Paul Rose (political figure)

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For other people named Paul Rose, see Paul Rose (disambiguation).
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
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 terrorist[1] believing in Quebec sovereignty,[2] convicted of kidnapping and murder by strangulation of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte in 1970. 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[edit]

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, 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]

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.[10]

Later life and death[edit]

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.[11][12]

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."[13]

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

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.[15] Khadir later withdrew the proposal, blaming anglophone media for nationalist hate-mongering, and claiming Rose had recanted and been rehabilitated.[16]


  1. ^ "Le felquiste Paul Rose est mort". Radio Canada nouvelles (in French). Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Le felquiste Paul Rose est décédé". La Presse (in French). Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Paul Rose, leader of cell that kidnapped, killed Quebec minister Pierre Laporte, has died". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). March 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ "FLQ wanted air time, not revolution". CBC News. September 23, 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ Tetley, William. The October Crisis, 1970: An Insider's View. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press (2006)
  6. ^ébec-savaient-que.html, found on Yahoo, based on Cbc journalist
  7. ^ Marionopolis College, Quebec History (August 23, 2000). "Chronology of the October Crisis, 1970, and its Aftermath". Retrieved 2009-07-31 
  8. ^ A convicted murderer and an unrepentant terrorist, pockets of Quebec still view Paul Rose as a folk hero by Tristin Hopper, National Post 13/03/14
  9. ^ Martin, Douglas (2013-03-25). "Paul Rose, Quebec Separatist Involved in Kidnapping, Dies at 69". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  10. ^ Hommage à Paul Rose 1943-2013 par Jean François Nadeau, Le Devoir, 15 mars 2013 (translated from the original)
  11. ^ Harper, Tim, "Quebec NDP outrages McLaughlin," Toronto Star, December 12, 1991
  12. ^ Canadian Press, "McLaughlin distances party from ex-terrorist," Hamilton Spectator, December 12, 1991
  13. ^ "Paul Rose, 69, FLQ leader and a separatist to the end". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). March 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ CBC News |url= missing title (help). 
  15. ^
  16. ^