William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

AT WAR WITH MY COUNTRY: 16 OCTOBER 1970

The hardest war that anyone can ever hope to win
Is the fight with the enemy that lives here within
200 bombings the FLQ seemed to carry out at will?
Montreal Stock Exchange and University of McGill

The terrorists would show Canada who was the boss?
They captured an Englishman a Mr. James Cross!
They murdered a Quebec Politician, Mr Pierre Laporte.
To the depths of murderous depravity the FLQ did resort

Before anyone could negotiate an internal peace pact
Pierre Elliot Trudeau enacted the War Measures Act
Canadian soldiers deployed upon the Quebec street;
In my home province the terrorists turned up the heat

The terrorists released Mr Cross in exchange for a plane
They flew off to Cuba, but soon came home again
They wrote plays and poems and even some books
Canadienne Freedom Fighters or just a bunch of crooks?

The majority of my people the main body of Quebecois
Resented the killings and bombings which ended in a draw:
It still is a frequent nightmare that sleeps deep in my heart
FLQ terrorist murderers tried to rip my Country apart!

Author’s Note: The War Measures Act was only enacted three times in all of Canadian History: World War One, World War Two and The War against the (Front De Liberation Du Quebec) FLQ! All French Canadian Members of Parliament voted for the War Measures Act. Of the fifteen MPs who voted against it, one was Tory and 14 NDP – all were Anglophones.

In my opinion the 16th of October 1970 was the darkest day in modern Canadian History! It was the only time in Canadian History when we went to war with ourselves! In addition to post office boxes being blown up-a poor French Canadian cleaning lady in the Communication Centre at Army HQ was killed by an FLQ bomb.

The following is a comment about the poem by Colonel Don Ethell, who was a Sergeant at the time the FLQ bomb exploded outside the Communications Centre.

Good Morning Billy:

Read your poem about the FLQ. Wonderful!

Just as a matter of interest, the bombing of NDHQ (more correctly, 705 CommSqn) happened at 0640hrs where the bomb was placed in the window well of the Naval Relay Center in the basement of the building.

Separated from the Naval Relay by a wall, was the Facility Control Center (FCC) where Bert Desgagne and I were on shift, getting ready to go home at 0730hrs.

I had just come into the FCC from the Crypto room. The blast blew the door open between the NRC and FCC. No damage was sustained in the FCC but there was a lot of debris in the NRC. Two other civilians were injured by the blast. The one that died was a Teletype Operator and not a cleaning lady.

Needless to say, both Bert and I were pretty shook up. When I got home at 1000hrs, after two hours of questioning by the MPs (Military Police), my wife informed me that she had received a telephone call at 3AM asking for me.

So, as far as I am concerned, and it has never been proven, that bombing was masterminded by someone familiar with the procedures of 705 CommSqn (which comprised the NRC, FCC and Crypto).

VVV 73s
Don Ethell
May 22, 2008