Collection: Shawville Equity Digital History Project

Shawville Equity - Observations using Antconc

Observations of text in the Shawville Equity newspaper using Antconc for insight.



By the second half of the twentieth century the Shawville Equity concentrated on reporting events of local significance and had few stories related to news affecting the whole province, such as the October Crisis or the Quiet Revolution.  This can be observed in the absence of words in news stories in the Equity.


  1. Downloaded text files of the Shawville Equity 1900-1999 for analysis. These files were not cleaned or preprocessed. This would have improved results, however, it appears that the quality of the OCR'd text is high enough to provide useful analysis using the frequency of words appearing.
  2. Verified that the files downloaded correctly to mitigate the risk of missing data.  Details are in the fail log for this project.
  3. Opened Antconc and searched for flq.




0. In the picture of Antconc to the right, the box of hits for flq labelled "0." are hits before 1960 and are the results of poor quality OCR.  These will be ignored. 

1. In the 5 September 1963 edition, there is a reference to the FLQ on page 1, but it is local. [1]  Per the raw OCR, "Campbell s nay Detachment to ask if it is sale to cross the bridge at Portage today, in view of the alleged FLQ threat. The police are of the opinion that it is safe because as Corporal laxton says, if it is the Ft-Q we are concerned with, “they are not criminals, just political”. Freddie l axton also believes that the threat came from outside Pontiac as last week's suspect has been tracked down."  Note that the OCR did not pick up the second reference to FLQ, but rendered it Ft-Q.

2. During the October Crisis, the Equity published a story concerning the FLQ on 28 October 1970 on the front page. [2]  The story noted that police were looking to inventory all explosives held by local people and also the police search for two suspected FLQ members seen in Luskville and Shawville only found innocent visitors.  A stolen car had been found by press time, but it was unconfirmed if the car was stolen by members of the FLQ.  A column called "The Scene" on page 2 of the 4 November 1970 edition notes that a stolen car had been found 20 miles north of Quoyon in "roadless bush". [3]

The other story in 1970 concerning the FLQ concerned local MP Tom Lefebvre's remarks in Canada's Parliament in the debate concerning the War Measures Act. [4]  The Honourable Mr. Lefebvre links the dissatisfaction manifested by the FLQ with a need for "economic development of underdeveloped areas" on page 1, 18 November 1970. [5]





Antconc result for flq in the Shawville Equity


Mention of the FLQ after 1970 and conclusion.

Antconc's Concordance Plot shows clusters of when the FLQ is mentioned, particularly in October 1999.antconc-flq-1999-10-27.png


In the story "Villeneuve turned back at Quyon", on page 1, October 27, 1999, The Equity covers how FLQ founder Raymond Villeneuve's planned protest against a lack of compliance with Bill 101 in Shawville was called off by police after a counter protest was organized in Shawville. [2]


For the subject of the FLQ, a sample of coverage in the Shawville Equity shows that the paper covered the story from a local perspective and not a provincial or national one. 

Future Investigation

The October 27, 1999 story raises the question of how was Bill 101 covered in the Equity?  Also, how much French language content was present in the Equity and did that change over time?


[1] The Equity. (1963). Quebec Police Offices Checking Everywhere in Pontiac Sept. 4. The Equity, [online] 1. Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].

[2] The Equity. (1970). QPP making list of all explosives. The Equity, [online] 1. Available at:[Accessed 09 August 2017].

[3] The Equity. (1970). Grist... The Equity, [online] 2. Available at:[Accessed 09 August 2017].

[4] Canada Votes 2008. Pontiac 2008 Results. [online] Available at:  This reference establishes that the Hon. Tom Lefevre was an MP.

[5] The Equity. (1970). Tom Lefebvre calls for economic development of underdeveloped areas. The Equity, [online] 1. Available at:[Accessed 09 August 2017].

The Equity, [online] Available at: [Accessed 08 August 2017].

Froehlich, Heather. (2014).  Getting Started With Antconc. [Blog] Heather Froehlich.  Available at: [Accessed 08 August 2017].

Graham, Shawn. (2017). Crafting Digital History - A Workbook. [ebook] Ottawa, Ontario, p. Module 4 Exercises. Available at: [Accessed 9 Aug. 2017].

Jockers, Matthew L. Expanded Stopwords List. [online]  Matthew L. Jockers. Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].


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