May 5, 1964

PRIVILEGE

MR. MARCOUX STATEMENT BY JUSTICE MINISTER RESPECTING JULES SIOUI


On the orders of the day:


SC

Guy Marcoux

Social Credit

Mr. Guy Marcoux (Quebec-Monlmorency):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege.

As related on page 2761 of Hansard, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Favreau), in reply to a question put by the hon. member for Chapleau (Mr. Laprise) concerning the Indian chief Jules Sioui, answered:

Mr. Speaker, I asked to be informed on the case of Jules Sioui who has been in jail for almost a year and I realized, just by looking at the record, that this case was never submitted to my department.

In all fairness to the Department of Justice and for those who dealt with the case, I must inform the house that I myself instituted proceedings to have Jules Sioui released.

I do not want to insinuate that the minister knowingly misled the house, but I think he was misinformed by his own officials, so that the answer he gave on April 30 last was wrong.

In order to clear up any misunderstanding, I shall read the correspondence I had with the former minister of justice, Hon. Lionel Chevrier, and with the attorney general for the province of Quebec, Hon. Georges-Emile Lapalme.

On June 10, 1963, I wrote the following letter to Mr. Chevrier:

Dear Mr. Chevrier:

On May 10, 1963, Mr. Jules Sioui, an Indian of the Huron reserve, was sentenced to a month in jail for having "maculated electoral lists" placed on the reserve.

And at this stage I should like to inform the house that the Indian reserve is located in my riding. I continue:

The jury had then asked for the leniency of Justice Gerard Lacroix.

Immediately after the sentence, Mr. Sioui expressed his wish to appeal from the judge's decision. He then had to sign a bail enabling him to prepare his new trial before the court of appeals. But almost immediately, a justice employee tore up the signed document.

At the termination of the jail term, on June 6, Mrs. Jules Sioui-a 75 year old woman-went to meet her husband at the Quebec jail. A jail

20220-185i

officer then told her that Mr. Sioui had to post a bond to keep the peace for a period of 18 months. The sentencing document was shown to her.

Mrs. Sioui noticed that the characters in which the mention of bail was written were different from those which had been used for the original sentence.

Mr. Sioui, who was surprised by that addition, refused to sign the document. He has been kept in prison ever since.

And, which is a fact worth mentioning, the letter is dated June 10, 1963. I go on with the letter:

We maintain that he is now illegally detained in the Quebec jail.

I therefore respectfully submit that a request for the immediate liberation of Mr. Jules Sioui is under your jurisdiction.

I trust that your intervention will ensue at the earliest opportunity and remain, sir, yours very truly.

(Signed) Guy Marcoux Member for Quebec-Montmorency

On June 26, 1963, I received from the minister of justice, Hon. Lionel Chevrier, the following letter:

Dear Mr. Marcoux:

I thank you for your letter of June 10 last concerning Mr. Jules Sioui, an Indian from the Huron reserve, near Quebec, who was recently sentenced to a month's imprisonment, after having being convicted of smearing up election lists. The chief electoral officer, as well as the lawyer he appointed to conduct the preliminary inquiry in the Sioui case, informed us that they had' not been aware of the developments mentioned in your letter. On the other hand, I should tell you that when the Sioui case came up for trial, it was in the hands of one of the substitutes of the attorney general for Quebec.

On the other hand, the employees of the various courts of justice are under the jurisdiction of the attorney general of Quebec and the contents of your letter lead me to believe that this is a matter which comes under the jurisdiction of the attorney general of Quebec.

Consequently, and again according to the purport of your letter, it seems to be a case in which my jurisdiction does not entitle me to intervene.

I remain, dear Mr. Marcoux, yours very truly, Lionel Chevrier.

On July 5, 1963, I wrote a letter to the attorney general of the province of Quebec from which I shall read only a few excerpts:

Moreover, I approached the chief electoral officer of Canada, who confirmed the text of the sentence and the fact that the matter was under your own jurisdiction. (He wonders why it should be so.)

I ended my letter in saying:

I respectfully submit, therefore, that it seems obvious that Mr. Sioui is now being illegally confined to the Quebec jail and that you alone can order his immediate release.

Question of Privilege

On July 15, 1963, Mr. Speaker, I had to write once again to the attorney general of the province of Quebec, since I had not received any reply to my letter of July 5. I shall spare the house the reading of that last letter.

On July 16, 1963, I received a letter from the assistant deputy attorney general of the province of Quebec concerning file No. 2323363, in which it was written:

As you mentioned in your letter, on May 10, 1963, Jules Sioui was sentenced to a month in jail for an offence against section 72 of the Canada Elections Act. In addition, he was ordered by the court to provide a $500 bond as a guarantee that he would keep the peace for 18 months.

The judgment passed by Justice Gerard Lacroix stipulates that this $500 bond is to be signed at the expiration of the sentence and that Jules Sioui must not be released until it has been signed.

We are informed by the prison authorities that Sioui refuses to sign the bond on the grounds that he would be submitting to federal authority if he did.

P. Frenette

Assistant Deputy Attorney General

As you can see, Mr. Speaker, that is quite a complicated matter which the Minister of Justice will surely wish to clarify for the house, since we learned just a few days ago that, for no apparent reason, Justice Gerard Lacroix released the prisoner at the end of the period he spent in jail.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. MARCOUX STATEMENT BY JUSTICE MINISTER RESPECTING JULES SIOUI
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LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I do not think there is any contradiction between what the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Marcoux) has just stated on a question of privilege and the reply I gave the other day in the house. This is what I said at that time:

-and I realized, just by looking at the record, that this case was never submitted to my department.

The statement is clear, Mr. Speaker. The accusation was laid under the Canada Elections Act by the chief electoral officer acting on his own. The Department of Justice does not interfere in such cases because the chief electoral officer is responsible to the House of Commons, not to the government. He appoints his own counsel and the case was prosecuted in Quebec city with the assistance of the Quebec attorney general's office, which looks after the administration of justice in that province.

The hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency claims that he intervened in May and June 1963. The situation was brought to my attention and although I knew that I could not intervene directly since the question was outside my jurisdiction, I asked my officials to communicate with the Quebec attorney general's office, since the case was somewhat pathetic in view of the fact that the prisoner refused to help himself. The provincial au-

thorities must have taken the necessary steps, since Mr. Sioui has now been released.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. MARCOUX STATEMENT BY JUSTICE MINISTER RESPECTING JULES SIOUI
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PROCEDURE

THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to present the third report of the special committee on procedure and organization. At this time I recognize the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Topic:   PROCEDURE
Subtopic:   THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Your Honour's committee on procedure and organization, may I inform hon. members that we would like to move concurrence in this report on Thursday of this week. The subject matter is that of the making of statements on motions.

Topic:   PROCEDURE
Subtopic:   THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CANADIAN COASTGUARD

ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS

LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement regarding a matter of policy. For some time the government has been considering the establishment of a training college for new entry officers for the Canadian coastguard. It has now been decided to take advantage of the availability of surplus facilities at the Point Edward naval base at Sydney, Nova Scotia, to get this essential project started. This, of course, will be subject to the provision of the necessary funds by parliament.

In recent years the work of departmental ships has expanded from the maintenance of aids to navigation and some local surveying and icebreaking to a whole range of marine activities. This fleet now mans the weather stations in the north Pacific ocean, covers Arctic supply convoys, escorts the increasingly important winter traffic into east coast ports and the gulf of St. Lawrence, supports scientific work afloat, and provides a special rescue service.

Including ships now building, the coastguard will have grown in 15 years from 27 to 60 ships, plus some 150 large work boats, tugs and barges. The modern units in this growing fleet are increasingly complex and costly, and they are required to operate in situations of special hazard.

Up to the present the department has relied on the maritime industry to provide officers for this important fleet; but the expanding need for officers has been met by drawing on sources that cannot be tapped again, such as the former Canadian National

West Indies service, other flag transfers and direct recruiting abroad. These sources have not provided many Canadian recruits. The efforts of existing marine schools in various parts of Canada are directed mainly toward meeting local needs of a less complex nature.

To the extent that schools such as the marine school at Rimouski, Quebec, and the new college of fisheries and navigation at St. John's, Newfoundland, and other local institutions can meet the standards and syllabus requirements of the new college, arrangements will be made for cadets to take basic training in navigation and other agreed portions of their course at these institutions. This plan will prevent duplication of resources and enable the new college to concentrate on needs that cannot be met in existing schools.

In view of the critical shortage of new officers for the coastguard anticipated in the next few years, it is the intention of the government to proceed with the establishment of the Canadian coastguard college as quickly as possible, as soon as parliamentary approval has been received. Specific entry requirements and other related information will be made public as soon as the detailed arrangements can be worked out. The first step will be to find a suitable director and recruit the staff.

It is not anticipated that actual training will begin until some time in 1965, but I thought it desirable to make this statement at this time as some steps must be taken almost immediately at Point Edward, and I knew the anxiety there was in all parts of the house to make use of these facilities that are no longer required by the navy.

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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PC

Léon Balcer

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Leon Balcer (Three Rivers):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the house is very grateful to the minister for making his statement at this time because some of us may be a little busy tonight at the time of the C.B.C. newscast. I am very glad to hear the minister make this announcement covering something which is part of a general plan that was established by the previous government.

I think all hon. members know that great services are rendered to our country by the coastguard. Its fleet is an excellent one and very often operates under very strenuous circumstances off the shores of Canada. It is playing a major role so far as Canada's trade is concerned, and in the past has played a major role in very dangerous rescue operations. While I was minister of transport I had the pleasure of presiding over the modernization of the fleet and over a few changes made in it. Its vessels are now painted differently. All the ships are very

Canadian Coastguard

easily distinguishable, and uniforms have been issued to the various members of the fleet.

I am sure this college will meet a need and will give opportunities to young Canadians to find good careers in the Canadian coastguard service. The choice of Sydney is excellent, specially when one thinks of the great naval tradition of this great Canadian seaport.

There is one point the minister has not mentioned. I hope this school will be bilingual, because the great majority of the officers and men serving on these ships come from the shores of the St. Lawrence, and this would be a good opportunity for young Canadians to learn our two national languages.

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

This is taken for granted.

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquillam):

Mr. Speaker, the members of this party welcome the minister's announcement that a coastguard college is to be established at Point Edward naval base in Sydney, on Cape Breton island. The need for such an institution has been well known for a long time, and I think this will help fill that need. With the curtailment of some of the naval installations across Canada many of the Royal Canadian Navy personnel might be suitable persons for officers in the coastguard, and this should be a very fertile field for recruitment of people to serve in the Canadian coastguard.

We are particularly pleased that the government has selected Point Edward naval base at Sydney, Nova Scotia, for this purpose. All of us who are familiar with conditions in Cape Breton know of the serious unemployment situation that was likely to take place as a result of the closing of Point Edward naval base. If this helps to meet that unemployment situation I am sure it will be welcomed by members in all parts of the house, and that it will be particularly gratifying news to people in the Sydney area. [Translation']

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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SC

Guy Marcoux

Social Credit

Mr. Guy Marcoux (Quebec-Monlmorency):

Mr. Speaker, I think we must welcome the minister's announcement that a coast guard college is to be established in Sydney, Nova Scotia. That college will certainly promote the development of Canadian talents.

We do hope that the government will also formulate a policy for the building up of a merchant service in Canada; that would permit not only to give training but also provide many jobs to Canadians interested in the navy.

Canadian Coastguard

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gilles Gregoire (Lapoinie):

Mr. Speaker, we join the other groups in welcoming this announcement for the setting up of a training college for coast guards.

Of course, Canada is a very large country, a lucky country because of its geographical advantages; indeed, a large part of our territorial limits are joining the two largest oceans in the world. That means that our country has a part to play in the field of coast guarding.

Like previous speakers, I should like to take the opportunity to express the hope that this will be a first step toward the development of a Canadian merchant navy that will be able to fly on all the seas of the world the Canadian flag-which we hope to have soon.

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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?

Malcolm MacInnis

Mr. Donald Maclnnis (Cape Breton South):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Labour. Perhaps first I would be permitted to express my appreciation for the announcement made by the Minister of Transport, and no doubt the Minister of Labour had a hand in that. I should like to express my appreciation further of the fact the government has finally realized the merits of the Point Edward naval base.

My question to the minister is, what effect will this announcement today have on the notices of termination of work at the Point Edward naval base which have been received by many employees during the past few days?

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. A. J. MacEachen (Minister of Labour):

Well, the administration of the naval base is a matter for the Department of National Defence. I have no knowledge what effect, if any, may ensue from this announcement.

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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?

Malcolm MacInnis

Mr. Maclnnis:

I am somewhat concerned that the Minister of Labour informs the house that he has no knowledge of employment matters in Cape Breton. I should like to ask the Minister of National Defence what effect today's announcement may have on the many notices of termination of employment received by employees at the Point Edward naval base.

Topic:   CANADIAN COASTGUARD
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING COLLEGE FOR OFFICERS
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May 5, 1964