February 17, 1978

LIB

André Ouellet (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

That is an irresponsible statement!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-RCMP ACTIVITIES CONCERNING 1970 OCTOBER CRISIS
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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

Mr. Speaker, they will say: Michel Viger is dead. Why don't we go and ask constable Robert Samson, he is not dead but he nearly died too. What was that responsible RCMP officer doing on a Saturday night with a bomb in his hands that exploded? He did not die. Mr. Speaker, those are facts and before they call me irresponsible let us get down to the bottom of things. Was it not following those events that the government and the Solicitor General were forced to divulge the criminal arson incidents-

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LIB

André Ouellet (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

Tell us about the Wolfe monument in Quebec City.

February 17, 1978

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

-the dynamite stealing incidents. Mr. Speaker, when in an otherwise respectable and responsible police department you have committees stealing dynamite, committing arson, issuing false communiques people are capable of anything. We should, I repeat, ask officer Samson since he is alive and able to talk-

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LIB

Claude-André Lachance

Liberal

Mr. Lachance:

That's a real farce!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

Mr. Speaker, so we have here a police department that was perfectly aware, and that is why-

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LIB

André Ouellet (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

You should tell us about the Wolfe monument in Quebec City!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

-all Canadians and particularly Quebecers kept wondering about that famous October crisis. That is why we have to know exactly the circumstances prior to the October crisis, during the October crisis and after the Quebec crisis. There are questions unanswered everywhere. Books have been written on this subject. I will not quote them all but there are at least ten literary pieces dealing with that topic.

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LIB

André Ouellet (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

It is doing them too much honour to refer to them as literary pieces.

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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

There are also strange things going on, like different sentences given for the same crime. In the case of Colette and Richard Therrien, convicted of hiding the Rose brothers, they were given a very light sentence-

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LIB

André Ouellet (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

By the same judge?

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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

And in the case of Michel Viger, a much longer sentence, five or six times longer. How can this be explained for exactly the same offence? Mr. Speaker, everybody is questioning that, especially after seeing the impact of this apprehended insurrection and the implementation of the War Measures Act. Mr. Speaker, these questions will have to be answered. The RCMP knew what was going on, because that is its job. The 1973 January issue of the Financial Post, on pages 23 and 24, gives a detailed account of the RCMP involvement in a general conspiracy. That question also should be answered and we have a right to know why it has not been done. I made statements in 1972, as I have been trying to get to the bottom of this since 1970. Mr. Marchand, who was then minister, said that Rene Matte was certainly making Weird statements-

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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SC

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Matte:

-and immediately after evidence was given here before the Committee on broadcasting, films and art subventions in 1969, that Mr. Marchand who was then Minister did not know.

Well, let's see. He didn't know anything about it. Mr. Cote, chief attorney for the City of Montreal, had to tell him that was indeed the case. And, Mr. Speaker, when I state that the

Royal Canadian Mounted Police were perfectly aware of what was happening, it is not I, Rene Matte, who is speaking. The facts speak for themselves. Some very clear, very revealing testimonies were heard by the members of this House at least a year before the October crisis. The committee proceedings of November 27 and 28, 1969 which explain that the RCMP knew exactly how things stood for a long time, a very long time are also available. I would like to quote here one paragraph drawn from all these testimonies. In one instance, Mr. Cote, chief attorney for the City of Montreal, answers that:

RCMP agents and Quebec Police Force agents share offices with the Montreal police force. And if they are on the premises when some searches are launched-and they are there most of the time-they usually go along with the Montreal policemen.

Also on November 27, Mr. Saulnier added:

Yes, and this confirms the cooperation I was referring to in my remarks this morning. I am told that in several cases people work in the same office and searches are made at the same time by the various police forces.

Well, Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious and I have the evidence before me that we knew of the matter even as far back as 1963, when the first bombs exploded. Further on the report says:

Ever since 1963, when the first FLQ bombs exploded, we have been in the first stage of the revolutionary struggle which will develop into a total unrest situation which will culminate into an overall economic, political and social crisis. We are very rapidly reaching this critical point especially during the six last months.

This document produced by the Montreal municipal authorities shows clearly that terrorist activities were going on and that something had to be done. Mr. Speaker, that is not all. Mr. Saulnier who is, as everyone knows, a responsible and serious man went even as far as to say before this committee that he had informed the Prime Minister and the cabinet on several occasions, on three instances at least, of the whole situation. Mr. Speaker, in the face of such patent facts, we should wonder to what extent had the government planned the whole thing and therefore how far were they prepared to let terrorism go unchecked in an effort to ruin those advocating a quite normal and indeed very democratic idea.

Mr. Speaker, I see you are ready to rise. It would-

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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. I regret to interrupt the hon. member but his allotted time has expired. He may continue if there is unanimous consent. I can give him one more minute, but in order for him to continue, there must be unanimous consent. Is there unanimous consent?

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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

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PC

Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. W. Baldwin (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Matte) was not able to continue. He was making some very interesting revelations, but perhaps I can carry on from where he left off. Also I am sorry the Solicitor General (Mr. Blais) did not speak prior to me. However, the hon. member for Perth-Wilmot (Mr. Jarvis) will speak after the Solicitor General. Perhaps the Solicitor General will be the ham between two slices of bread.

February 17, 1978

The reason I would have preferred the Solicitor General to speak prior to me was because of the answer he gave today, which was related to this particular issue in a general way. I asked the Solicitor General if, in the discharge of his responsibilities in signing an affidavit under section 41(2) of the Federal Court Act, when he had to declare by affidavit or certificate that a document might well be free from disclosure, because it was a matter of national security, he took into consideration whether the document was embarrassing to the government. Most hon. members and most members of the media know that is the first consideration which the Solicitor General, and some of his predecessors, gave to the question of the discharge of responsibility. That having been done, then the Solicitor General can decide whether national security is involved.

I realize hon. members of the government believe national security and the omnipotence and the survival of the Liberal government are one and the same thing. Many millions of Canadians do not believe that at all. The Solicitor General should examine the provisions of Section 41(2) of the Federal Court Act. As I understood the press release, his counsel indicated that he was releasing three documents to the commission because they tended to corroborate a statement made by the predecessor of the Solicitor General in the House. That is not good enough. Much more than that is required. Extraordinary powers are given to the government to be exercised through the Solicitor General. They must be exercised on a much more substantial ground than the question of benefiting or embarrassing the government.

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LIB

Jean-Jacques Blais (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

The hon. member should read the entire statement.

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PC

Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

The Solicitor General's statements to the contrary do not impress me at all. I know what the facts are. I know what kind of consideration is given to this issue by the Solicitor General.

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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp

Liberal

Mr. Sharp:

The hon. member's mind is closed.

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February 17, 1978