March 11, 1968

IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

Fifty Creditistes, that is what I said. That will be a much greater source of public news. Sometimes it is the number, sometimes it is the occasion, that attracts the cameras.

I mentioned earlier the Conservative convention as well as the Liberal convention. In such a case it is the occasion which is the source of news and which brings the television cameras zeroing in on such group rather than on other groups. It is perfectly normal. As was the case in 1962, 1963, the Creditistes have had their day-they will probably have it again, I hope so for their sake we must not forget that at the present time, at the Quebec level, there is another group which is also newsworthy. It may not be because of the number of members represented in the house, since there is one here, and two in Quebec. It

March 11, 1968

Supply-Secretary of State may not be either on account of a special occasion but it might come from something else such as, for instance, new ideas. All this is information, and nobody-neither the hon. member for Villeneuve (Mr. Caouette) nor the C.B.C.-can forget it. All these factors must be taken into consideration for that is what makes the news.

[DOT] (9:10 p.m.)

For example, when a new power group scores a success, as did the Ralliement Creditiste in 1962; when a party holds a convention, as the Conservatives did last year and the Liberals will this year; when a special event occurs, such as the crisis of last February 19-all this makes news of various degrees of importance and coming from various sources. It allows each particular group to come into the limelight at one time and recede into the shadows at another time. That is normal.

What I find abnormal is that a director general-I do not remember his exact title -Mr. Marcel Ouimet, the general manager of the C.B.C., should send "secret and urgent" messages condemning the publicity given to the so-called "Levesque Gang". I do not consider that as normal for several reasons.

First of all, the Independentists, as any other group, pay taxes. Furthermore, they are good news material, since they have something new to offer at a given time or period. They come up with new ideas as others could.

Secondly, the number of his appearances on television is considered as "secret", although it has never been so for others. Why send a secret and urgent message to condemn the number of times that the name of Mr. Levesque has been mentioned, when no general investigation was launched to assess the publicity obtained by others on the basis of news they could represent and the circumstances under which they made the news? If instead of a secret and urgent message, a general investigation were launched by the C.B.C. services, on the number of times politicians have appeared, the circumstances under which they did appear and the sources of such news, perhaps then conclusions could be drawn other than those deriving from a mere interest in a specific ideology, the Quebec independence movement, caused by its novelty.

For a year, there have nevertheless been two members in Quebec and one in Ottawa.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouette:

May I put a question to the hon. member?

A few days ago, as all those who listened to the news on the national television network, I heard Mr. Pierre Bourgault twice airing his grievances against Mrs. Ferretti, vice-president of his group.

Does the hon. member think that can be called expressing ideas? Must the C.B.C. allow time for quarrels inside a party, between Mrs. Ferretti and Mr. Pierre Bourgault, for instance?

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

Mr. Chairman, I will give two answers.

I remember very well that when a former member of the Ralliement Creditiste, Dr. Guy Marcoux, left the party, the C.B.C. news service broadcast the ideas expressed by Dr. Marcoux, by the hon. member for Villeneuve, by myself and by another member of the Ralliement Creditiste.

Moreover, when the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) decided to sit as an independent Progressive Conservative member a week ago, he was allowed to explain the reasons of his decision and the causes of the division within his party.

The R.I.N. has called a conference which is to be held on March 30. This party has several thousands of members but it is divided. The supporters of both viewpoints have been allowed to air their views. I must point out that the R.I.N. receives much less publicity on the C.B.C. than the Liberal party can have now and this is understandable. It receives much less publicity than the Conservatives during their convention last September.

I think I have answered the question.

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LIB

Raynald Joseph Albert Guay

Liberal

Mr. Guay:

No.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

The member for Villeneuve asked me if I could explain the matter and I said yes. He had two reasons. First, the R.I.N. convention is the object of as many comments as the Liberal convention taking place at this time and the one the Conservatives had, last September.

Second, that quibbling has been explained over the news, just as all other quibblings that have taken place.

These are but two examples.

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LIB

Raynald Joseph Albert Guay

Liberal

Mr. Guay:

Bourgault is not a member of the house.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

That does not make any difference. It is a political movement that has its justification.

March 11, 1968

In this connection, I would remind the hon. member for Villeneuve, for the benefit of the hon. member for Levis (Mr. Guay) that before 1962, when we did not have any member in the house, when we were in the same position as that referred to by the hon. member for Levis, the hon. member for Villeneuve and I were saying that nothing represented in the House of Commons, was not a sufficient reason to be deprived of the news services from the C.B.C. Any ideology should be freely expressed. It is after elections that public opinion makes itself known.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouelte:

I wish to point out that before the election, the C.B.C. never asked us to express our views or to say anything. On the other hand, when the disagreement arose, we had actually been elected by the people, whereas neither Mr. Bourgault nor Mrs. Fer-retti were and will ever be elected.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

I admit that they were not, but I am not a prophet any more than the hon. member for Villeneuve to say that they will not be. Just wait and see.

The hon. member asks me whether I admit that before 1952, we had never been asked. I will not say "never", but I agree that even without a single elected member, we were far from getting the publicity we were entitled to. We were told at that time, as the hon. member for Villeneuve will remember, that the Ralliement Creditiste would not get a single member elected. But we got 26 elected.

And now, the hon. member for Villeneuve says: You will not get a single member elected! He will admit with me that by saying that we will not get one member elected-

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouelte:

I mean at the federal parliament.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

We do not intend to run for the federal parliament and the hon. member knows it. But he must confess that he is using now the same arguments the Liberals used at that time. I would ask him to show his good faith by calling on him, in any event-

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
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Sub-subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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IND

Joseph-Alfred Mongrain

Independent

Mr. Mongrain:

May I ask my hon. friend a question?

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

Of course.

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IND

Joseph-Alfred Mongrain

Independent

Mr. Mongrain:

Mr. Chairman, would the hon. member for Lapointe not make a distinction between what is usually called newscasts, interviews, forums or expressions of opinions which are presented as being the opinions of most people?

Supply-Secretary of State

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

Of course, Mr. Chairman, one must make distinctions in all that. But whether on news programs or elsewhere, all ideologies have their place.

If a political party, for instance, even one not represented in parliament by a member, brings together in a convention 1,000, 1,200 or 1,400 persons in Quebec only, that is news.

The member is asking whether I admit the difference. I also admit that all ideologies must have access to the opinion programs, for these ideas must be presented to the public. I think that all ideologies have a right to both kinds of programs, opinion and news.

Mr. Chairman, I think my answer satisfies the member for Villeneuve. He has suffered enough discrimination from the Liberals, before 1962. As I am personally aware of the situation, I think he is satisfied with my answer.

When you have been in the same situation, Mr. Chairman, you understand what I mean. The hon. member for Villeneuve knows what I mean when I say that even though we did not have any elected representative before 1962, we represented an ideology. The fact that we did not have any elected member at that time did not prove anything, since we had 26 elected later on. I hope there will be as many in the future.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caoueile:

But we did not have any before.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

We had some after. People believed in that theory, since we had 26 members elected. That, we know afterwards. But beforehand, we should not try to stifle ideologies.

[DOT] (9:20 p.m.)

Mr. Chairman, I am now reverting to the point I was dealing with. What worries me most is that a general manager of the C.B.C. should send "confidential and urgent" messages condemning on ideology because the name of a certain person or that of his movement were mentioned a certain number of times-28 times, I think-in the space of ten days, three weeks or a month.

In my opinion, that is not right. If somebody wishes to have such inquiries made and to quote figures, this should be done for all and in an honest way. I do not see why such messages should be sent confidentially, since the public must be interested in knowing these figures.

The proof is that the hon. member for Villeneuve and I myself have already put on the

March 11, 1988

Supply-Secretary of State order paper questions asking how often a certain person had appeared on television, on a certain program, and we have always received an answer.

So, why send secret messages? What is there to conceal in all that? What does the manager of the C.B.C. want to hide? Would he want to prepare a black list of indepen-dentists? Why, Mr. Chairman? They are citizens who are entitled to their opinions as long as they express them peaceably and quietly, and I think that they are now expressing their opinions quietly and peaceably.

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LIB

Raynald Joseph Albert Guay

Liberal

Mr. Guay:

7-Up.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

The hon. member for Levis says: 7-Up. The Liberal party was there, as well as the members of the N.D.P., the Q.F.L. and the C.N.T.U. Let us not try to blame what does not exist. Some individuals may have taken advantage of the circumstance to create trouble. We do not approve it; on the contrary, we disapprove it; we condemn it. But as long as we do it peacefully and quietly, there is no reason to try to prevent the expression of any ideology.

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Trois-Rivieres (Mr. Mongrain) mentioned that all political parties were invited to the programs "Les affaires de 1'lStat" and "La politique provinciale".

It should not be forgotten that at the last provincial election, 9.9 per cent of the people, that is 200,000 persons, voted for the independ-entists, and out of 25 programs available to the provincial parties, only one went to the independentist parties. Do you find that sufficient considering that independentists got 10 per cent of the vote? Can you say that that is normal and reasonable? Mr. Chairman, I think it would be advisable to ask the C.B.C. to revise its calculations in this regard.

That is what I wanted to say. I think the general manager of the C.B.C., Mr. Marcel Ouimet, should stop trying to build a black list around ideologies, around individuals who have the right to express themselves on the C.B.C. He should become a bit more broadminded and allow everyone to make himself heard, and not prevent the Independantists from appearing on the C.B.C. because, like everybody else, they pay taxes to support that institutions.

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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

Mr. Chairman, some time ago we had the opportunity of expressing our

views and our wishes with regard to the C.B.C. I do not therefore intend to repeat the opinions expressed at that time.

Nor do I want to repeat the recriminations, the personal complaints and lamentations voiced by the members for Trois-Rivieres, Lapointe and Villeneuve (Messrs. Mongrain, Gregoire and Caouette) because by so doing we would be straying from the purpose of the debate in which we are taking part this evening.

However, while we are studing item 1 of those estimates, I should like to express the views of those who elected me here, to acquaint my colleagues and the government with their views on that crown corporation.

I repeat that I do not intend to lean to generalities that I could lead us to criticisms with regard to all fields of administration of the C.B.C. I do not have to do so as recently, the regional director of the French network, Mr. Marcel Ouimet, in non-equivocal and extremely overwhelming terms severely criticized the conduct of his subordinates. What concerns me is to see that a responsible person in such an important position within a crown corporation should deem it necessary to accuse publicly employees under his own authority. Moreover, those charges were so serious that they infected and affected as well the confidence the public should have in this crown corporation. I said "infected" as I believe there is within the C.B.C. an infection which the regional director of the French network deemed necessary to expose publicly. We all know-all the members of the house are aware of it, whether they admit it or not-that there is within that organization an all-powerful control depending not upon the higher authorities, but in many cases upon those holding inferior positions in the hierarchy. We know, for instance, that there is in the field of public affairs an all-powerful person who determines what programs of public interest will be broadcast by the C.B.C. and what people should be chosen to take part in them.

Finally, that person whose name I believe I can mention, Mr. Marc Thibault, enjoys a greatly exaggerated authority within that crown corporation. Several employees of the C.B.C. complained to my office in the past about the omnipotence, the power of that high official who domineers over the public information broadcasts and controls them according to his whims.

So, if the regional director-

March 11, 1968

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
Sub-subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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March 11, 1968