October 16, 1970 (28th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Jacques Guilbault


Mr. Jacques Guilbeault (Saini-Jacques):

Mr. Speaker, first of all I wish to congratulate as warmly as possible the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr. Asselin). His words and particularly the position he has taken, clearly identify him as a member from the province of Quebec who understands the serious problems now facing Canada, and especially Quebec.
I would ask the hon. member for Charlevoix and his three Progressive Conservative colleagues from the province of Quebec to talk to the other members of then-party and bring home to them what the situation is in the province of Quebec, so that when the question is put they will not be the only ones to speak with the voice of reason, but the whole opposition along with them.
Mr. Speaker, rather than make a bombastic speech leading nowhere this morning, the Leader of the Official Opposition (Mr. Standfield) should have immediately
Invoking of War Measures Act
given the floor to his colleagues from the province of Quebec, for they can appreciate fully what is taking place in their province and will know which way to vote when the motion is put.
Mr. Speaker, I was disgusted today when I heard the member for Peace River, (Mr. Baldwin) read from the Ottawa Citizen a melodramatic story telling of a family being awakened and a bird cage searched. I have always respected and trusted the member for Peace River. He is a serious man, steady and experienced. But, when in a debate as serious as this one is, he introduces sentimental and futile arguments like that one, I wonder what to think.
Mr. Speaker, we have had, in the ranks of the New Democratic Party, dedicated defenders of the rights of the individual, but I imagine that today's spectacle will continue later when one of its members is recognized. Still, I should like all hon. members to understand that when we come to a decision later on, we will have to decide on the suspension of individual rights. We all realize that whether or not we like it, individual rights will be suspended temporarily, and it is up to us to decide whether they will be suspended by an order of the government, or by the activity of the terrorists in Quebec. That is the choice we must make. We will suspend them through the legality of an act adopted by this House, or we will allow the terrorists in Quebec to suspend them in their own way.
We will also have to choose between the rights of the individual or collective rights. We may be violating individual rights by granting greater powers to the police forces; this doubtless will annoy some people. But, are not the collective rights of the people to live in peace, harmony, free from fear, more important than sparing a few individuals the annoyance of being awakened in the morning? That is the whole question.
To my mind-and I say this sincerely-the harmful effects of the legislation the government put before us will be very limited. Indeed, who is afraid of being disturbed by the police, if not that i per cent of the Quebec people who live outside the law and pursue the aims and objectives of the FLQ.
[DOT] (8:30 p.m.)
As for me, I am not afraid of the police force. I am sure that my honest neighbours, the citizens of my riding who lead a normal life will not be inconvenienced by such measures. Of course, those who live in cells, who attempt to destroy our society, who are plotting, I am sure, while we are discussing, are inconvenienced and cry that their civil rights are being violated. However, common sense tells us that the majority of Canadians were expecting some action on our part, a positive action. Well, the time has come. Whether we extend the debate for two three or four days, the people expect Canadian parliamentarians to restore law and order in Canada.
Before closing, I should like to read an excerpt of the editorial published in La Presse, in this morning's edition. We can read the following, and I quote:
For the second time in one year, the army has been called out in Montreal. These two interventions of the army prove, in the

October 16, 1970
Invoking of War Measures Act
last analysis, that there can be no lasting authority without force.
The purpose of any civilization is to delay the outbreak and the use of force; to replace force by words, that is to say by the law and negotiation within the law. But when words have become meaningless, through too much lies; or when they have been replaced by machine-gun and dynamite, force must be used. A disciplined and visible force is better than an invisible and lawless force.
Is authority necessary or not in a society? The answer is simple: It is necessary.

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