Vandals paint 'traitor' on Trudeau mausoleum
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Saturday, April 26, 2008 10:41PM EDT
Vandals have spray-painted graffiti on the mausoleum of former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Quebec police said Saturday.
Sgt. Gregory Gomez del Prado of Quebec's provincial police force told CTV.ca that the words "FLQ" and the French word for "traitor" were written in black paint on at least two sides of the massive family tomb, located south of Montreal in Saint-Remi, Que.
Police believe the vandals defaced the tomb Friday night, but say it is also possible the attack occurred Thursday night.
Gomez del Prado described the walk-in tomb as the size of a very large backyard woodshed. He declined to say how police discovered the graffiti, adding they are still investigating the incident. He said there have been no similar reports of vandalism elsewhere in the area, and that if caught, the culprits could face mischief charges.
No arrests have been made.
Trudeau, known in many quarters for his charisma, was Canada's prime minister between 1968 and 1979, and again from 1980 to 1984. He died in 2000 at 80 years old.
He enflamed detractors when he invoked the War Measures Act -- at the urging of both Quebec's premier and Montreal's mayor -- in 1970 after a British diplomat and Quebec cabinet minister were kidnapped by a Quebec nationalist group, the FLQ. The minister, Pierre Laporte, was later killed.
In 1980, during Trudeau's last term in office, the Quebec sovereignty movement suffered a significant setback after losing a referendum. In 1982, he repatriated the Constitution despite Quebec's refusal to sign on to the deal.
He was also an outspoken opponent to the failed Meech Lake Accord, which would have modified the constitution to recognize Quebec as a "distinct society" and give that province constitutional veto power.
The deal was brokered in 1987 between then-Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney and the provincial leaders but unravelled by 1990.