of two deputies of the sovereigntist party Quebec solidaire, proposed tabling a motion in the Quebec provincial legislature to honour his death.[16] Khadir later withdrew the proposal, blaming anglophone media for nationalist hate-mongering, and claiming Rose had recanted and been rehabilitated.[17]


  1. "Le felquiste Paul Rose est mort". Radio Canada nouvelles (in français). Retrieved 15 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "FLQ terrorist Paul Rose dies at age 69". Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Paul Rose, leader of cell that kidnapped, killed Quebec minister Pierre Laporte, has died". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. March 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "FLQ wanted air time, not revolution". CBC News. September 23, 2010. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Tetley, William. The October Crisis, 1970: An Insider's View. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press (2006)
  6. "Crise d'octobre : La police et Québec savaient que Pierre Laporte était mort accidentellement aux mains du FLQ". Retrieved 29 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Chronology of the October Crisis, 1970, and its Aftermath". Marionopolis College, Quebec History. August 23, 2000. Retrieved 2009-07-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Tristin Hopper (14 March 2013). "Paul Rose, man at centre of Quebec's October Crisis, dies in Montreal". National Post. Retrieved 29 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Martin, Douglas (2013-03-25). "Paul Rose, Quebec Separatist Involved in Kidnapping, Dies at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-04-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Hommage à Paul Rose 1943-2013" par Jean François Nadeau, Le Devoir, 15 mars 2013 (translated from the original)
  12. Harper, Tim, "Quebec NDP outrages McLaughlin," Toronto Star, December 12, 1991
  13. Canadian Press, "McLaughlin distances party from ex-terrorist," Hamilton Spectator, December 12, 1991
  14. "Paul Rose, 69, FLQ leader and a separatist to the end". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. March 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "FLQ October Crisis figure Paul Rose dies". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. [1][dead link]
  17. "CJAD 800 – News. Talk. Radio. :: Khadir blames English media for Rose firestorm - CJAD Local News  :: CJAD Local News". CJAD 800. Retrieved 29 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>