Yves FOREST

FOREST, Yves, Q.C., B.A., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Missisquoi (Quebec)
Birth Date
June 25, 1921
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Forest
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=1e1554aa-39d7-4a3d-a03e-bb6490bee6ec&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
LIB
  Stanstead (Quebec)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
LIB
  Stanstead (Quebec)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Missisquoi (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council (August 30, 1968 - September 30, 1970)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 185)


March 23, 1971

Mr. Yves Forest (Brome-Missisquoi):

Mr. Speaker, 1 certainly cannot support the hon. member's bill, even though I agree that in some extreme and exceptional cases presumption could create embarrassment. But the bill in its present form could certainly not be sent to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee for study because it would have to be amended. In fact, as I mentioned before, it refers to Criminal Code sections 222 and 223 as they were before the amendment of section 222, which covered the crime of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, and section 223 which involved driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. It is therefore a slightly less serious crime than under section 222.

Well since the bill was amended section 222 was deleted and moreover the minimum imprisonment of seven days on summary conviction was cancelled. The new section 222 pertains to driving a motor vehicle while the driver's ability is impaired owing to intoxication or the influence of a narcotic and retains the word "imprisonment" but only for the second or subsequent offences.

A new section 223 was added which covers the refusal without legitimate reason to give breath samples when a police officer requests them for valid and logical reasons.

Then a new offence was created under section 224, that of driving with a blood alcohol content of over .08.

I find it difficult to understand the wording of the bill as it contains a new clause, clause 223A, which states as follows:

"Sections 222 and 223 shall not apply where the motor vehicle is not in motion and the driver, having realized that he was intoxicated or that his ability to drive was impaired, has, for that reason alone, refrained from putting his motor vehicle in motion or stopped the same, and is also in a position to establish that he had no intention of driving or continuing to drive, while intoxicated or while his ability to drive was impaired."

The accused still has to prove that he did not intend to drive or to continue driving.

So, there is not much difference with the old section 224 (2) which contained the following assumption: where a person occupies the seat ordinarily occupied by the driver of a motor vehicle he shall be deemed to have the care or control of the vehicle unless he establishes that he did not enter or mount the vehicle for the purpose of setting it in motion.

Now, the clause proposed by the hon. member for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) does not amend much the present provision, since the former provisions of the act allowed for this presumption. And if I am not mistaken, this presumption was introduced into the Criminal Code in 1947. This was certainly logical because previously a driver could easily establish that he did not intend to drive his vehicle.

Obviously, when Parliament passed that legislation, it was thinking of all the dangers involved when a driver, willfully or nor, drives a vehicle while under the influ-

Criminal Code

ence of drugs. Usually the person himself knows what was his intention when he decided to drive his car.

In the explanatory notes it is said that the purpose of this bill is to amend the Criminal Code so as not to penalize drivers who are wise enough not to drive or to stop their car immediately.

Perhaps it was mentioned that some drivers are smart enough to stop their car in certain cases and say they did not intend to drive it. So it might be too easy perhaps to establish their non-responsibility.

I agree with the hon. member that, in some cases, it is not easy to prove it, as far as care and control of the vehicle is concerned and, in the past, various decisions have been rendered as shown by our jurisprudence. Even in certain cases when it was utterly impossible to drive a vehicle because it had come to a dead stop due to outside circumstances, the accused was found guilty. Let me say to the hon. member that there are many extreme cases.

I remember one from days of private practice. An individual walking out of a hotel and who felt intoxicated asked one of his friends to drive his car. He had asked his friend to drive him home and while driving through a narrow street a slight accident happened. Of course, the car stopped and the owner was later asked by the police to take his car out of the way, then he was given a ticket for driving while his ability to drive was impaired. Although these facts had been recognized, the judge decided that this was the law and even though the car had been driven only about 100 feet the driver was responsible and the charge stood.

I admit that there are extreme cases where it is difficult to establish the presumption provided for in the law. But are we going to ignore this presumption, considering that in all the other cases where the drivers have stopped their car or are asleep at the wheel they have the care or control of it and have little chance of driving their car?

We all admit that with the number of car accidents and the daily parade before the courts of people charged with driving while their ability to drive was impaired, there is no need to restrict the prescriptions of the act; I think that they are not too severe to cover general cases. All those acquainted with the courts and those who read newspapers see that every day a growing number of people, notwithstanding increasingly stern penalties, are charged with driving a motor vehicle while drunk or vhile their ability was impaired by alcohol.

There is even less need to amend the legislation since section 224 was enacted and use of breathalyzer established positively determine the proportion of alcohol in the blood of a motorist. The rate of .08 per cent recognized by all experts, as was outlined in the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs during the study of this matter, had been suggested and was approved, I believe, by the Canadian Bar Association and several other bodies whose opinion was that a higher rate would make driving a motor vehicle extremely dangerous. I could quote statistics before the House in that respect. Everybody knows that such cases occur in large numbers.

Criminal Code

It has been established by experts that alcohol is an important factor in most fatal accidents. Now is not the time to restrict the application of the act in such cases.

Even if one does not take into account the changes that were made, this would not change much in the act as the presumption remains. As to the general principle of suppressing the presumption in some cases, I do not think, in view of the danger caused by the presence of intoxicated drivers on the roads, that the time is appropriate for suppressing or reducing the effect of the presumption created by the act.

For these reasons, I cannot support the bill introduced by the hon. member and I hope that we shall have an opportunity to hear other members concerning the changes proposed by Bill C-33.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING IMPAIRED DRIVERS
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March 23, 1971

Mr. Forest:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The hon. member's bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code by adding a new section 223A. The explanatory note refers to sections 222 and 223. The bill gives the wording of sections 222 and 223 of the Criminal Code that existed before the amendments that were adopted by the House in 1969, I believe, in the Criminal Law Amendment Act which we referred to as the omnibus bill.

I submit that, as presented, the bill could not be referred to the justice committee without amendment because it refers to sections of the Code that are no longer in existence. Sections 222 to 224 were amended by the omnibus bill. I raise this point because I expect many hon. members will be interested in the bill. Although debate will go until six o'clock and the bill will not be referred, I would point out that in its present form the bill is irregular and would have to be amended.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING IMPAIRED DRIVERS
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March 18, 1971

Mr. Forest:

Would the hon. member permit a question?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TEXTILE AND CLOTHING BOARD ACT
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March 18, 1971

Mr. Forest:

Would the hon. member favour similar representation on other federal boards such as the Canadian Wheat Board, the Grain Commission and others.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TEXTILE AND CLOTHING BOARD ACT
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November 26, 1970

Mr. Yves Forest (Brome-Missisquoi):

Mr. Speaker, since we are discussing a motion of a temporary character and that we will soon have the opportunity to consider at length the matter of textile products and the government policy on this subject, my remarks will be brief.

November 26, 1970

I hope, as does the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin), that this motion, which covers merely an extension of the Order in Council up to November 1971, the expiry date of the Order in Council in respect of the surtax on some shirts, may be passed quickly, because the expiry date is drawing near.

Mr. Speaker, I support the measure passed by the government last June, in order to curb imports of shirts into Canada. As a matter of fact, this measure intends to help an important sector of the textile industry until such time as a new policy on textile products is put into effect as announced by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce here, toward the end of the last session.

We are keenly concerned with the problems facing the textile industry and we have discussed them time and again, in committee, with other members specially concerned with them, and we have, on several occasions, made representations to the responsible government authorities, after many discussions with industries and unions involved.

I can tell the minister that the new program announced has been, on the whole, favourably received by all concerned but, as in the case of all programs, we are reserving judgment until we can see how fast and efficiently it will be implemented.

As the minister indicated earlier, this measure will give shirt manufacturers some protection against massive imports from low-cost countries, or countries where industries are nationalized, until such time as the new Textile and Clothing Board, the membership of which was announced last October, has been able to study and examine the whole problem and subsequently make recommendations to the proper authorities as to steps required to standardize and streamline this industry which is vital for the country.

I know that the shirt industry has been particularly affected for about fifteen years by a constant, immoderate and inadmissible increase of imports which lately contributed to the closing down of a certain number of factories and put others in an unbearable situation.

But the measure which was adopted last June and whose effect will be extended by the passage of this motion was certainly well received by all shirtmakers who are struggling for survival.

I insist that we take as soon as possible all necessary steps to protect at last the textile industry against irresponsible imports and to ensure that this industry whose survival is essential for the economy of Canada and especially of Quebec goes in for short and long term planning.

It should be recalled that in the past we have outdone ourselves in welcoming textile products from developing or low-cost countries. For instance, in 1966, Canada imported, per capita, three times as many textile products as the United States and about twice as many as Great Britain, and this inflow has surely not decreased since.

Surtax on Shirt Imports

The shirt industry for several years now has had to face a major volume of imports which reached a peak in 1968 while decreasing to some extent in 1969. But the situation is still critical and we must take action if we care for the survival of at least part of the industry. Like others, the textile industry is in need of a long-term overall policy which will allow it to build-up and modernize accordingly, to contribute as it should to our economy, to create jobs, to pay taxes and, finally, to operate in the same manner as any other responsible Canadian industry.

I know that, at the present time, large investments are in abeyance pending a clearer situation and knowledge of what exact direction will be taken by the industry.

Textile plants are mainly located in centres where the economy needs stimulation, in rural areas especially, i.e. in rural areas of Quebec and Ontario, and in some parts of western Canada. It is urgent to implement the new program aimed at establishing a development structure and conditions liable to create a climate of confidence in which the textiles industry could invest, and also to undertake or carry on the manufacturing of products which could compete increasingly on the international market.

Mr. Speaker, it should not be forgotten that one person out of eight employed in manufacturing in Canada is employed in the textile industry and that, in Quebec, the textile and clothing industry supplies 20 per cent of the jobs in the manufacturing sector. It cannot be blamed for dragging its feet with regard to modernization, because our industry is one of the most advanced in the world, from the technological angle, and has not stopped investing to stay up to date. If the government applies in a quick, efficient and realistic manner the new policy announced by the minister, I am sure that this industry will continue its efforts to adapt to future markets and to contribute more to the progress of the Canadian economy.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INDUSTRY
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