April 7, 1932 (17th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Joseph-Arthur Bradette



I should like to refer to the case of Fontaine and Lacasse, who, on account of a miscarriage of justice a few years ago, were sent to a penitentiary. Afterwards it was found that they were innocent. I understand they have made application to the Department of Justice for compensation. To bring the facts clearly before the committee I shall read an article which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen of March 17, 1932:
The Citizen has received a letter from Lionel Fontaine in which he appeals to us again to draw his case to the attention of parliament. This we do in the belief that until some restitution is made a blot will remain on Canada's reputation for impartial justice.
Fontaine is one of the two men (Lacasse is the other) who were charged, "identified," and sentenced as the guilty persons in the robbery of an Ottawa milk salesman in Rockcliffe in the
[Mr. Guthrie.l
fall of 1929. They were given two years and served seven months of that term before their innocence, by an extraordinary turn of events, in which the police had no part, was established.
It is now nearly two years since Fontaine and Lacasse were shown to be the victoms of a miscarriage of justice. But they have received no redress.
Then the closing paragraph is as follows:
Presuming no steps have yet been taken to "amend the incident" it is time that something were done. Fontaine asks on behalf of himself and Lacasse for compensation to the amount he would have earned if gainfully employed during the seven months the two lay in prison innocently convicted. We respectfully call the attention of the authorities to this request once more and suggest that the compensation be paid. .
I think the request is very reasonable, because had they been falsely accused by a layman he would have had to make compensation.

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