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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 022

CONTENTS

Thursday, October 29, 2020




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 022
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Committees of the House

Liaison 

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 107(3), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Liaison Committee.
    The first report is entitled “Committee Activities and Expenditures April 1, 2019-March 31, 2020”, and the second report is entitled “Committee Activities and Expenditures April 1, 2020-August 18, 2020”. These reports highlight the work and accomplishments of each committee, as well as the budgets that fund the activities approved by committee members.

Petitions

Foreign Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition from a group of Canadians concerned about the effects of international economic sanctions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The electronic petition, e-2630, with 527 signatures, calls on the government to lift the sanctions against 20 countries around the world, in line with the March 23 letter from the UN Secretary General.

Sex Selection  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege to present multiple petitions this morning.
    The first petition is from Canadians across the country who are calling on the government to expeditiously pass a gender-selection abortion bill. They are calling on members of Parliament to pass the bill that was presented by my hon. colleague from Yorkton—Melville.

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I have today is from Canadians across the country who are calling on the Government of Canada to create a national strategy on palliative care. This would ensure that all Canadians have access to high-quality palliative care right up until the end of their lives and would ensure Canadians are comfortable in their death.

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition is from folks across Canada who are calling on the government to enact legislation to protect the conscience rights of health care professionals, physicians and health care institutions. The petitioners recognize that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the conscience rights and freedom of religion, and they note that the Canadian Medical Association is in agreement with this as well.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition I have to present is about the forced organ harvesting that is happening around the world. It is signed by people from across Canada. They are calling on the government to enact, from the previous Parliament, Bill C-350 and Bill S-240, which would make it illegal to travel abroad to purchase organs that have been illegally harvested.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, my last petition this morning is on the detention of the Uighurs in China. The petitioners are concerned about the genocide that is happening there to the Uighur people. They are calling on the government to use the magnitsky act to bring sanctions against Chinese officials to ensure that this atrocity does not continue.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, I am submitting a petition signed by several hundred people across the country, including people in Edmonton West, that calls on Parliament to enact legislation to prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to purchase forcefully harvested organs.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from Canadians who are concerned with the international trafficking of human organs that have been illegally harvested and removed from individuals without their consent. It addresses things like selling somebody's heart to someone who is willing to pay money for it. The petitioners would like Canada to pass legislation to criminalize this behaviour and make people who do that inadmissible to our country, because this kind of behaviour is detestable.

Questions on the Order Paper

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Prime Minister's Official Apology  

    That the House demand an official apology from the Prime Minister on behalf of the Government of Canada for the enactment, on October 16, 1970, of the War Measures Act and the use of the army against Quebec’s civilian population to arbitrarily arrest, detain without charge and intimidate nearly 500 innocent Quebeckers.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, in 1970, the House of Commons of Canada voted to implement the War Measures Act. I want to focus on the word “war”. A war is either a conflict with a foreign enemy or a civil war. It may be the result of insurrection, and that is what we will be talking about. In this case, the War Measures Act was invoked in response to what we now know was a lie. That has been amply acknowledged. Now the government is refusing to take responsibility for that lie and apologize for it. This is like the only kid in the family who does not get a Christmas present. Everyone has been apologizing for everything. It seems to me that the Prime Minister of Canada apologizes when it snows, but he will not apologize to the 500 Quebeckers who were detained and arrested or to their families and their descendants.
    This is an eminently troubling and serious context, but it proved to be an unfortunate opportunity to turn a crisis that should have been resolved into an apprehended false insurrection, with democratic leaders and newspaper executives as imaginary protagonists and adversaries.
    Five hundred people were detained with no explanation, no warrant and no trial, using abusive search and interrogation tactics. This has caused long-lasting trauma. We have tried to share information about a number of cases to make the point that this issue should be more about compassion than politics. As my esteemed colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert said, it is important that these individuals be able to put this behind them.
    The current Prime Minister of Canada said just a few months ago that no army should be used against its own people. That is just plain common sense, except under certain dictatorships. However, just 50 years ago another prime minister, who was also named Trudeau and whose name I can say, sent the army in against its own people.
    Thirty-two members of the Bloc Québécois sit in the House of Commons of Canada to uphold this same idea of independence for the Quebec nation, an idea that Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau tried to crush once and for all.
    The 32 of us, backed by millions of votes, attest to the fact that he failed. In light of that failure, the House of Commons could do the honourable thing and recognize that it was unacceptable and unjustified, as history has made clear.
    The current Prime Minister has apologized to the Japanese community, the Ukrainian community and the Italian community for internments during the Second World War. He was right to do so. Why not make an equally well meaning apology to these 500 Quebec families?
    Historically, the government has also not apologized to the Métis people for the crisis that culminated in the hanging of Louis Riel. Nor has it apologized to the Acadians who were deported thousands of kilometres from their home. It is as though Prime Minister Trudeau's apologies are reserved for anyone who is not francophone.
    This raises a lot of questions from a historical perspective. The Prime Minister is Her Majesty's government representative in Canada. He is telling us that the country moved on a long time ago, it is time to move on to something else and that we are playing politics, but the War Measures Act is not that old.

  (1010)  

     To engage in politics is to serve the people. Serving the people is impossible without having some compassion. I am not certain that being the heir of a self-proclaimed aristocracy with a good dose of intellectual arrogance demonstrates great compassion towards people who have suffered.
    I doubt that the Prime Minister has ever closed his eyes and imagined that a machine gun was pointed at him, his father or his children and that, under the law, the person holding the gun had the right to use it with no questions asked. That is unbelievable violence that leaves an indelible mark on people's psyche. It is still very real 50 years later. Does that not deserve an apology?
    The Canadian government ordered raids similar to those carried out in eastern Europe in the communist era. It used, threatened, encouraged, called for and wanted interrogation methods that caused scars that people still carry today. It pursued tens of thousands of interrogations, and it sought to cause costly damage without ever fixing the homes where children were woken up in the middle of the night.
    There was a will to repress with violence a nation that had not been assimilated or even seduced into assimilating on its own. That nation had not been persuaded to give up its language, its culture and its arts. The government would not even hesitate to lock up artists as well.
    The government used the pretext of an apprehended insurrection because the law required it and because what is legal is not necessarily ethical. It is now well known that Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Bourassa and Mr. Drapeau, without talking about it directly, together came up with a lie worthy of the Francoists, whose dishonourable remaining adherents still roam the streets of Barcelona at night with a similar goal.
    The government suppressed a nation's democratic will to exercise the right to self-determination. It was said that this was an apprehended insurrection to overthrow the Government of Quebec, nothing less. Who devised this insurrection? Who led it? Members will not believe it, and I dare them not to laugh when I tell them. One of the alleged leaders of the insurrection was Claude Ryan, the director of Le Devoir, whose violent charisma we saw later. René Lévesque, the one we all knew, was also allegedly the leader of the insurrection. I am trying to imagine him with a rifle in hand. That is beyond ridiculous. There was also Guy Rocher. Could there be a more peaceful intellectual than Guy Rocher? I wish everyone could have the opportunity to meet him. This was absolute folly, but it was intentional, calculated and designed to stir up trouble, despite the warnings of the RCMP, an institution that all members of the House revere. The RCMP specifically told cabinet that there was no apprehended insurrection and there was no need to impose the War Measures Act. That warning was quickly swept under the rug.
    There was intent behind that. You do not arrest 500 innocent people, upset 30,000 others and terrorize an entire nation without a specific intent, which was to crush support for a movement.

  (1015)  

    That is something the Bolsheviks would do. Sure, we must always condemn acts of terrorism, but ideally you do not wait 10 days to do so. All forms of terrorism must be condemned, and we did so without hesitation. Paul Rose's son did so. We condemned terrorism.
    That said, there is no connection between the use of the War Measures Act and the terrorist actions. Honourable citizens, our Canadian neighbours, were fed misinformation. Hate for Quebec nationalists was intentionally fuelled and then taken in, absorbed and embraced. This left an enduring stain on the Quebec nation.
    My Twitter feed has become a frightful cesspool of hateful messages, which come in by the thousands. They mainly come from people who are misinformed, so I forgive them, but I do not respond because that would be a waste of my time. They have been fed lie after lie, which they continue to perpetuate today. Of course, the opposite is said in French. Canadian bilingualism will remain one of the greatest myths to survive the 21st century.
    The raids did not lead to the arrest of a single terrorist. It does not matter because that was not the objective. The raids were not meant to catch terrorists. The terrorist kidnappers, who are to be condemned and denounced, were used as a pretext to quash an idea that seemed like a threat to Canada, even though that idea was growing peacefully and democratically. That idea was legitimate, whether people agreed with it or not, and it was independence for the nation of Quebec.
    In 1970, they deliberately created confusion. Yesterday, the current Prime Minister of Canada purposely re-created that confusion and perpetuated it. That is a crying shame in an institution that should make truth one of its core values. In 1970, Canada engaged in state terrorism. In 2020, Canada still condones state terrorism.
    In 1837, Canadians—or the French, as they called them back then—rose up, exasperated, but they were repressed into a lasting fear. Then they tried to assimilate them, claiming that it was for the good of this poor gang who had no culture or history. However, things turned out very well for us.
    In 1968, Quebeckers felt humiliated on the day that would become their national holiday. How many were arrested? How many were beaten? They were trying to scare them once again.
    When the Parti Québécois was elected in 1976, they tried to scare them.
    During the 1980 referendum, they tried to scare them.
    During the 1995 referendum, they tried to scare them.
    In October 1970, they tried to scare them.
    Each time, people thought it was the last time, but it will never be the last time because, on a daily and weekly basis, Quebeckers are told it is over and nobody is interested anymore. Anytime someone actually takes the time to look into it, however, it turns out that a lot of people are indeed still interested.
    I suggest we do things differently. I suggest we proceed as neighbouring nations and friends rather than use force, intimidation and public money to suppress the legitimate expression of a democratic will.

  (1020)  

    The Prime Minister of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada and even, I might add, the Conservatives, including their leader, Mr. Stanfield, voted to invoke the War Measures Act. Later, they clearly stated that they regretted doing so because invoking the War Measures Act was not justified. The federal Parliament, which was also made up of quite a few honourable people at the time, would not have voted to invoke the War Measures Act had it not been fed a bunch of lies.
    It took incredible cynicism and a profound hatred of Quebec nationalism for them to be prepared to go that far and run roughshod over the democratic values that those in the upper echelons of the government of the day had publicly championed for decades.
    All those important people were on the wrong side of history. All those people were sure that Quebeckers would never recover from the humiliation. All those people were betting that Quebec was beaten, that Quebec would never rise up again, that Quebec would give in and be a province like all the rest and that Quebec would resign itself to being conquered yet again by fear and lies. Maybe Canada was wrong.
    The Prime Minister says I do not speak for Quebec. That is true. However, he is in a minority situation and does not speak for Canada, either. Quebec speaks for Quebec, and I look forward to Quebec being able to speak for itself again.
    Does the head of state have the right to lie, cheat and send in the army against his own people simply because he is the boss, because he said, “just watch me”, because he does not know the difference between common good and hubris against his own people?
    Perhaps Canada has it wrong. We will be there to offer an alternative to those Quebeckers who are sick of being humiliated. We will be there to offer them what we hope will be a better country, one they can call their own. This will come one day, with another proposal and another election.

  (1025)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of my heritage, which is rooted, in good part, in the province of Quebec. When I listen to leader of the Bloc, I can understand and appreciate why the Bloc is presenting this motion, even though my priority for the people of Quebec, as it is for all Canadians, is still the coronavirus.
    Having said that, the question I have for the leader of the Bloc is this. Would he not acknowledge that it was support requested by the premier of the province of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal, to which the national government at the time responded? The Bloc today says to listen to what the province of Quebec is saying, and to act on what the province of Quebec is saying.
    I am wondering if the leader of the Bloc can explain, or expound on, those two points. Why does he believe the Premier of Quebec back then and the mayor of Montreal felt it was necessary?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there are none so blind as those who will not see, and none more unconscious than those who renounce their conscience.
    The mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau, and the Quebec premier at the time, Robert Bourassa, are indeed among those the Bloc Québécois and I vehemently denounce. Neither of those two would have a statue erected in their name in the great hall of historical bravery, and I certainly do not mind saying so.
    Of course, we have heard it loud and clear: The government is busy with COVID-19. How convenient. As one of my colleagues has often said, COVID-19 is a good excuse. Everything else has to stop. There will be no snow removal this winter because of COVID-19. We can only deal with COVID-19. That is it. It is a pretext, a smoke screen, something to hide behind, to the point of being hypocritical.
    I have an idea. If the government wants to focus on COVID-19, we can finish today's proceedings in 35 minutes. The Prime Minister just has to come to the House, apologize and be done with it. Then he can deal with COVID-19.
    That would be so much easier. Unfortunately, while pride may be a virtue, hubris is decidedly not.

  (1030)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member for Saint-Laurent is on the other side of the House. I cannot say what I am thinking when I see her on the other side of the House.
    The leader of the Bloc Québécois is inviting us to reflect on the events that occurred 50 years ago. Over the course of the day, we will have the opportunity to state and explain our position and to put things in context. I will do so later.
    The leader of the Bloc Québécois used some very strong, very harsh language, which I believe he has the right to do. He spoke about lies, invented situations, lying and cheating, and disinformation. We will have the opportunity to specifically respond to each of these points.
    I would like the leader of the Bloc Québécois to stand up here in the House and explain why he carefully omitted to inform the House that the government was acting at the explicit request of the Government of Quebec. That could be interpreted as disinformation. Why did he not mention this fact in his speech?
    Mr. Speaker, our knowledge of history readily admits this fact. I say this with all due respect to my esteemed colleague, who made a reference that we have no right to make and that I will not make either.
    Let's take a positive view, since that is the hallmark of the Bloc Québécois, and say that the Conservatives are well represented in the House. The Bloc's turnout is not so bad either, and I can even say the same for the NDP. However, there is one political party whose turnout is not as high, but perhaps its lack of presence can be put down to shame.
    It is true that a letter from Robert Bourassa had been sent, and it is true that before accepting the proposal, then Prime Minister Trudeau did not want to do this at all. One fine morning, he came up with the idea that there might be an insurrection, which had been mentioned by someone who was advising the City of Montreal. Being an imaginative person, the then prime minister of Canada thought this was a good opportunity to crush the separatists once and for all. That is about the size of it.
    I invite the members of the House to consult historians who are not card-carrying members of the Bloc Québécois. They will find very few who will say that an insurrection was apprehended. In fact, I have a feeling that they will not find any historians who have said that, including among contemporary observers, such as the RCMP, which said there was nothing resembling an apprehended insurrection, the legal threshold for invoking the War Measures Act.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for his speech and this initiative.
    Obviously, this is a very broad and highly complex issue. It is important to remember that, at the time, the only newspaper that opposed the War Measures Act was Le Devoir. The only political party that opposed the War Measures Act was the NDP, under the leadership of Tommy Douglas. I think that bears repeating.
    I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about what it means to have a government that suspends the civil and fundamental rights of its citizens and then conducts raids to arrest people like Gaston Miron, Gérald Godin and Pauline Julien.
    Mr. Speaker, I will not be so bold as to claim I can definitively explain that phenomenon, so I will leave that to others. However, I will do something that God knows does not happen very often these days and recognize the NDP's support for the Quebec nation in 1970.
    One thing I will say is that members of Quebec's elite, who refused to identify as part of the Quebec nation, felt justified in suspending the civic rights of their fellow citizens, sending in the army to break down doors and point automatic rifles at people's heads, children not excepted, in an attempt to intimidate, crush and permanently cow a democratic political movement.
    What does that mean? Historians will study what it means for the past, but I have an idea of what it could mean for the future.

  (1035)  

    Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank my leader for his outstanding speech.
    We already know how the Liberals will vote on this motion. However, it is less clear how the Conservatives will vote. I am wondering about that.
    How will the Conservatives vote, and why would they vote against this motion?
    Mr. Speaker, I gather that the Conservatives are not enthusiastic. I sense no enthusiasm for our motion. I do sense a more respectful attitude from the Conservative side than from the Liberal side, for obvious reasons that I will make an effort to respect. However, I would have liked them to do two things, which are complementary and not mutually exclusive.
    The first is to unequivocally denounce the terror, violence and thoroughly dishonourable means used by a tiny terrorist group. The second is to denounce, with equal vigour, the state terrorism deployed by the Canadian government, after the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau misled the House of Commons during a vote. We know that one wrong does not justify another. Fifty years later, they are both worthy of firm condemnation.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Sherbrooke.
    We are here in this House to discuss the motion moved by the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly and leader of the Bloc Québécois on the October crisis. This motion brings us back to a sad and tragic period in our history. In fact, it brings back painful memories and also makes us say: never again. It makes us realize how far we have come while reminding us how privileged we are to live in this society that chose democracy, dialogue and respect for differences.
    Let me preface my remarks by telling the House about something a little more personal. I arrived in Quebec a few years before the October crisis. We arrived in Quebec as political refugees. My father was a candidate for governor and a lawyer who represented countless political prisoners who in fact were student leaders or union leaders who were against the regime at the time. My father was jailed and tortured. A bomb was placed in our home. All of us were injured: my father, my mother, my sister Juliana, who was 2, my sister Monica, who was 4, and I was 7. We knew it was a matter of time before we would be killed. We knew it. It was clear.
    We left Argentina to take refuge in Canada, in Quebec. I actually grew up in Sherbrooke. At the time, we said it was more than just a city. We were adopted by Quebec, by a democratic society, a society where issues are resolved through politics, not violence. I grew up like all Quebeckers of my generation, and Canadians, learning what happened during those years. People of my generation, even those born here, and I did not directly experience this dark chapter in our history.
    That is why it is important that we take the time to reflect on everything that happened during those years, but also on what has happened since then, how far we have come as a society. I got involved in politics at a young age, very young. We debated sovereignty and independence all the time, at CEGEPs, universities, cafés, bars, but we debated with words. We debated in a civil, correct manner. Some people in my family are sovereignists. Some of my best friends are as well, and I love each and every one of them. We debated, we argued, and then we made up. That is how we do things back home in Quebec.
    I applaud how the debates evolved, along with our ability to debate. A sign of a mature and responsible democracy is one that can go through difficult times, learn from those times and emerge stronger as a society. This is one of the reasons I am so proud to be a Quebecker.
    The October crisis and the events leading up to it were the only time in the history of Quebec during which citizens turned to weapons, violence and terrorism for political gain. On the 50th anniversary of this crisis, the Bloc Québécois has decided to dredge up these sad events. The Bloc Québécois has every right to do so, but it has a moral and political obligation to rise above partisan debate and to share all of the facts.
    I know that everyone here regrets the events that led to the October crisis in 1970. Everyone does. However, the Bloc Québécois's motion presents just one side of the story, and I find that incredibly sad. Yes, there were arrests, but we all know that is not the whole story. That period was marked by many other tragedies.
    On Saturday, October 10, 1970, at 6:18 p.m., Pierre Laporte was playing with his nephew on his front lawn. That was the last time his family saw him alive. Why does the Bloc Québécois not mention this? Why is it ignoring the assassination of this man, who was an MNA and a minister, but above all, a son, father and husband?

  (1040)  

    I would like us to remember Wilfred Vincent O’Neil, a 65-year-old veteran who died when a bomb exploded behind the building where he worked as a night watchman.
    I would also like us to remember Mr. McWilliams and Mr. Pinish, who were killed by a group of FLQ members during an armed robbery at a gun store. I would like us to take a moment to remember Thérèse Morin, a 64-year-old woman who was killed by a bomb planted at the factory where she worked, and Jeanne d’Arc Saint-Germain, who was killed when a bomb went off at National Defence headquarters in Ottawa.
    It is sad to see that the Bloc motion does not condemn these crimes that led to the October Crisis in 1970. Moreover, this is not the only oversight in the Bloc Québécois motion.
    I read a copy of the letter that Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa wrote to the Prime Minister of Canada requesting that he bring in the Canadian army. Here is an excerpt:
    Under the circumstances, on behalf of the Government of Quebec, I request that emergency powers be provided as soon as possible so that more effective steps may be taken. I request particularly that such powers encompass the authority to apprehend and keep in custody individuals who, the Attorney General of Quebec has valid reasons to believe, are determined to overthrow the government through violence and illegal means.
    This letter was written by the Premier of Quebec. He asked the Government of Canada to intervene, which it did.
    I will now come back to the Bloc Québécois motion. The motion calls for an apology, but it ignores many of the facts and much of our history. As I said earlier, the events that led to the October crisis are sad, tragic and deplorable, and the motion does not reflect that. In fact, it does not even mention those events. This is one of the reasons why we cannot support this motion.
    Nobody wants another October crisis. In order to prevent history from repeating itself, it must be addressed in its entirety—its beauty and its ugliness—without erasing the things we refuse to acknowledge. The Bloc's motion presents a partial account of the events and history. We cannot ignore the death of Pierre Laporte, nor can we ignore the other victims and the pain inflicted on their families. This is not a mere historical detail that we can allow ourselves to forget. Furthermore, we cannot ignore the climate of violence at the time, nor can we ignore that the Government of Canada answered the premier of Quebec's request.
    Today, the Bloc is trying to rewrite history in an effort to make it fit the party's ideology. With all due respect to the leader of the Bloc Québécois, his account of history is incomplete. We will not indulge in the partisan politics that seek to divide Quebeckers. We will not do that out of respect for the victims, their families and all Quebeckers. I have a deep love for Quebec, and I am convinced that my Bloc Québécois colleagues do as well. To love Quebec is not to divide Quebeckers. Quite the opposite, it is to unite them.

  (1045)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his very touching speech.
    Few people know his personal story. If there is one person who knows what terrorism means, that is the government leader, since he experienced it in all its ugliness during his childhood.
    His testimony is more powerful than any other here. I want to thank him for sharing it with us.
    My colleague is quite right to say that the Bloc Québécois motion conceals many elements regarding the October crisis in 1970. In his opinion, why did the Bloc Québécois decide to leave out historical facts?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I ask myself the same question. Why did the Bloc Québécois choose to hide this part of our history? It is part of a whole. The events of October 1970 are the continuation of everything that happened before, whether it was the death of so many people, the bombs planted everywhere, the wounded, the dead, the kidnappings, an assassination, the torn families, the grieving families or the suffering society. Why did they not talk about that?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the government House leader for his speech. I think it was written before he heard the speech by the leader of the Bloc Québécois, who strongly condemned the acts of terrorism committed in October 1970. However, the spirit of the motion today has to do with the citizens who were unfairly and arbitrarily arrested. I want to take a moment to name some of them. These people did nothing and did not commit a crime, but they were arrested and had machine guns pointed at them. There was an interesting account today in Le Devoir.
    What does the government House leader have to say to Steve Albert, Richard Amyot, Claude Anctil, Lise André, Jean-Luc Arène, Michel Aubé, Claude Auclair, Élaine Audette, Florent Audette, Lise Balcer, Marcel Barbeau, Robert Barbeau, Louise-Francine Barsalou and René Bataille?
    I could name another 500 people who were unfairly and arbitrarily imprisoned because they did not share the same ideology as the federal government. I am not denying that acts of terrorism took place, but I want to know why the government will not apologize to these people it treated unfairly and arbitrarily.
    What does the member have to say to these people who are now calling on the government to apologize and acknowledge this historical wrong?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    Yes, the people she mentioned suffered, as did their families, but so did tens of thousands of Quebeckers who experienced doubt, uncertainty, anxiety and, in the worst cases, grief, through these difficult periods.
    If the Bloc Québécois leader mentioned it in speech, that is good, but if it was important enough to mention in his speech, why did he not include it in his motion?

  (1050)  

    This historic pandemic has plunged so many of us into mourning.
    Does my colleague believe it is our duty to remember the dead and the grief we have felt and still feel, unfortunately, as we weather this pandemic?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    As a government, as parliamentarians and as a society, it is always our duty to remember the important moments that have punctuated our history. Just as we must remember the events of 50 years ago, we must also remember today's events in the future. That is why our actions today matter so much.
    How will people judge parliamentarians' ability to work together to fight the pandemic? Just as we judge the events of 50 years ago, we will be judged with respect to the events of today.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today after my colleague who grew up in Sherbrooke, the beautiful riding that I now represent.
    In 1970, the October crisis was difficult for all Quebeckers, and 50 years later the ever-present memories of those events are still painful. We have a duty to remember the innocent victims and their families. These people are always uppermost in our minds when we talk about the October crisis.
    It is important to reflect on our history and to study and understand it. That is how we learn from what we have done. The lessons of our history remain rooted in our memories and guide our future actions. Our children and grandchildren must learn from the past. They need to know that violence has never been and will never be an acceptable way to promote political ideas.
    Today, 50 years later, we are in the midst of another crisis unlike any we have ever experienced before. This health crisis is the collective fight of our lives, and every effort is being made to fight it. COVID–19 has devastated Canadians from coast to coast, and Quebec has been hit particularly hard. Quebec is the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada and its economy has been hit harder than any other province.
    The government's role is to keep the public safe from both violence and disease. I am therefore rising in the House today to report on what the government has done to fight this unprecedented crisis and to support Quebeckers in need, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    I would first like to remind the House that Quebec's economy was in good shape before the pandemic. In February 2020, our GDP was up 2.9%, and we recorded an unemployment rate of 5.1%, the lowest since 1976. Businesses were thriving, and their long-term development was robustly supported by our government's efforts to promote innovation and growth.
    With the lockdown, much of our economy is on forced pause. Everyone’s life has been disrupted. This is especially true for entrepreneurs and workers in small and medium-sized businesses. These businesses are a source of good local jobs, but also of local pride. They are the backbone of our economy and our communities.
    Faced with the uncertainty and risks caused by the crisis and with the calls from the provinces and municipalities, our government very quickly understood the importance of helping them weather the crisis and acted very quickly. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Prime Minister has announced a series of measures to support workers and businesses. These measures constitute the largest economic assistance program in Canadian history.
    These include the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which is designed to help businesses keep their employees and rehire the ones they had to lay off. This program has supported more than 3.7 million Canadian workers to date, and many in Quebec have been able to take advantage of it.
    Our government has also worked with financial institutions to provide small businesses with access to a wide range of loans with attractive terms, including the SME loan and guarantee program, through which Export Development Canada can guarantee 80 per cent of new SME operating credit loans and term loans. This financial support is available to our businesses, whether they are exporters or not.
    Another example is the Canada emergency business account. Launched in April, CEBA provides interest-free loans that include a partial write-off for small businesses that have seen a decline in revenues due to COVID-19, but still have fixed costs. By helping these businesses with these costs, CEBA supports the resumption of normal business operations post-COVID-19.

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    Lastly, we introduced the co-lending program for small businesses, in which the Business Development Bank of Canada works with financial institutions to co-finance term loans for up to $6.25 million in additional funds, in an effort to meet small businesses' operational needs in terms of cash flow. We have been responsive to needs, and have continuously defended and improved assistance.
    However, what we heard when we met with entrepreneurs is that, despite the extensive economic and social safety net we set up, smaller businesses were still having a hard time. For that reason, we introduced the regional relief and recovery fund, or RRRF, with a total budget of $962 million, including $211 million for Quebec. The fund is administered by Economic Development Canada for Quebec regions, either directly or indirectly through key partners like community Futures development corporations and the PME MTL network.
    This fund is designed to support businesses at the heart of our local economy that cannot benefit from existing federal programs or that have needs that are not covered by these programs. It provides SMEs and organizations that lack liquidity with emergency financial support to enable them to remain operational by helping them pay their employees and cover their fixed costs, among other things.
    Through the RRRF, we have already been able to offer financial and technical support to more than 300 companies across Quebec and thus contributing to the resilience of a number of SMEs in that province. We have also carried out 3,600 SME financing projects in peri-urban and rural areas under the RRRF with the help of the CFDC network. Overall, between May and October, more than 15,000 jobs were protected in Quebec in thousands of small and medium-sized businesses thanks to the support granted under the RRRF.
    All of these measures have helped protect many jobs in Quebec, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impacts of the health crisis. This crisis has not spared any sector of our economy and, with the second wave, additional support is clearly needed.
    That is why, on October 2, our government announced an additional $69.8 million for CED to help businesses in Quebec recover from the impacts of COVD-19. This amount flows from the additional $600 million in national RRRF funding. This additional investment brings the total amount of assistance provided in Canada through the RRRF to more than $1.5 billion, and the amount for Quebec to $280 million.
    In the Speech from the Throne, we also reiterated our commitment to support businesses and regional economic development and to continue backing communities in the fight against the pandemic. That is why the government intends to introduce legislation to implement the new Canada emergency rent subsidy and to extend the Canada emergency wage subsidy in the near future.
    However, at the same time as we are providing short-term support against COVID-19 to SMEs in Quebec, we are also preparing to help them to take advantage of the business opportunities that are emerging in the new economy taking shape before our eyes. Let me give the House a concrete example.
    CED has just organized the fifth Symposium on the Canadian Defence and Security Market. It brought together the major players in this key industry in our economy, as well as SMEs and research centres in Quebec, in order to create productive networking opportunities for our companies. Let us not forget that Quebec occupies an enviable place in the defence and security sector. In fact, of all jobs in the Canadian defence industry, 23% are located in Quebec.
    Because of this initiative, the SMEs were able to look to the future and position themselves at the heart of the the business opportunities in this sector and the new economic realities of the post-COVID-19 era that are beginning to emerge. We can see that the decisions we are making now will have a major impact on our future prosperity. We are choosing to invest.

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    Our message to workers and SMEs is clear. We were there for them with emergency measures and support, and we are here for them now, standing by them until our economy can reopen in stages.
    We are working with them as we learn from the past—
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for her remarks.
    During his first term, the current Prime Minister apologized on the Government of Canada's behalf six times.
    In the parliamentary secretary's opinion, why would this Prime Minister not agree to apologize now given that he issued a number of apologies during his first term?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent for his question.
    The October crisis was a major event in the history of Quebec and Canada, and we must not downplay its repercussions and its importance to the families involved, especially the families of Mr. Laporte and Mr. Cross, as everyone knows.
    However, during the present crisis, our priority is to look after the health and safety of Canadians and to unite Quebeckers and Canadians during this extraordinary time.
    Mr. Speaker, I understand why the member for Sherbrooke would want to change the subject, but we will bring her back to today's topic.
    Earlier, we were told that we omitted historical facts from our request for an apology, which is completely false. We actually spoke of deplorable events that occurred in that period.
    I would like the member for Sherbrooke to tell me whether, in 1988, 1990 and 2006, when the Government of Canada apologized to the Japanese, Italian and Ukrainian communities for the First and Second World Wars, the government was ignoring the war and the horrors that had taken place. I would like her to respond.
    Mr. Speaker, I will say to my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé that, on the contrary, from the start of the speeches and today's debate, our government has been much more open about all the events surrounding the October crisis, that is to say the historical events, the bombs, the murders, and that it views this event taken as a whole.
    I will turn this question back on my colleague: Why did the motion not reflect all these historical elements?

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    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech, even though I have yet to see a connection with the motion currently on the table.
    Any political violence within a democratic framework is obviously unacceptable, but when people's rights and freedoms are taken away, when hundreds of Quebeckers are arrested without a warrant, when they are held without charges, when they are threatened and traumatized, it seems to me that an apology is in order.
    Why does my colleague think her government systematically refuses to apologize to all those people who were arbitrarily arrested?
    Mr. Speaker, in response to my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, I will say that my comments were intended to show that we, in the government, have decided to look ahead.
    The Bloc, however, is deciding to look back. As we are doing in managing the current crisis, our priority is on Canadians, a strong, just, green recovery, and giving our children and grandchildren a great country to live in.
    Mr. Speaker, does my esteemed colleague from Sherbrooke not think it is inappropriate and surreal that we are here today, during a pandemic, with hospitalizations, deaths and case numbers spiking, and yet we are debating this subject rather than measures we should be taking to protect Quebeckers?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his comment.
    I agree with him. As I was saying, in these difficult and extraordinary times, it is important that our government prioritize the health and safety of Canadians, and we are committed to doing just that, as well as bringing together and supporting all Quebeckers and all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, he was a lawyer and journalist committed to fighting corruption. He was elected four times and served as an MNA for nine years. He was a cabinet minister during Jean Lesage's Quiet Revolution. He was Premier Robert Bourassa's deputy premier, but above all, Pierre Laporte was a man, a son, a husband and a father. Sadly, he never had the great joy of seeing his children grow up or witnessing the birth of his grandchildren. That is because, while playing with his nephew, he was kidnapped by terrorists. A week later, he was found strangled to death.
    Today, since we are talking about October 1970, our thoughts are with the family of Pierre Laporte, the victim of criminals, terrorists and the FLQ.
    The War Measures Act was not passed overnight, and the October crisis did not happen overnight either.
    In the 1960s, the idea of independence for Quebec was brought to the fore by political groups such as Ralliement national and Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale. I do not support this position, but I have a great deal of respect for it. Quebec independence is an idea that exists and that is promoted by people who believe in the democratic ideal. Unfortunately, beginning in 1963, separatists chose the path of violence and terrorism.
    All too often, we forget that between 1963 and 1970, the FLQ committed 200 acts of terrorism, including bombings, hold-ups and thefts. These people organized training camps. They bought guns in the United States. They even prepared cells for the hostages they would take in the terrorist acts they were planning.
    Wilfrid O'Neil was a 65-year-old night watchman who was killed when a bomb exploded at the recruitment centre where he worked. Thérèse Morin was a 64-year-old worker who lost her life when a bomb planted by the FLQ went off at her place of work. Jeanne d'Arc Saint-Germain was a 50-year-old Ministry of Defence employee who was killed by an FLQ bomb.
    Those people should never be forgotten. There are a dozen or so people like them who lost their lives between 1963 and 1970 as a result of the 200 terrorist acts committed by the FLQ.
    Ten years ago, Lysiane Gagnon wrote the following about Jeanne d'Arc Saint-Germain, Thérèse Morin and Wilfred O'Neil: “the FLQ was posing as defenders of the working class, but those who died in the FLQ attacks prior to October were all low-income earners.” October 1970 did not start in October 1970.
    Let us now talk about what happened during that terrible month, that shameful month for all of Canada: the kidnappings.
    On October 5, a British diplomat, James Richard Cross, was kidnapped by FLQ terrorists as he was leaving his home. The next day, the FLQ issued its first communiqué, in which it made seven demands, including the release of “23 political prisoners”.
    It was totally irresponsible and outrageous for the FLQ to call these 23 people political prisoners. As Yves Boisvert wrote in La Presse on October 12, “The jailed FLQ members were never political prisoners. A political prisoner is someone who is arrested for having ideas that are subversive in the eyes of a regime. The FLQ members in prison had committed ordinary crimes”.
    That is why they were in prison. That is why the police intervened.
    On October 8, the public broadcaster read out the FLQ manifesto on air. Unfortunately, during that entire week, from Monday to Saturday, the FLQ continued to perpetrate violence and issue communiqués in which it clearly stated that the kidnappings would continue and that the hostages might be executed.

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    Sadly, at 6:18 p.m. on October 10, while Pierre Laporte was playing ball with his nephew in his front yard, two people showed up and abducted him. Pierre Laporte would never see his family or loved ones again. The only people he would ever see after that were the terrorists who had abducted him.
    Things really escalated after that, and understandably so. After 200 attacks in seven years, the abduction of a diplomat, the publication of FLQ communiqués clearly stating that it would commit further terrorist acts, and the abduction of a cabinet minister who was also the deputy premier of Quebec, tensions were rising significantly.
    That is why, on October 12, 1970, at the request of the Quebec government, the Canadian government deployed troops in Ottawa and in the province of Quebec. The fact that it was the Quebec government that asked Ottawa to send in the army is a fundamental historical fact.
    On October 14, 16 political figures from Quebec urged negotiations and the release of the “political prisoners”. I want to emphasize that we do not share this perspective, and we find it unfortunate that these political figures employed the terrorists' terminology. In our view, that term did not in any way apply at the time.
    Unfortunately, October 15, 1970, was the pivotal day for all these events. That day, the National Assembly met to discuss the two abductions and the ongoing crisis. Of course, at the time, it was not yet called the October crisis.
    Here is what Premier Robert Bourassa said about the army:
    We have therefore requested the support of the army to allow the police forces to continue to protect both public buildings and the public. ...Democracy in Quebec is currently under threat. ...and it is our primary and essential responsibility to safeguard it. It is with this aim...that we intend, with the co-operation of all members, to assume our responsibility.
    There it is, in black and white. The premier told the National Assembly that he had requested the support of the army and that it was his responsibility. He was not the only one to think that way.
    Do the hon. members know who said the following on October 15, 1970?
    The premier's appeal to us is certainly perfectly understandable and justified under the circumstances.
    Who said that? It was not a Liberal supporter, or a friend of the government, or even a government minister. It was the house leader of the Parti Québécois, Camille Laurin, the father of Bill 101.
    Let us consider the context. Later, on October 30, the leader of the Parti Québécois, René Lévesque, wrote this in his column in the Journal de Montréal:
    The army is occupying Quebec. It is unpleasant but undoubtedly necessary at a time of acute crisis.
    At the time, on October 15, after two kidnappings and threats of further kidnappings, everyone understood that we really did need the army. Even the PQ thought so.
    On the evening of October 15, the government gave the FLQ an ultimatum and six hours to accept it. It was to no avail.
    More importantly, even though there had been two kidnappings and the FLQ was threatening to commit more, 3,000 people gathered at the Paul Sauvé Arena in Montreal to read out texts like the FLQ manifesto and raise their fists in the air while chanting the FLQ slogan, “FLQ, nous vaincrons”, which means “FLQ, we will prevail”.
    It is important to remember that that is what was happening the night of October 15 to 16, 1970. Between 1963 and 1970, there had been 200 terrorist attacks and a dozen deaths. The FLQ had kidnapped a diplomat and Quebec's deputy premier and was threatening more kidnappings.
    An FLQ communiqué published at the time clearly stated the following:
     In accordance with previously established plan 3...the Chénier fundraising cell has just kidnapped the Minister of Unemployment and Assimilation, Pierre Laporte. The minister will be executed...
    The FLQ communiqué stated in black and white that it was threatening to execute people.

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    Even though there had been two kidnappings, threats of more and a threat of execution, 3,000 people gathered to chant “FLQ, we will prevail”. These were the circumstances that led to the invocation of the War Measures Act. It was at this point that the Government of Quebec requested military intervention, and we must remember that it had already made a very formal request that was backed by the National Assembly. Then the federal government met, and at four o'clock in the morning, after a long debate, it invoked the War Measures Act.
    At the time, the Sûreté du Québec was in charge of police operations, with support from the Montreal police and the RCMP. The army was deployed to support the police, but the Sûreté du Québec made the arrests.
    A total of 497 people were arrested without a warrant. They were not allowed to speak to a lawyer, and they were thrown in jail without being told anything. Most, if not all, of these people had no connection whatsoever with the crimes perpetrated by the FLQ. This was an abuse of police power, and we cannot forget that the Sûreté du Québec was running the show.
    A few hours later, on the following day, October 17, the FLQ released a communiqué stating that it had decided to take action. Pierre Laporte was executed. He was found that evening in the trunk of a car, covered in blood, and the autopsy carried out a few hours later confirmed that he had been strangled to death.
    René Lévesque wrote: “Those who coldly and deliberately executed Mr. Laporte, after watching him live and hope for so many days, are inhuman beings. They have imported here, into a society where it was absolutely not justified, an ice-cold fanaticism and methods of blackmail by assassination that belong in a jungle from which there is no way out.”
     Not too long ago, FLQ member Jacques Lanctôt said, “Pierre Laporte was killed, and it was not an accident.”
    On November 5, the first terrorist was arrested, and on December 28, the FLQ members were extradited. That was the October crisis of 1970, but it did not end there. A few months later, on March 12, 1971, justice minister Jérôme Choquette rose in the National Assembly and announced a compensation plan for the 497 people who had been arrested. He was following the recommendations of the ombudsman, who had received complaints from people who had been arrested. He was the one who recommended that they be compensated. The ombudsman, Louis Marceau, said at the time that the police powers had not been exercised with the necessary care and moderation. We agree with that conclusion.
    However, the ombudsman never mentioned the federal government's responsibility. The justice minister told the National Assembly, “We hope that the government's approach will convey its sincere desire to repair any harm that may have been caused to individuals during this time of crisis”. The Quebec justice minister never said anything about the federal government.
    During the same debate on the compensation proposed by the ombudsman for those who had been arrested, the Parti Québécois house leader, Camille Laurin, said that his party would support “anything the Minister of Justice could do to correct acts that resulted from the government's overreaction”.
    There is no mention of the federal government's responsibility, and rightly so, since it was the Quebec government that asked the federal government to step in. It was the Quebec government that asked the federal government to send in the army. Are we supposed to apologize based on that? We will have an opportunity to come back to that in greater detail. That fact is that by compensating the victims who were arrested, the Quebec government proved that it admitted responsibility.

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    All in all, 497 people were arrested, 103 were compensated, 26 were charged, and 21 were convicted. The question we are asking today is, should the federal government apologize?
    We do not think so. We acknowledge the police blunders and mistakes that were committed during these troubling times. As we said earlier, 497 people were arrested without being allowed to contact anyone. Some stayed in prison for a few days, and others for a few months, but on average, they stayed for a week. Of course, that is one week too many.
    We will note, however, that the arrests did not come out of thin air. The October crisis of 1970 did not happen overnight. First there were 200 acts of terrorism committed by the FLQ, followed by the kidnapping of a diplomat and the publication of communiqués warning that there would be more kidnappings. Another did follow, that of the deputy premier of Quebec. The FLQ threatened to kill him, and that is indeed what they did. This business did not come out of thin air. A few hours before the War Measures Act was invoked, 3,000 people gathered and started chanting, “FLQ, we will prevail”.
    It was the Quebec government that asked the federal government for help from the army, it was the Quebec government that admitted responsibility by compensating the victims, and also, it was the Sûreté du Québec that carried out the police operations. That is why we believe that the federal government should not apologize, since, given the circumstances and events that contributed to this, the responsibility lies first and foremost with the Government of Quebec, which requested this help.
    I will let the Liberals explain why, in their first four years in office, they have apologized six times. When we Conservatives apologized, it was for special cases. In 1998, under Brian Mulroney, we apologized to the 21,000 Canadian men, women and children of Asian descent who were imprisoned for three years in internment camps. The federal government was entirely responsible for that, so an apology was called for.
    On June 11, 2008, here in the House, Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper apologized to Canada's first nations for the residential schools, where 141,000 children suffered over the course of more than 100 years. This is a very serious matter, because we are talking about lost generations, and it continues today. Yes, an apology was called for.
    It is clear that the apologies that we Conservatives made on behalf of the Canadian government were for events for which the Canadian government was entirely responsible. Sad to say, this was the case with respect to Chinese Canadians, and with respect to first nations as well. That is why we apologized.
    This is in no way intended to diminish the pain and suffering of the 497 individuals who were arrested without a warrant and spent entire nights in jail without being allowed to speak with anyone. However, when it comes to acknowledging the government's responsibility and offering an apology, we believe that, in this particular case, the responsibility lies with the provincial government, since it was the one that requested federal assistance.
    The Bloc Québécois motion reminds us of this sad episode in our democracy and the fact that an elected official was murdered in cold blood by terrorists, criminals whom René Lévesque called inhuman beings, because they watched him live, suffer and die before their very eyes.
    We must also remember that a dozen people lost their lives, including Jeanne d'Arc Saint-Germain, who was probably from Gatineau. There is no bridge named after her, but she was a victim of the FLQ.
    This is why, when we start a debate or open a history book, we do not just read the sentence that suits us. We read the entire book. This is also why, in our opinion, Pierre Laporte is the ultimate victim of the October crisis of 1970. All our thoughts are with him and his family.

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    Mr. Speaker, this morning I heard a lot of rhetoric about the terrorist events that occurred at the time. However, this debate is about the 500 people who were incarcerated arbitrarily and unjustly and, contrary to what my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent says, with the obvious complicity of the federal government, given its jurisdiction over defence, the army and especially the War Measures Act.
    If it is right to recognize the mistakes that were made and the injustices against certain people in the past, such as the Japanese citizens who were unjustly incarcerated during the Second World War, then it is right to do so in these circumstances. That is what we are talking about this morning.
    The point is to acknowledge the mistakes and apologize to the 500 people who were unjustly incarcerated with the legal complicity of the federal government. They incarcerated 500 Quebeckers who had absolutely nothing to do with the terrorist acts that keep being mentioned. That is not what we are talking about this morning.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House that among those arrested, 21 were found guilty.
    Like I said earlier, the police made mistakes, and people suffered. When presenting apologies, it is important to address the situation as it happened. Nothing would have happened if the Government of Quebec had not requested it.
    The federal government cannot decide to send in the army like that. In fact, that is what we are seeing right now in a different dispute. We all know it. I cannot draw any parallels between what happened in the past few months and what happened 50 years ago. We must be careful.
    Too often, we hear in some documentaries and statements the claim that prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau woke up one night and decided to send in the army to quell the separatists. That did not happen. The Government of Quebec, the province's supreme authority, asked the federal government to intervene. Would the Bloc Québécois rather that Ottawa say no to Quebec? That is not our position.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for Louis—Saint-Laurent for his speech. He gave quite the overview of the situation, brought us back into the context of the time and evoked some very painful memories for all Quebeckers and Canadians.
    My colleague spent a lot of time in the National Assembly. Time and time again, he has heard the sanitized versions of history that ignore the context and the victims. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say regarding the reasons why our Bloc Québécois colleagues are desperately trying to sanitize this version of history.
    Why must their side of history be the only one that is heard?

  (1130)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is their choice and their decision. That is on them. They will have to take responsibility for their actions, as do we. We are very proud of the positions that we take and we take full responsibility for them.
    It is important to understand that we are not talking about an isolated incident but a combination of factors that contributed to the state of heightened tension that occurred the night of October 15 into the morning of October 16, 1970. All too often people forget that, from 1963 to 1970, there were 200 bombings that killed 10 people, including Jeanne d'Arc Saint-Germain, who likely lived in the member's riding. There were also successive kidnappings, kidnapping threats and the execution of hostages. All of these things led to the use of the War Measures Act.
    The Government of Quebec requested it. The Sûreté du Québec conducted the operations. Five months later, the Government of Quebec offered compensation to those who had been arrested. The primary responsibility lies with the Government of Quebec. Had the Government of Quebec not requested it, the army would not have been sent in and the War Measures Act would not have been invoked.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very thorough and serious speech. It was well-researched, as always.
    That being said, I do not necessarily agree with his conclusion. Personally, I do not think that the wrongs of some people cancel out the wrongs of others or that the suffering of some cancel out the suffering of others.
    There were massive raids. A total of 31,000 apartments and houses were searched and 500 arbitrary arrests were made. It resembled the authoritarian regimes of Chile, Argentina or Greece under the colonels. These police blunders would not have occurred had it not been for the suspension of civil rights and the invoking of the War Measures Act, which the NDP opposed at the time.
    Should the federal government not bear some responsibility since the vote took place here in the House?
    Those people are at least entitled to an apology.
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the facts do not quite add up. It is important to acknowledge that had it not been for Quebec's request, these events would not have taken place, but more importantly, if there had been no FLQ, this would not have happened. These 497 people were arrested because of the actions of criminals, terrorists and murderers. That is what we must always remember.
    Could we go so far as to say that the 497 people who were arrested are collateral victims of the FLQ? That is my question.
    Mr. Speaker, at the same time in the United States, more than 1,000 bombs a month were exploding. Was martial law declared? At the same time in France, in May 1968, there was a big revolution, something that had not happened for years. Was martial law declared?
    I would like the hon. member to explain to me why Canada was the only western democracy to do so.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know if Brittany asked the Élysée to declare martial law. I do not know if the State of Wisconsin asked the White House to declare martial law and call in the army. What I do know is that the Government of Quebec asked the federal government to call in the army. These are historical facts.
    When we interpret events, we must be careful, because we look at them through our present-day perspective. They happened 50 years ago. It is nevertheless strange to see that the Bloc Québécois regrets that Ottawa agreed to a request from Quebec.
    I am very careful when I say this, but that is reality. Yesterday, the leader of the Bloc Québécois mentioned the RCMP. Is the Bloc Québécois saying that the federal government should have listened to the RCMP rather than the Government of Quebec?
    I know it is sad to recall all these events, but reality and facts are stubborn. It was the Government of Quebec that asked for military intervention. It was the Sûreté du Québec that made the arrests, with the help, of course, of the army and the RCMP in Montreal. It was the Government of Quebec that compensated the individuals five months later.

  (1135)  

[English]

    The member talked about arrests and how that was conducted. Could he expand on that aspect and the role the military played?
    Mr. Speaker, in my respect for my colleague, I will answer his question in English.
    We have to keep in mind that those moments were very tough for everybody. Yes, we had to take a decision at that time. It is important to remind people of the fact that the Quebec government asked for the military and that the Sûreté du Québec called the shots during the arrests. The Quebec government recognized its role and took responsibility by offering compensation to those who were arrested.
    Regarding the member's question about the role of the army, the army was there in support of the police, which was there to guide everybody. The Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police, was the operator of that situation, with the support of Montreal police, the RCMP and the military. However, those who were there to act were members of the Sûreté du Québec.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform you that I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
    This is a complex and very emotional debate, and it stirs up many things from the past for everyone who lived through that period, including friends and family members. I hope my speech proves that this is not a subject that I take lightly. It is not like any other speech one might give on a bill or trade agreement, for example.
    This is important, because we are discussing events that happened 50 years ago. It is extremely difficult to look at something that happened half a century ago with today's eyes. I would therefore like to take a few minutes to provide some historical context.
    For decades, Quebec's working class was exploited, scorned, humiliated, overlooked and treated like second-class citizens.
    In the 1950s and 1960s, there was an incredible number of artistic and intellectual movements. I am thinking of the Refus Global manifesto, which would lead to greater emancipation of Quebec's French-speaking working class. There would be major accomplishments with the Quiet Revolution, the election of Jean Lesage and his government, the nationalization of hydroelectricity and the creation of the ministry of education. These were undeniable advances that were made peacefully in a democratic context. We can be proud of them and we continue to be proud of them today.
    At the time, certain young revolutionaries thought that things were not moving quickly enough or going far enough. They were losing hope in peaceful, democratic changes and social progress. They made the fundamental mistake of using political violence, which is always unacceptable in a democratic and lawful society.
    They committed violent acts that caused irreparable harm. They were responsible for deaths, injuries and kidnappings and they left many people in mourning. We must not minimize or leave that out of the discussion.
    When a kidnapping occurs, the appropriate response is to conduct a search and have a police investigation. The job of the police is to find those who are kidnapped and bring them safely home. That is not what happened. That is the tipping point, the point of divergence that will also have serious consequences.
    As I reminded my colleague earlier, the wrongs of some people do not cancel out the wrongs of others and the suffering of some does not cancel out the suffering of others. I feel that our discussion on the entire context of the time must be reasonable and nuanced.
    It is at moments like those that things slip out of a government's grasp. The reaction is disproportionate. Instead of giving more powers to the police so that they can conduct police investigations, the ultimate weapon is used. Basic freedoms and civil rights are suspended. The War Measures Act is invoked and the Canadian army is sent against its own people.
    This was the first and only time that has happened in our history. The NDP, led at the time by Tommy Douglas, said very clearly and explicitly that, in a democratic society, there is a danger in wishing to save democracy by attacking democracy, and wishing to preserve civil liberties by suspending them. That is going much too far.
    We must not take this lightly. Considerable powers were given to the army to be able to bypass basic rights, end civil liberties, allow arrests without warrant, and imprison people for up to 90 days with no outside contact and before they were even told what they were accused of. At the time, only the NDP opposed those actions because it considered them to be excessive.
    Let me paraphrase Tommy Douglas, the NDP leader at the time. He said that, in a democracy, the proper thing to do, the only thing to do, is to come to Parliament and ask Parliament to grant additional powers or, if necessary, to change the Criminal Code.

  (1140)  

    However, that is not at all what happened. The government bypassed Parliament and parliamentarians. It overreacted, sending the army out against its own citizens in peacetime. It was a serious crisis, but we were not at war.
    Tommy Douglas continued by saying that basic human rights cannot be destroyed, suspended or disregarded simply because the country is cloaked in a climate of fear. We were indeed cloaked in a climate of fear, but that does not justify the government’s reaction. In a democratic and lawful society, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. That was all swept aside.
    Tommy Douglas continued by saying that it was extremely risky and dangerous to revoke fundamental freedoms like that. He reminded Canadians of what happened in countries like South Africa, Rhodesia, as it was then called, and Czechoslovakia, and that it sometimes ended very badly.
    It is difficult to tell the story 50 years later. My impression is that they did not want to bother with a small group or small active cells but rather to hit hard and create a climate of fear among Quebeckers. They wanted a wide-ranging response and they brought out the heavy artillery. When I say heavy artillery, I mean tanks in the streets.
    There were also mass arrests: 500 people were arbitrarily arrested. There were raids in 31,700 houses, where people were woken up in the middle of the night with a machine gun in their face or in their children’s faces. Of course, they were traumatized and felt threatened. Items were seized from more than 4,200 apartments. The 500 people arrested were from every walk of life: artists, intellectuals, left-wing activists, socialists, unionists. They were people who wanted a better, fairer and freer society.
    Still today, I cannot understand how people like Gaston Miron, Gérald Godin and Pauline Julien could have been arrested without a warrant under the War Measures Act. People were arrested who had no contact with the outside world and who had no idea what was going on in society. It is hard to imagine the anguish and anxiety these people felt at being jailed without knowing why, without knowing when they would get out or what they were accused of. Some people were physically intimidated and threatened at gunpoint while they were in jail. Do you not think that these people deserve an apology from the federal government?
    The police committed some blunders and went too far. However, these blunders and excesses and raids only occurred because civil liberties were suspended and the War Measures Act was imposed. The raids were so sweeping, they bring to mind the lowest moments of the authoritarian regimes of Chile, Argentina, or Greece under the colonels. It is nothing to be proud of. We must acknowledge the harm and suffering inflicted on people who were unjustly arrested and families who lost a father, a husband or a friend.
    I would also like to quote Le Devoir, the only newspaper that came out against the War Measures Act. At the time, it was run by Claude Ryan, a good friend of René Lévesque's. René Lévesque and Claude Ryan had a good friend in common named Pierre Laporte, and yet, neither Mr. Lévesque nor Mr. Ryan hesitated to say that invoking the act was unacceptable.
    I would like to an article by Jean-François Nadeau in Le Devoir:
    As political scientist Guy Lachapelle reminds us in a new book about the October crisis, Ryan and Lévesque were first and foremost allies in that time of turmoil: “During the 1970 crisis, political power sought to kill Quebec's democracy by attempting to silence everyone...who dared speak of freedom.”

  (1145)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his remarks.
    I remember the events of 1970 like it was yesterday. At the time, I was working as a reporter in Montreal.

[English]

    It is clear that, after the War Measures Act was declared, those arrested in the police sweeps were merely highly vocal critics of the governments of Montreal and of Quebec. They were Quebec nationalists; I had friends among them.
    At the same time, and given that many historians today recognize the realities on the ground in Quebec at the time did not justify the War Measures Act, the Prime Minister of the day, Pierre Trudeau, had little choice when he received the panicked request from Mayor Drapeau and Premier Robert Bourassa for the Government of Canada to act. They believed there was much more going on than the reality on the ground, which was a number of thuggish murderers.
    Does my colleague recognize the fact that, were a similar request made today, the Government of Canada, lacking the facts on the ground, would have to act in a similar way?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have no recollection of the October crisis in 1970 because I was not born yet. I have only read books, and seen reports, films and documentaries about it. In addition, friends of my family, of my father, were close to people who were arrested.
    If we put ourselves in Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s shoes, we can see that the situation was indeed difficult. I think that he should have been the most reasonable and composed person, but that he, instead, made the situation worse. Mr. Trudeau is also the father of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He acted contrary to subsequent political actions and his political legacy, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which followed the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. I find his position at the time contradictory.

  (1150)  

    Mr. Speaker, earlier, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent told us that it was a shame that the Government of Quebec had asked for this. Conservatives now argue that because the Quebec premier had requested it, it was okay to declare martial law. Today, the former party of the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent in Quebec City is asking for an apology from the federal government.
    According to my hon. colleague, is the Government of Quebec wrong to ask the Government of Canada for an apology?
    Mr. Speaker, I do think this definitely warrants an official public apology.
    These events occurred in very troubled times, but I think the government wanted to stifle and stamp out a peaceful, democratic grassroots movement at the same time. The net was cast a bit too wide. As Tommy Douglas said at the time, it was like using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut.
    I would like to quote a sentence I really appreciated from Jean-François Nadeau's article:
    By condemning the violence used by both the state and the revolutionaries, Lévesque and Ryan will be amongst those who would defend the profound sense of institutions that were turned upside down by the winds of the moment, to the point of turning against the population.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I find I am learning a great deal from this debate, particularly from the perspectives of the government and official opposition House leader.
    Would the member not agree it seems we are looking at a relatively small portion of the bigger picture of what took place? Is that the right thing to be basing a vote on?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, if we in the NDP had to draft such a motion, we probably would have worded it a little differently. However, we do agree with its substance, in other words, that invoking the War Measures Act was excessive. It was an attack on the fundamental freedoms of Quebeckers and it went too far. We obviously think this warrants an official apology. That is why we will support this motion, just as the NDP stood up for rights and freedoms during the time of Tommy Douglas.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie for his speech. He said a number of important things, but two of them made a particular impression on me.
    First, that it is still an emotional issue today. It is the same for me, despite the fact that I am the first speaker from English Canada to take the floor. I am speaking to you today from New Westminster, British Columbia.
    Then, the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie said that two wrongs do not make a right. He is absolutely correct. Of course, we are thinking about the victims of the violence that took place at the time, but that does not take away from the tragedy experienced by hundreds of people who were jailed without a trial or a valid reason, and not allowed to call a lawyer. In addition, soldiers and police officers showed up in the middle of the night at thousands of houses. Canadians had never seen anything like it.
    I was an eight-year-old child in British Columbia during the October crisis. I saw it through the eyes of a child. I saw the images on television, and I even remember what I felt when I saw the soldiers, machine guns and tanks in the streets of Canada. I was worried that the same thing would happen in my neighbourhood, and that Canada was not the country I thought it was. Even at eight years old, I knew that there was something extremely troubling in the actions of those soldiers in the streets.
    Later on, in high school, I learned more about the October crisis. Of course, I heard about the courage of many of the people involved. That is when I learned about Tommy Douglas. He was someone who had the courage to stand up, even when the media and political elite were saying that the government was doing the right thing. I had started learning our history and understanding how the federal government had acted inappropriately and with excessive force.
    Later on, I lived in Quebec for 10 years. I did my university studies there. I did not speak a word of French. At the time, I could only dream of making such a speech before the House. I began my studies in Chicoutimi, then continued them in Sherbrooke and Montreal. I began to understand Quebec society and all its strengths.
    At the time, I also had the opportunity to meet Pauline Julien and become her friend. We were taking a Spanish course in Montreal. In addition to being talented and extremely friendly with everyone, Pauline Julien was much better than me at Spanish. She spoke a little about that sad time in her life and told me that, at the time, she understood that she also had allies in English Canada.
    Today we are discussing an important motion, and I must say that I am very disappointed with the speech by the leader of the Bloc Québécois, partly because he ignored the role played by many people in English Canada. There was Tommy Douglas, of course, but also the entire NDP caucus and organized labour. I find it very unfortunate that all of the voices raised in English Canada against the invoking of the War Measures Act have been forgotten.

  (1155)  

    I find that is making the English Canada of the time into a caricature.
    We are discussing such an important motion. I find that it is unfortunate to do away with those voices and to make everyone outside Quebec into a caricature. The reality, in fact, was that Tommy Douglas stood tall, even through the criticism of the media and political elite that he was doing it for civil rights and for individual freedoms. He did it despite all that criticism, and I find it unfortunate that he should be erased from history in such an important motion during such an important debate. Courageous voices in Quebec, but also those outside Quebec, have given us the knowledge today that the federal government did not have the right to do what it did at that time. It did not have the right to imprison so many people. Tommy Douglas and the NDP showed their courage in a number of matters. The party was the first to push for bilingualism, it was the first to recognize Quebec's right to self-determination. That is what led me, at the age of 14, to take out my first party membership card. I still have it today, 40 years later.
    I find that this motion is extremely important. First, apologies can heal scars that, as we know, remain very raw today, though the events occurred 50 years ago. It is important that apologies be given.
    As some members already mentioned, some people's civil rights, democratic freedoms and fundamental rights were suspended not because they posed a risk or a threat to society, but because of their political opinions. I hope that this will never happen again in Canada. We need to learn from our mistakes, and the only way to do that is to apologize. That way we can heal the scars and turn the page.
    We also need to stop with the caricatures. I criticized the leader of the Bloc Québécois earlier because his depiction of English Canada was a real caricature, which I find extremely unfortunate.
    I am in New Westminster today. There is a French immersion school two blocks from my house where hundreds of children are learning French. I can see it from where I am. Before the school year begins, parents line up for an entire weekend to register their children in French immersion. The reality in my neighbourhood is the same in communities across English Canada. I therefore think this caricaturing of English Canada is unfortunate.
    I am also opposed to the fact that a minority in English Canada is caricaturing Quebec. I am opposed to that. We need to understand that in order to eliminate caricatures and talk about important things. I think that today's apology is part of that process, that journey.
    Finally, we need to work together to build a society where everyone is included. I am talking about both Quebeckers and indigenous people, who are often left out. The sad stories in recent months clearly show that there is still racism to overcome. We also need to address systemic racism. We need to work together to apologize for the mistakes of the past and become a more inclusive society.

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, I heard my NDP colleague say that he was disappointed with my leader's speech, assuming he did not acknowledge that the historic leader of the NDP, Tommy Douglas, voted against the War Measures Act. I do not know if he listened because I was sitting in the same place where I am sitting now, and I heard my leader acknowledge by name that Mr. Douglas' vote was for everyone's rights and freedoms. It is good to recognize that sometimes there is good in what other parties do.
    I am also disappointed in my colleague's speech because he kept saying that the NDP was doing a good job and that the Bloc was making a caricature of things. Personally, I thought my leader's speech was very good.
    My colleague did not state a single time that the operation was aimed at subduing the sovereignists, that it was the sovereignists who were targeted. Why is he unable to say so?
    I would like him to admit this fact. I was disappointed in that part of his speech.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's question.
    I said it was for political opinions. The people who wanted sovereignty, Quebec's independence, were the ones targeted. That is why I specifically mentioned my friendship with Pauline Julien.
    We only want Tommy Douglas' position to be recognized, which is why my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie specifically questioned the leader of the Bloc Québécois. This is how the leader of the Bloc Québécois finally admitted that voices in English Canada had risen up against the tragedy of kidnapping people and putting them in jail. It is the caricature of English Canada and what exists outside Quebec that I found unfortunate and inappropriate.
    The motion is a good one, and the credit goes entirely to the Bloc Québécois. It must be adopted. However, the speeches must reflect the motion and the importance of the apology.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, I am sorry to have to speak English today.

[English]

    I know most Canadians think the October crisis happened only in Quebec, but as I was preparing for this debate I learned that the Francophone community in my riding of Edmonton Strathcona was also impacted. Students at the Campus Saint-Jean were arrested during this attack on our civil liberties that Tommy Douglas and the NDP spoke out against.
    Today the Francophone community and Francophone culture in my province are under attack again. The UCP government is refusing to support the Campus Saint-Jean, despite a legal contract to do so.
    Knowing how important it is to recognize, and indeed to cherish, our Francophone culture in Quebec, would the member agree that protecting Francophones across Canada is vital to healing the scars caused by the October crisis?
    Madam Speaker, the member for Edmonton Strathcona is a very strong and powerful voice in the House of Commons, and it does not surprise me that she is standing up on that very important issue given the turmoil the provincial government is causing in Alberta. She is right to point out that it is important to defend Francophones across the country, which is why I am a New Democrat.
    In every single province where the NDP has been in power, we have put in place strong protections and additional measures and services for the Francophone population. That is something no other party can pretend to have done at the provincial level. The member knows the struggle in Alberta of Leo Piquette: the NDP MLA who also pushed for Francophone rights in New Brunswick. What we have seen across the country is consistency with the NDP when it comes to bilingualism and supporting Francophone minority language rights. It is something I am very proud to express as a New Democrat, and is something no other Canadian party has done.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, this is for Steve Albert, Richard Amyot, Claude Anctil, Lise André, D'Arcy Archambault, Jean-Luc Arène, Spiros Argiros, Michel Aubé, Claude Auclair, Élaine Audet, Florent Audette, Nick Auf Der Maur, Lise Balcer, Marcel Barbeau, Robert Barbeau, Louise-Francine Barsalou, René Bataille, Pierre-Marc Beauchamp, Pierre Beaudet, Marc-André Beaudin, André Baudry, André Beaulieu, Gérard Beaulieu, Guy Beaulieu, Louis Beaulieu, André Beaulne Laflèche, Jacques Beaulne Laflèche, André Bélanger, Jean-Pierre Bélanger, Richard Bélanger, Roger Bélanger, François Bélisle, Francine Bélisle, Michel Belleau, Henri Bellemare, Claudette Bertrand, Jean Bertrand, Jacques Bérubé, André Bilodeau, Denis Bilodeau, Jean Bilodeau, Monique Bilodeau, Pierre Bilodeau, Robert Bilodeau, Michel Bissonnette, Normand Bissonnette, Denis Blanchard, Jocelyne Blanchard, Véronique Blanchard, Yves Blondin, Monique Blondin Martin, Jean Boisjoly, Pierre Boissonnault, Michel Boisvert, Diane Boivin, Jean-François Bonin, Paul Bonneville, Denise Boucher, Pierre Bourgault, Yves Bourgault.
    I rise in the House today to remind hon. members of Canada's five agreements for enacting the War Measures Act.
    We want to note that this episode is one of the most traumatizing in the history of Quebec and one of the darkest chapters in the history of the Government of Canada.
    It is high time that Ottawa recognize its mistakes and apologize to Quebec.
    I would like to remind the House that when the War Measures Act was enacted on October 16, 1970, the Government of Canada gave itself the power to suspend the basic freedoms of its citizens. This legislation enabled it to trample on the rights of Quebeckers during a time when we were at war with no one. The Canadian government gave itself this power and abused it.
    I would also like to remind the House that 97 Quebeckers were arrested and imprisoned, some of whom were famous, including union member Michel Chartrand, singer Pauline Julien, poet Gaston Miron and journalist Gilles Paquin. Most of them were workers and mothers and fathers with families. The only thing they were guilty of was being Quebeckers with political opinions that inconvenienced politicians in power in Ottawa.
    Today, the government has the responsibility of recognizing the gravity of the decisions it made at the time. It must take responsibility for its mistakes and recognize its wrongdoings so that Quebeckers' rights and freedoms are never violated in the same way ever again.
    Since 2016, the government has presented many apologies for past injustices. It is high time that the Canadian government apologize to Quebec.
    First, we condemn the enactment of the War Measures Act when there was no justification for its use. That was the first time in Canada’s history that such measures were taken in peacetime.
    One of the ministers at the time, Donald Campbell Jamieson, wrote in his memoirs that the government had no serious grounds for using the army against the population.
    Some members of the opposition rose in the House to condemn the government’s actions and the total lack of evidence to support the far-fetched, long-discredited idea that there was a supposed insurrection in Quebec to justify its authoritarian approach.
    The government turned a deaf ear to these concerns and decided to go ahead without any evidence that such use of extreme force was justified, when only war, invasion or insurrection should allow a government to exceptionally use the army against its own people.

  (1210)  

    The Government of Canada had no valid reason to use force against Quebeckers. It did not attempt other courses of action and did not even bother justifying the use of force against Quebeckers. This is very serious and unacceptable
    Why did the government decide to act in that way? The government could have chosen another approach, but instead it decided to use brute force, fear and intimidation for the sole purpose of trying to undermine the aspirations of Quebec independence and silence political supporters of sovereignty. It was through fear and intimidation that the Canadian government decided to deal with what the cabinet at the time called “the Quebec question”.
    Fear is measured by the number of guns and tanks on our doorstep. Fear is more than 12,000 soldiers in the streets of Quebec’s cities and towns. Fear is more than 30,000 searches, sometimes in the middle of the night, and more than 4,600 seizures. Fear is the air force, which, according to the head of the air force at the time, deliberately flew over Montreal at low altitude to frighten the public.
    Intimidation is shattered windows, broken-down doors, entire families staring down the barrel of a machine gun or children woken up in the middle of the night by shouting soldiers. Intimidation is when police officers arrest someone without cause, taking them by force and forcing them to leave their children without supervision. Intimidation is citizens being imprisoned, without being allowed to phone their families to let them know what is going on. Intimidation is unacceptable stories of police brutality, days-long arbitrary detentions, unacceptable detention conditions, corporal punishment and psychological torture.
    This was a bleak time in Canadian history. We strongly condemn these violations of the fundamental freedoms of Quebeckers. We condemn that the Canadian government at the time chose to quash the sovereignist movement and handcuff Quebec's democracy.
    It is high time for Ottawa to acknowledge its wrongdoings and apologize to the victims of this show of force. I remind members that of the 97 people arrested, 90% were released without charge and 95% of those charged were acquitted or had their cases thrown out.
    In conclusion, I would say that Quebeckers are entitled to an apology from the Prime Minister, on behalf of his government. Since 2016, the Canadian government has been rightly making apologies for its treatment of Inuit peoples, for residential schools, to the Jewish community, to the LGBTQ+ community and to the Indian migrants from 1914. We are now demanding an apology for Ottawa's affront to the liberty of Quebeckers. Quebeckers remember October 16, 1970. The Bloc Québécois will never forget that day.

  (1215)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her speech.
    The October crisis was extremely sad, especially for Pierre Laporte's family and for the families of the other victims.
    Would it be worthwhile for the Prime Minister to apologize? Although he has apologized in the past, he rarely makes amends.
    What does the member think about that?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question.
    There have been many apologies. In some cases, they have been made for the right reasons; in others, they have been made for questionable reasons.
    Fifty years later, we can say that the October crisis was a catastrophe. For the 97 people affected, receiving an apology would mean that today we recognize that their fundamental rights were violated without cause and out of authoritarianism. These people expect us, the parliamentarians, to acknowledge that they were wrongfully deprived of their rights and freedoms. However, they must receive a proper apology.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
    As a Quebec NDP member, I am very proud to rise in the House today to debate the motion. At that time, Tommy Douglas fought tooth and nail to defend civil liberties and fundamental rights. I think it is worthwhile mentioning it.
    Could my colleague talk about what befell Quebec's social movement, the intellectuals and the artists? What were the intentions of the police and the federal government when they arrested people like Gaston Miron, Pauline Julien and Gérald Godin?
    Madam Speaker, first, we recognize the position taken by the NDP leader at that time. I believe we have done that. We would like the NDP to support this motion.
    What did it destroy? It destroyed the most legitimate aspirations of the people who were basically advocating for freedom, rights and democracy. In Quebec, there was excitement created by the people, but also by activists and journalists. They were brutally told to be quiet, and that is unacceptable.

  (1220)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her excellent speech, which was very moving.
    She began her remarks with a series of names. I would like to add one, if I may: Pierre Bibeau. Mr. Bibeau, who now lives in Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, called my constituency office this week. He was agitated, touched and very emotional about the Bloc Québécois' plans to move a motion this week demanding an apology. When he was 20 years old, Mr. Bibeau was arrested and confined, I would say, for seven days without any contact with his family. Mr. Bibeau lived in Sorel at the time.
    I will ask my colleague, thinking of people like Pierre Bibeau, how does she feel when certain NDP MPs tell us we are caricaturing history? How does she feel when certain Conservative MPs tell us that it is the Quebec government's responsibility?
    Is this not another example of the federal government wanting to do and say everything, but never taking responsibility?
    Madam Speaker, I would first like to extend my regards to Pierre Bibeau and to all the others.
    The two emotions that stand out the most for me right now are outrage and anger.
    This was a significant moment in history. It was significant, and a deliberate choice was made. When the prime minister of the day said, “Just watch me”, this led to beds, families and homes in Quebec being taken hostage by a situation, without cause or justification. Yes, the situation was difficult, but it could never, ever have warranted such a heavy-handed response.
    Why will the government not apologize now, 50 years later, rather than 100 years from now?
    Madam Speaker, for want of an apology that carries more weight than mine, and as the member for Lac-Saint-Jean, I apologize to the 13 people from Saguenay and Lac-Saint-Jean who were victims of the War Measures Act in October 1970 and to their families.
    Like my colleagues, I will name some of the people who were unjustly imprisoned, lest we forget: André Bourque, Pierre-Louis Bourret, Gérald Boyer, Claire Brassard, Gilles Breton, Pierre Breton, Normand Brière, Réjean Briggs, Gerald Brimicombe, Jean-François Gérald Brossin, Michel Bruneau, Paul Caissy, Eugène Campeau, Georges Campeau, Jean-Louis Cantara, Paula Cantara, André Cantin, Gilles Caplette, Daniel Car, M. Carboneau, Diane Carmiglia, Claude Caron, Luc Caron, Rhéal Casavant, Jean Castonguay, Pol Chantraine, François Charbonneau, Jean-Pierre Charette, Madeleine Chartrand, Michel Chartrand, Micheline Chartrand, Réginald Chartrand, Yves Chartrand, Jean-Louis Chelminsky, Livain Chénard, Robert Chevrette, Gilles Choquette, Bob Chornenki, Nicole Chrétien, Yannick Chuit, M. Clark, Gérard Claveau, Jean Cléroux, Marcel Cloutier, Pierre Cloutier, Robert Cloutier, Kevin Cohalan, Marcel Corbeil, Gilles Cormier, Raymond Cormier, Rosaire Cormier, Serge Corriveau, Suzanne Corriveau, Gilles Cossette, Jean-Marie Cossette, Cécile Cossette, Christian Côté, Marcel Côté.
    These men and women were guilty only of the crime of thinking for themselves, for their people. Imprisoning, torturing and threatening human beings is unacceptable regardless of the time or circumstances. That much is obvious. Let's not be afraid to say so.
    Some 500 people, including men, women, minors, intellectuals, unionists, artists and separatists, were treated like political prisoners under conditions similar to those in the worst political regimes on the planet. The Bloc Québécois wants an apology. Of course, we cannot go back in time, but the government can at least salve the still open wounds of those victims who are still alive.
    As for the mistakes made by Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s government, it is up to its political heirs to publicly apologize for the abuses committed against innocent citizens. As brilliant and thoughtful as these prisoners were, and despite historical hindsight that no longer leaves room for ambiguity when it comes to the offensiveness of the War Measures Act, 50 years later, there are still Liberals and Conservatives emerging from the darkest corners of the House who drank their fill of the cocktail of demagoguery concocted by the government in 1970, to the point where they have lost all their inhibitions.
    How colonized do you have to be to justify abject violations of the most basic rights of 36,000 of our fellow citizens by invoking an emergency that has been refuted time and again over the years? Only colonizers could make Quebeckers, and in particular separatists, accountable for the isolated acts of a few disorganized radicals, knowing full well that none of the victims of the War Measures Act were ever even charged.
    Today, we know that the War Measures Act was not used to stop the FLQ but to destabilize separatists. If the hon. members of the House do not believe that the government should apologize for this dark episode in the history of Quebec, then they must forget that the October crisis is also part of the history of Canada. By yielding to authoritarianism, the federal government made Canada the only western democracy to use martial law to subdue a small group of radicals.
    Let us not mince words. The use of the War Measures Act was intended to criminalize the act of challenging of the Canadian federal regime using force, coercion and terror. Simply put, people were punished for their opinion. The Prime Minister said that the legacy of all of his successors was open to review, including that of his father.
    With all due respect to the Prime Minister, I think that it would be honourable to apologize to the victims of the police state that his father and his government knowingly helped put in place. It should not be difficult for him, because it made no sense at the time, and it still makes no sense. When the War Measures Act was invoked, the RCMP commented that it was not necessary to take measures to curtail Canadians’ freedom. The victims’ testimonies speak even louder than the RCMP.
    Thirteen men from my region were imprisoned. I am now going to quote from some accounts recently obtained by Radio-Canada: “The police came in through three doors of the house.” “They pulled us out of our beds and began to search our rooms.” One of them said it was a rough arrest. Others said that, once they were arrested, the police did not even want to let them use the washroom and that they were interrogated only seven days later.

  (1225)  

    Many victims suffered after being released. One of the men arrested in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean was a trade unionist and he said that he had to take a step back from the union movement until 1980 so that he would be forgotten. Ten per cent of those who were arrested suffered from depression. The police broke down doors, searched through people's belongings and, armed with machine guns, arrested parents as their children looked on, terrified, in the middle of the night. Law-abiding citizens were stigmatized and traumatized for life. People had to hide out because they were labelled as FLQ sympathizers, and all of this was done with the Canadian government's blessing.
    These were poets, singers, authors, trade unionists, Mirons, Godins, Juliens and Chartrands. When a country does this, it is denying ideas. It is absolutely despicable and a real disgrace, which is exactly why it is cowardly for the government to refuse to apologize. Such behaviour is not worthy of the ideals this government claims to defend every day before Quebeckers and Canadians. The worst thing about it is that the Prime Minister is not the only one in denial about the War Measures Act.
    Again we see that, when it comes time to confront the history of Quebec and francophones, the Liberals and Conservatives have the same tendencies and lie in the same bed. The federal government can legitimately be arbitrary and violent as long as it does not bother Her Majesty the Queen. It is okay, Your Majesty, we will take care of it, say the accomplices in the wake of the worst episode of violation of basic human rights, second only to the residential schools of course.
    The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, who is also the Conservative Party's Quebec lieutenant, took exactly the same position as the Prime Minister by using the shameful death of Pierre Laporte to justify the unjustifiable. He proudly and triumphantly told the media that he will not apologize for that. Sadly, literally no one except the Conservatives and the Liberals use the death of a man to justify the imprisonment of innocent people. It is becoming utterly embarrassing, ideological and demagogic. It is pretty obvious in Quebec City. Every party agrees that the federal government should apologize. Even the Quebec Liberal Party thinks that all levels of government should apologize. I know that this is not the first time that the federal government cares little about what Quebec thinks, but I will continue to hammer the point home as long as independence is still not a reality.
    I repeat that today we are simply trying to heal some old wounds. A little humility and perspective does not hurt anyone. The pain left over from October 1970 and the War Measures Act has clearly not dissipated. This pain remains, and it is up to the current government to turn the page.
    Some of the most beautiful lines and verses in Quebec culture are the direct result of the trauma from the period leading up to or following the October crisis. Some examples include L'alouette en colère by Leclerc, Ti-Cul Lachance by Vigneault, Mommy by Richer and Gélinas and Bozo les culottes by Lévesque. Quebec will hear about and read about this period for a long time.
    I want to end by reading a few verses from Gaston Miron's October. I want his words to resonate here in the House, which is guilty of imprisoning him for the sole reason that he believed in Quebec as a country.

we will make you, Land of Quebec
a bed of resurrections
and a thousand lightning metamorphoses
of our heavens from which the future shall rise
and of our will which will concede nothing

men shall hear your pulse beating through history
this is us winding through the October autumn
the russet sound of roe-deer in the sunlight
this is our future, clear
and committed

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and congratulate him on a very heartfelt speech. He named many of the innocent victims of that horrendous crisis. He also quoted a number of artists.
    I would like my colleague to explain his perspective on things.
    In his opinion, why did the raids carried out in 1970 target Quebec artists in particular?
    I am infinitely grateful to my colleague for his question.
    Artists are the heart and soul of a people. Anyone who wants to attack a movement like the separatist movement, anyone who wants to attack a people, takes aim at the heart and then at the soul. That is exactly what the Canadian government did with the War Measures Act. It took aim at artists. It took aim at the heart and soul of separatists and Quebeckers.
    I have another name for him: Jeanne d'Arc St-Germain, a 50-year-old woman from the Ontario side of the Outaouais, a National Defence employee who was killed in a bomb attack on the National Defence headquarters.
    What would my colleague like to say to her family?
    I do not know if this is any consolation 50 years later, but I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to them.
    Unfortunately, I do not think this debate should focus on attacks by a disorganized radical group. The War Measures Act that the Canadian government invoked traumatized thousands of innocent people.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his very fine and very heartfelt speech.
    Sometimes, in the House, it is as if I were witnessing a kind of dialogue of the deaf and a competition among people to determine who suffers and who is victimized the most. It annoys me a little because we must acknowledge both sides of the issue.
    Could my colleague tell us more about the fact that a troubled and conflictual situation was used as a pretext to suspend fundamental rights and civil liberties in a totally arbitrary fashion, when there was no justification for doing so?

  (1235)  

    I thank my colleague for his question.
    There is indeed a dialogue of the deaf, it is obvious. One cannot justify the unjustifiable. When an entire population is victimized on a specific territory, one commits an unjustifiable, irreparable act.
    Unfortunately, we are falling into demagoguery. I think there is a lot of demagoguery in today’s debate. All we want is an apology from the Canadian government so that these victims of war measures can heal their wounds once and for all. I sincerely believe that apologizing to these victims will help them do so.
    Madam Speaker, there are history buffs in the House who have quoted many people.
    However, since our Conservative friends and colleagues are listening, I would like to point out that the then Conservative leader, Robert Lorne Stanfield, called the invocation of the War Measures Act spectacular and cruel, based on assertions that were never proven by facts. He said that invoking the act had been an injustice to hundreds of Canadians. It has been, and probably still is, endorsed by the vast majority of Canadians who consider themselves to be freedom-loving people.
    Could my dear colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean tell me what he thinks of this opinion and why our Conservative friends did not emphasize it in their speeches?
    Madam Speaker, I think that this opinion borders on perfection.
    I would invite my colleagues in the Conservative Party to read it again and again. Perhaps it will help them right their thinking.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Gatineau.
    This anniversary takes us back half a century. It was a completely different world. That's kind of the point of anniversaries. They make us reflect on our past. They lead us to better understand the context of past events, without which we cannot really understand history. Anniversaries sometimes make us think about the motives behind our past actions. Historians continue to analyze the events and testimonies of before and during the October crisis, the reason for the decisions that were made and the consequences of those decisions.
    The 50th anniversary resonates with us and invites us to look in the rear-view mirror again. I would like to mention in passing the excellent series of articles that have appeared in various magazines in recent weeks, including the CBC website. Articles that look at many aspects of the October crisis and its origins. I myself have learned some details, especially about the attacks by small groups—as has been said—often very disorganized, prior to the October crisis. It is important to paint a picture of that time, especially for those who did not experience it, either because they were too young or not yet born, or because they were not residents of Canada.
    The October crisis left its mark on me, much like everyone else at the time. I was barely 13 years old. When we are very young, certain events awaken us, get inside our heads and make us pay more attention to what is going on around us. I am thinking of the John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King assassinations. Those events get inside our heads. They make people grow up fast and develop a new-found maturity. I was born at the dawn of the Quiet Revolution, at the tail end of the Duplessis era, when rays of sunshine like Pierre Laporte began to pierce the great darkness. I will return to Pierre Laporte in a moment.
    I mentioned context. The October crisis was not at all an isolated event. Some people may have the impression that the October crisis happened all of a sudden, without warning, and that the entire weight of the federal government came crashing down on a peaceful society. That is not at all what I experienced. The seven years prior to the kidnapping of James Cross and Pierre Laporte were turbulent, violent and troubling, in particular in Montreal. If you told young people today about what happened in the 1960s in Montreal, they would not believe you. This difficult and troubling time started in 1963 with a few Molotov cocktails, which, fortunately, did not injure anyone. They were followed by a bomb placed on a section of railway between Montreal and Quebec City, more specifically in the town of Lemieux. Fortunately, there was no damage. Then, a bomb exploded in the ventilation system at the federal Department of National Revenue. No one was injured. Still in 1963, a bomb exploded at the Canadian Forces recruiting centre in Montreal. One person died: William Vincent O'Neil, age 65. In 1964, there was an armed robbery in a gun shop in downtown Montreal. Now we come to 1969. One evening, a bomb exploded during class hours in the Bryon Building of Loyola College in Montreal, now part of Concordia University.

  (1240)  

    My father taught evenings in the Bryon Building. Fortunately, he was not there that evening, and none of the 500 people who were there were injured.
    All in all, 200 bombs were detonated in the seven-year period leading up to the October crisis.
    Now, to get back to Pierre Laporte and his legacy.
    Pierre Laporte was a lawyer who became a journalist and great defender of the French language and democracy in Quebec. He was a friendly person, with considerable integrity and courage: unfailing courage. It took courage to stand up to the mighty Maurice Duplessis and his machine to expose the flaws and corruption in the Union Nationale government. Duplessis had ostracized Pierre Laporte as a member of the press gallery in Quebec City. In some ways, Pierre Laporte was the only one taking on Maurice Duplessis.
    Remember that, in addition to being a politician and a great defender of the French fact and democracy in Quebec, Pierre Laporte was first and foremost a father, an uncle and a husband. My colleagues in the House might be interested in reading a recent article by Thomas Laporte Aust entitled “Pierre Laporte était mon grand-père”.
    Today, he and his family, as well as his legacy and everything he did for Quebec, are in our thoughts.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
    There has been a lot of talk about the tragic death of Mr. Laporte. I would like to reiterate our sincere condolences and best wishes for his loved ones and the loved ones of all victims of this event. That said, the issue today is not the horrific death of Mr. Laporte. Rather, it is government's responsibility to apologize for the horrors perpetrated upon the individual freedoms of people who did nothing wrong except have separatist leanings at some time in their lives. Mostly, they were artists and free citizens.
    In his speech, my colleague spoke about the context of the events in 1970. When people were imprisoned in Canada during the First World War and Second World War, there was also a context. That context, however, did not justify the atrocious imprisonments that occurred at the time. It is the same thing for the October crisis.
    Why is the government refusing to recognize the suffering experienced by the population at the time?

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, I recognize the suffering.
    I spoke about context because context is important. The member for Louis-Saint-Laurent said that the War Measures Act was enforced by the Sûreté du Québec at the request of the Government of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal, whose home was bombed, I should point out. I think there are distinctions to be made, and context is very important.
    I lived through that period. People were afraid. The member for New Westminster—Burnaby talked about how he was scared by the pictures he saw on television. There was a list of people the FLQ wanted to kidnap. These were mothers and fathers.
    The context is important. People suffered. The act was enforced. There was abuse, and there still is. Just look at Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who used a crisis to advance his agenda at the 1968 Democratic Party convention.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
     He used the word “courage” in speaking about the courage to stand up. I want to build on that.
    What does the member think about the courage of the then leader of the NDP, Tommy Douglas, who stood up against all of the criticism? He thought that suspending civil rights and fundamental freedoms was not something that should be done lightly. He did not think that invoking the War Measures Act was what our democracy or Parliament needed. What happened was serious. It had consequences for thousands of people.
    Madam Speaker, not all courageous actions are the same. There are many. In fact, taking a stand is always a courageous action.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his excellent speech.
    He was talking about context. Could he tell us a little more about the context of the time? In his answer to a previous question, he mentioned that Premier Bourassa had asked Ottawa for assistance and that the mayor of Montreal had also asked it to intervene. Fifty years later, it is suggested that Ottawa should not have intervened, despite receiving requests to do so from the premier and from the mayor of a major city.
    When should the federal government deny the requests of a provincial leader and a mayor in a crisis situation?
    Can he explain how he sees that context?
    Madam Speaker, we must recognize that, at the time, security forces like the RCMP did not have the tools they have now to distinguish between rumours and real threats. So I feel that great attention must be paid to that, and that historians should study it. Was the government really afraid? It depends on the facts.
    Madam Speaker, I thank all those who have spoken today, including my esteemed colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis, the chair of our caucus. I thank him very much for his comments. As the member for Gatineau, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the motion put forward by the Bloc Québécois.
    We are in the midst of a unique pandemic. For months, our government, our businesses, our essential front-line workers and our families have worked tirelessly to address the health and economic challenges caused by COVID-19. We have seen an unprecedented engagement of our governments, the health sector, our research community and the private sector. In responding to this crisis, Canadians have taken up this issue with a single-minded focus, understanding that we cannot afford to be distracted by the usual political jousting.
    On this side of the House, we remain concerned about what Canadians are experiencing, and we continue our efforts. Our government remains focused on supporting Canadians and Quebeckers during these difficult times. That is why we on this side of the House—and obviously this seems to be the case for some opposition members as well—are finding it difficult to understand why the Bloc is using one of its rare opposition days, not to propose concrete solutions, whether for Quebec or for all of Canada, to fight the pandemic, to help our seniors, our families and the most vulnerable, or to get us out of this crisis, but rather to offer Quebeckers a truncated and sanitized vision of our history; to show only a small part of history, a version that seems to forget the victims of the October crisis, a version that is their own and that forgets the real victims.
    It is important to remember our history, but it is also important to do so comprehensively, without forgetting parts of it and always keeping in mind the goal of uniting Quebeckers rather than dividing them.
    My colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent has put us back into the context of the time a little, as did my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis. The memory of the October crisis is extremely difficult for a number of Quebec families, especially the family of Pierre Laporte. But also for the family of Jeanne d'Arc Saint-Germain, from Vanier, who was killed by a bomb at the Department of Defence. Let me quote from the afternoon edition of Le Droit, the Saint-Jean-Baptise Day edition, June 24, 1970. The headline on the front page is “Bomb explodes in Ottawa”. Here is how it reads:
    Mme Jeanne-d'Arc St-Germain was sitting at her desk in the Department of Defence communications centre on Lisgar Street. She expected to finish her shift at 7:30 this morning. But Mme St-Germain did not have the opportunity to finish her shift. At 6:26, she was killed by the explosion of a powerful bomb that had been placed in the southeast corner of the temporary building.
    First responders found the lifeless body of the 51-year-old widow near her desk. Shards of glass had severed her jugular vein. Mme St-Germain, of 321 Shakespeare Street, Vanier, had been a communications clerk at the Department of Defence for about 15 years. Two members of the military, who were in the communications centre when the explosion took place, were slightly wounded by shards of glass.
    That also gives us a context, as my fellow residents of Gatineau, and of the entire national capital region, would understand full well.
    It is because of that, and because of many other attacks and many other bombs, that politicians of all stripes, the premier of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal, asked the Government of Canada to provide emergency powers in Quebec and the authority needed to arrest and detain people.

  (1250)  

    That obviously resulted in many victims, and the Bloc Québécois has named a few of them. We can easily see that over 500 people were detained, most of them without cause, for an average period of about a week, as my colleague said.
    That is a stain on our history, but it was also the product of the context of fear, of the climate of terror at the time that made our fellow citizens, our friends and our neighbours live in fear.
    I am now going to project 50 years into the future. We are gathered in the House of Commons on this sad anniversary of the October crisis, but we cannot talk about collective duty, let alone responsibility for our seniors, without talking about our duty to manage the pandemic and protect the most vulnerable.
    We are facing the greatest health crisis of our time. This is our October crisis. Canadians and Quebeckers are worried about how we will get through the crisis. They are worried about their safety and the safety of their loved ones. They are worried about paying their bills and about the safety of the personal protective equipment of our guardian angels. They are worried because they do not know if they will be able to see their family at Christmas or if their child will catch the virus at school.
    As the member for Gatineau and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, I have the enormous privilege and responsibility to work with my government colleagues to get the equipment we need, including the future vaccine. The same thing goes for treatments, equipment and ventilators.
    I cannot ignore my disappointment with the Bloc Québécois. Last week, it voted in favour of a motion that is dangerous for Canadians' health. I am not the one saying this, it is people involved in research, people in the manufacturing sector and from our small businesses. The Bloc Québécois will have to be judged by future generations. In 50 years, people may be talking about the sad anniversary of the October 2020 crisis, that is, the pandemic.
    Their opposition jeopardizes our current and future capacity to negotiate contracts for PPE, ventilators and vaccines. What I can say is that all of Quebec has answered the call in terms of procurement. For example, the famed company Bauer is making face shields for our health professionals. Others who come to mind are Joseph Ribkoff, Logistik Unicorp and Yoga Jeans, in Montreal, Beauce and Dorval, who are adapting their factories to produce millions of hospital scrubs, much like Calko Group in Montreal. ADM Medicom, based in Pointe-Claire, has signed an agreement to produce millions of masks. We are also thinking of bioMérieux in Saint-Laurent, which has agreed to deliver thousands of diagnostic tests to ensure the safety of Quebeckers and all Canadians. Lastly, we are thinking of Precision ADM, which will be making swabs in my riding, Gatineau.
    That is what we should have been talking about today, but sadly the Bloc Québécois chose another subject for debate on opposition day. However, I would like to reassure those who are watching that the Government of Canada is aiming for the right thing, the right October crisis, in today's deliberations.

  (1255)  

    Madam Speaker, I must admit that I am particularly disappointed with the speech by my colleague across the way. I am not surprised, but disappointed. I am especially disappointed to hear him say that we should not have talked about the October crisis.
    Fifty years ago, more than 500 people were imprisoned, and the War Measures Act was invoked by the federal government. According to him, we should not talk about it. I am trying to understand the logic behind it, but it is difficult. Is it because it is a black mark on Canada's history, or is it because the government is basically a little ashamed and does not want to admit it?

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, this opposition motion today contains a rigged and sanitized version of the story from 50 years ago, the Bloc Québécois version. It does not talk about the bombings or victims like Mrs. Saint-Germain, who I mentioned in my speech. It does not talk about any of that.
    In particular, it does not address the current day-to-day concerns of Canadians—the Government of Canada's management of the pandemic crisis. I am disappointed and ashamed that we are not debating here the measures that could be taken to help our constituents.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. colleague that the Bloc motion is unfortunately somewhat truncated regarding the history of that time. However, I disagree with his challenge of the Bloc's right to bring this important topic to the floor of the House of Commons 50 years after a great Canadian tragedy. It is important to remember both Mr. Cross, who was thankfully rescued and released after his months of captivity, and that we express sympathy on this 50th anniversary to the family and friends of Mr. Laporte.
     History has shown us, based on the realities on the ground at the time, that the War Measures Act was quite possibly not warranted. The federal government responded to a panicked response from the mayor of Montreal and the premier of Quebec. However, with the Liberal government so freely giving apologies over the years, I wonder if there cannot be a more formal acknowledgement that a historic mistake was made albeit on the basis of the lack of security intelligence.
    Madam Speaker, I know the hon. member was a broadcaster. I do not know if he was a broadcaster during that period, but I remember his interventions very well on a number of events that have marked Canada's history. I welcome his reflections on this one, however, I must disagree.
     As I have illustrated, victims from elsewhere in the province and Canada's national capital were part of the context of the age, and the Government of Quebec made a very clear request. If the members of the Bloc Québécois were in the House in 1970, doing, as they state, the bidding of the government and the National Assembly of Quebec, I can only wonder if they would have unified their voice to that of other Quebeckers at the time and also stood with the request to send the military into Quebec.
    Madam Speaker, the member speaks about it not being important to recognize something so vital and important that happened 50 years ago. While we have an awful lot of work to do in the House around COVID-19, I do not understand why, if the government claims it represents human rights, it will not apologize for this attack on human rights?
    Madam Speaker, the most fundamental human right is life. I have, as have my other colleagues in the House, laid out the context of the period, where dozens of human lives were taken, dozens of human lives were affected and thousands of human lives were terrorized by—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Repentigny.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.
    For the Government of Canada, the 50th anniversary of the October crisis represents an opportunity, one that I suspect is going to be missed, to apologize for imposing war measures and for fabricating an insurrection plot that it said was intended to overthrow the Government of Quebec. Good heavens, how far from the truth that was.
    In 1970, Pierre Elliott Trudeau's Canada sent in the army. It allowed the RCMP to infiltrate and destabilize democratic and militant organizations in Quebec, continuing long after the tragic events that followed. Canada did not do this to put an end to an insurrection, but because it wanted to suppress the sovereignist movement. That was its fundamental reasoning.
    At the time, Marc Lalonde, who was Pierre Elliott Trudeau's chief of staff at the time, summoned Peter Newman, the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star, and told him: “We believe that a group of prominent Quebeckers is plotting to replace the province's duly elected government. ...The leaders include René Lévesque, Jacques Parizeau, Marcel Pepin and Claude Ryan. This attempt to establish a parallel government must be stopped.”
    Just imagine. These four great names included three great premiers of Quebec and one great union leader. They were hardly likely to want to overturn the government. That story was just a pretext to justify suspending basic rights in Quebec.
    Need I remind hon. members that the War Measures Act was passed in 1914 during the First World War? It would be invoked only three times in history: during the two world wars and during the October crisis.
    In the days preceding October 15, the RCMP security service collaborated with the Sûreté du Québec on preparing a list of suspects. Originally, there were 56 names, to which the RCMP added another hundred or so. They ended up handing over a list of 158 names to Prime Minister Trudeau. According to the records, people whose names were on the list had taken part in violent demonstrations, had incited violence or were suspected of terrorist activities.
    Once the arrests began, there would be many more, completely without cause. At four in the morning on October 16, 1970, the War Measures Act was invoked. It would led to the largest military intervention in peacetime in Canada. During that one night alone, more than 450 people were arrested and thrown in jail.
    A decade after these sweeping arrests, former minister Jean Marchand, who later became Speaker of the Senate, went as far as to say that invoking the War Measures Act had been like using a cannon to kill a fly. However, then prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau never expressed remorse. Even in 1993, he was still saying that “society must take every means at its disposal to defend itself against the emergence of a parallel power which defies the elected power.”
    I myself was very young at the time of the October crisis. I was starting at university to become a teacher. One morning, when I was going to class, I saw soldiers, the army, guns and all of that. I used to walk across Lafontaine Park to get to class, and I must admit that I was worried. Come to think of it, I must have been terrified. When I got to school, I could not open the door, because the university was also closed.
    As soon as the Canadian Bill of Rights was suspended, even though the anti-terrorism experts of all three police forces, namely municipal, provincial and federal, had only a handful of suspects at most, 500 people were arrested and jailed without a warrant. Of those 500, 90 were released without being charged. The others were charged, but 95% of them were eventually acquitted or had their charges dropped.
    These people were not criminals. Most were separatists, but some were not. Among those who were arrested or jailed were poets, singers, journalists, union members, lawyers, ordinary activists, students and separatists.

  (1305)  

They included Pierre Côté, another Pierre Côté, Ginette Courcelles, Martin Courcy, Jean-Guy Couture, Jean-Marcel Cusson, Daniel Cyr, Micheline Cyr, Jean-Marie Da Silva, Blaise Daignault, Dominique Damant, Paul Danvoye, Michèle Danvoye-Raymond, Djahangir Dardachti, Mario Darin, Brenda Dash, Victor Daudelin, Benoit-André Davignon, Bruno De Gregorio, Claire Demers, François Demers, Jean-Pierre Deschêsne, Pierre Desfosses, Hélène Desjardins, Marcel Desjardins, Louise Désormeaux, Richard Desrosiers, Jean Désy, Jean-Pierre Dionne, Thomas Gordon Dolan, Gaëtan Dostie, Laura Maud Dottin, Ginette Doucet, Jacques Dubé, Michel Dubé, Robert Dubeau, Bernard Dubois, Claude-André Ducharme, Albert Dufour, Claire Duguay, Claude Dulac, Michel Dumont, Bernard Dupéré, Claire Dupond, Pierre Dupont, another Pierre Dupont, Réjeanne Dupont, Danielle Dupont, Daniel Dupuis, Myriann Farkas, Andrée Ferreti, Mireille Filion, Lise Filion, Yvon Forget, Guy Fortin, Joseph Fortin, Pierre Fournier, M. Fréchette.
    In the aftermath of the events of October 1970, my brother Michel Pauzé was also arrested and interrogated for more than four hours. It was not fun like question period, because I only found out about it years later. He never spoke about it. It was a shock for me to learn that my brother, who at the time was just a member of a student association at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal, had been arrested like that for no reason.
    I am also not ready to forget when the police came to our family home, where I was living with my grandmother and my mother. The police came in and searched the entire house. Ours was not an isolated case, because the police carried out 31,700 searches, of which 4,600 resulted in seizures during that time. In many cases, these searches were violent. That is what I call terrorism. That is what I call seeking to terrorize people. I still remember when they entered our home.
    I would like to see the federal government condemn this violence today, but despite our repeated calls, the government has remained silent. However, the Canadian government has apologized for three other interventions. In 1988, it apologized to victims of Japanese origin who were displaced and interned during the Second World War. In 1990, it apologized to victims of Italian origin who were interned during the Second World War. In 2006, it apologized to victims of Ukrainian origin who were interned during the First World War. Nothing for Quebeckers, however. In the first two cases, the government financially compensated victims or associations so they could organize educational and commemorative activities. For Italian Canadians, the government promised to do the same in June 2019.
    In closing, I will repeat the following question: Where is the federal government's apology for the victims of the October crisis?
    Many Quebeckers are still scarred by this crisis. The government must not only acknowledge it, but also accept its share of responsibility. Today, we are demanding an official apology from the Prime Minister on behalf of the Government of Canada for the enactment, on October 16, 1970, of the War Measures Act and the use of the army against Quebec's civilian population to arbitrarily arrest, detain without charge and intimidate nearly 500 innocent Quebeckers.

  (1310)  

    Madam Speaker, once again, my hon. colleague failed to name the real victims of the terrorist acts that went on for more than 10 years. Not to age myself, but I remember the events of the 1970 crisis very clearly. I remember them because they had repercussions even back home in New Brunswick. There were extremist elements, and Molotov cocktails were thrown at federal buildings.
    We have heard many of our Bloc Québécois colleagues say that the government's actions suppressed democracy. Would my hon. colleague agree that the ensuing calm clearly demonstrated that democracy was quite intact, as evidenced by the election of the Bloc Québécois on so many occasions as well as the multiple referendums that were held, which in no way affected Quebec's peaceful democracy?

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
    I sometimes wonder whether the government and its elected members are pretending not to understand what the issue is really about. We are talking about the War Measures Act. We are talking about people who were imprisoned. We are talking about the people who showed up at my house and terrorized my grandmother, my mother and me to search the house, looking for weapons. That is what we are talking about.
    That is not peace. That is violence. That is terrorism. I am tempted to say that the government was committing acts of terrorism at the time. I would like the government members to focus on the objective of our motion, which is the War Measures Act, which the government has invoked three times: twice during the two world wars and once during the October crisis. The federal government has never apologized and will not say a word on the matter.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to know if my colleague acknowledges that, between 1963 and 1970, the FLQ committed terrorist acts in Quebec.
    At least 200 terrorist acts, including the murder of Pierre Laporte, were committed. Does my colleague recognize that Quebec was in the midst of a terrorist crisis at the time and that it made sense to request support from the Canadian Armed Forces because police forces were overwhelmed?
    Madam Speaker, I must say that I am a bit disappointed by my colleague's question. I thought it was only the government that did not understand that our motion is about the War Measures Act and nothing else.
    I would just like to remind my colleague that Ottawa has a crime-fighting tool, the Criminal Code, and that Canada is the only democratic country that has ever declared war on its people in order to fight crime.
    Since my colleague talked about the years before 1970, I would like to remind the House that, in 1970, there was an average of 290 bombings per month in the United States, yet the American president never invoked martial law. I would also point out that the situation was similar in Paris, France, under its president, General Charles de Gaulle.
    How interesting. Those democracies did not have to use their armies against their civilian populations and then tell the people that they are able to live in peace because they have been punished enough.
    Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague from Repentigny.
    I think Quebeckers were not the only ones who had bad experiences during the crisis.

[English]

    This apology the Bloc Québécois requests is to the people of Quebec. I just wanted to put on the record that suspending civil liberties applied across Canada. In the city of Vancouver, the police used it as an excuse to ride mounted on horseback with batons flailing, to clear out the park of people they decided were undesirables.
    It is quite significant that the War Measures Act no longer exists. In 1985, this Parliament got rid of it and replaced it with the Emergencies Act that deals with an emergency like COVID, called a public welfare emergency, and deals with an emergency like insurrection through a public order emergency, neither of which has a national effect of suspending civil liberties. Would my hon. colleague comment on that?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    I would simply like to say that the law was replaced, thank God, and I hope that they will never use it against the civilian population again in any way. The law was replaced and that is for the better.
    That said, we are still calling for an apology with respect to the law that existed in 1970, an apology that we never received.

  (1320)  

     Madam Speaker, personally, I support non-violence. I am greatly inspired by Martin Luther King and Gandhi. As Louis Fournier, the author and expert on the October crisis, wrote in his book, I am convinced that we cannot afford to be complacent about the FLQ's violence. Louis Fournier also stated that the FLQ extremism was a response to the extremism of power. The government of Ottawa took advantage of the opportunity to unleash a vast operation of repression. The unjustified violence of a state against its innocent citizens is no better than the violence of a group of individuals like the FLQ.
    I was 10 years old at the time of the October crisis. I vaguely remember it. I remember seeing a soldier with a machine gun in front of the office of a municipal councillor. I think that the repression was so extensive that almost everyone who lived through those times has not forgotten it. In a single night, October 16, 1970, more than 450 people were unfairly imprisoned without a warrant and without a valid reason.
    Why did it happen at night? Undoubtedly to create psychological shock. That is along the lines of what the Duchaîne report stated. People were woken up at night with machine guns in their face. That is rather incredible. Of the approximately 500 people who were arrested, 90% were released without being charged, and 95% of those who were charged were acquitted or had the charges dropped.
    Here are some of those people, whom I feel we have a duty to remember: Gilles Gagliardi, Jean-Pierre Gagné, Théo Gagné, Armand Gagnon, Charles Gagnon, Michel Gagnon, Paul Gagnon—often whole families were arrested—Nicolas Galipeau, 15 years old and the son of Pauline Julien, Pascale Galipeau, the daughter of Pauline Julien, Michel Garneau, Juvencio Garza, Ms. Garza, Claude Gaudreau, Annie Gauthier, Jacinthe Gauthier, Maurice Gauthier, Gilles Gauvin, Étienne Gazaille, Claude Gendron, Paul-Émile Giguère, Claude Girard, Jean-Pierre Girard, Pierre Girard, Rosaire Girard, Pierre Girardin, Gérald Godin, Madeleine Barbara Goldstein, Rock Gosselin, Jean Goulet, André Goyer, André Gravel, Pierre Graveline, Stanley Gray, André Grenier, Pierre Grenier, Roger Grenier, Yves Guindon, Yvon Guindon, Marek Gutowski, Louis Hains, Lise Walser Hains, Daniel Hardy, Jacques Hébert, Robert Hébert, Gloria Horowitz, Denis Huard, Solange Hudon, Richard Hudson, Maurice Jean, Pierre Jobin, Réal Jodoin, Jeannine Ouellette Jodoin, André Joffre, Pierre Joncas, Guy Joron, who later became a Parti Québécois MNA, Michel Joyal, Fabienne Julien.
    These people were not criminals. They included poets, singers, journalists, union members, lawyers and activists. I could also mention Pauline Julien, whose children I spoke of earlier, Gérald Godin, Michel Garneau, Gaston Miron, Denise Boucher, union leader Michel Chartrand, André Paradis, who I believe spent 51 days in jail, Gaétan Dostie, and the list goes on.
    They were all thrown in jail. What they had in common was that they were separatists or opponents of the government of the day.
    In his book Diary of a Prisoner of War, Gérald Godin recounts the first hours of his arrest. He writes:
    On that first day, my main emotion was a feeling of being uprooted. Of floating in total uncertainty. Why am I here? If someone would at least interrogate me, I might know what I was dealing with. ...If I knew that, I could get my feet back on the ground. At the moment, it is a void.

  (1325)  

    It was a very traumatic experience for all of these people. The point was to intimidate them. We do not know all of the names, because the federal government has refused to give a list. Furthermore, according to the Duchaîne report, there were more than 30,000 warrantless searches. This was all possible because of the invocation of the War Measures Act, which allows for rights and freedoms to be suspended in the event of apprehended insurrection.
    Yesterday, the Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada said that opposition leader René Lévesque had supported the War Measures Act. That is not true. First of all, René Lévesque was not the opposition leader. He was not even a member of the Quebec National Assembly at that time. Second of all, René Lévesque was against the FLQ violence but against the use of the War Measures Act as well.
    Here is an excerpt from what René Lévesque wrote in the Journal de Montréal on October 30, 1970: “Conflating these military reinforcements with the abhorrent War Measures Act, which is something else altogether, is yet more of the shrewd demagoguery that Mr. Trudeau and his entourage so masterfully and regularly demonstrate.”
    There were three commissions of inquiry, and two of them concluded that the use of the War Measures Act was unjustified. These two were the Duchaîne commission and the Macdonald commission, which was created by the federal government. The Keable commission did not issue a ruling because it was focused on the events after the October crisis. Some very worrisome revelations later came from a number of stakeholders.
     For example, Don Jamieson, the transport minister at the time, wrote in his memoirs that there had not been substantial grounds to think that there had been apprehended insurrection. He believed that a number of ministers in Trudeau's cabinet from Quebec, including Jean Marchand, Gérard Pelletier, Bryce MacKasey and Trudeau's principal secretary, Marc Lalonde, were using the act to take on their political adversaries in Quebec, whether they were federalist, like Claude Ryan, or sovereignist, like René Lévesque.
    Eric Kierans, the communications minister at the time, devoted whole pages of his memoirs to this massive injustice, as he called it. After in-depth research, Professor Reg Whitaker, the great expert on security matters, wrote in 1993, “the RCMP never asked for the War Measures Act, were not consulted as to its usefulness, and would have opposed it if they had been asked for their opinion.”
    Peter C. Newman, the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star at the time, has debunked the provisional government story. It was said that the apprehended insurrection was because a provisional government, opposing the elected one, was going to be put into place under the leadership of René Lévesque, Claude Ryan and Louis Labelle, of the FTQ. “That scenario was a meticulously concocted lie” floated by Prime Minister Trudeau and his principal secretary, Marc Lalonde.“They both lied to me about why the War Measures Act was imposed.”
    As Bernard Landry said on the 40th anniversary of the October crisis, we have a duty to remember those who were the victims of an injustice that was, and still remains, Canada's shame.
    We are asking for apologies, because, as the Macdonald Commission recommended, there should be compensation for those whose rights were violated, for no valid reason, when the War Measures Act was invoked. The compensation should be not only for the loss of their property but also for the affront to their freedom. Apologies are necessary because such an affront to democracy must never be repeated in different circumstances. Freedom is fragile.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his remarks. It became clear almost immediately that most of the people who were arrested were nothing more than harsh critics of the Montreal and Quebec governments. A few of my colleagues were among them.

[English]

    I fully respect the Bloc's initiative to bring this Canadian tragedy to the floor of the House of Commons. It is important that we revisit the rights that were encroached upon and the mistakes that were made in the absence of security information.
    I wonder why the Bloc motion does not at least pay passing respect and commemoration to Pierre Laporte, who was politically assassinated, and to his family and friends.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I think that Pierre Laporte's murder is absolutely reprehensible. If one thing broke the FLQ movement, it was probably that because Quebeckers are fundamentally non-violent. We wanted to focus on the war measures and on the repression that took place.
    I had a meeting on Zoom with Louis Fournier, the author. At the time, I did not realize how much had happened. The scope of this operation was quite incredible.
    A police officer involved in the arrests said that he was sent to make arrests in the middle of the night with three of his colleagues. He seemed to be saying that he had been careful. At one point, he raided the home of a young couple who had a sleeping baby. He said he had been careful not to wake the baby up. He also said that he became a separatist the next morning.
    It was really disproportionate and unacceptable. All forms of violence must be avoided and dealt with.
    The Bloc Québécois motion really targets the violence by the state at the time. I think we must support that motion. We do not deny the violence that was done, but we believe that there must be an apology from the Canadian government.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    I would remind the House that the NDP and Tommy Douglas stood up for fundamental freedoms.
    My colleague is right to say that the raids were extremely broad. A lot of people were arrested. So many houses were searched that it was not at all a police operation to find people who had been kidnapped, but a form of political repression of ideas, particularly against artists and intellectuals.
    Why is it so difficult for the Liberal Party, the party of rights and freedoms and of the charter, to agree to apologize 50 years later?
    Madam Speaker, that is a very good question.
    Mr. Douglas, who was the leader of the NDP at the time, had denounced these measures. He had also denounced the use of the War Measures Act against the Japanese during the Second World War. The Canadian government apologized for that. We do not understand why it would not do the same for the rest.
    I was very young at the time, but I think there was also a movement of anger against Quebeckers in many media outlets in English Canada. Pressure was very strong.
    I have heard some testimony. One person told me that his father was searched even though he had no contact with the FLQ. It so happens that he was a member of the Parti Québécois and a university professor. I think he had contacts with the military. They lumped them together. Their neighbour opposite was a printer and he was arrested.
    They were mostly people who were part of the executive of the Parti Québécois. It was also political violence and it was deplorable.

  (1335)  

     October 1970 was a difficult time for all Quebeckers and 50 years later the memories of these events are still present. We have a duty to remember the innocent victims and their families. These people are always uppermost in our minds when we talk about the October crisis.
    It is important to reflect on our history and to study and understand it. We must learn from our history so that it remains rooted in our memories and guides our future actions. Our children and grandchildren must learn from the past. They need to know that violence has never been and will never be an acceptable way to promote political ideas.
     Now we are in the middle of a new crisis 50 years later. Although it is different by nature, every necessary effort is being made to combat it. This health crisis is the collective fight of our lives. Today it is COVID-19 that is on the minds of Quebeckers and Canadians who are going through tough times. That is why I want to present our plan to combat this unprecedented health crisis.
    The disease continues to pose an unprecedented threat to the health and socio-economic well-being of Canadians and the global community. What are we going to learn from the crisis that we are experiencing today? Canada has a plan to manage this public health crisis.
    Over the past few months, Canada has been working very hard to develop its capacity and expertise to manage the resurgence of COVID-19. This plan includes important measures in all areas. The government is working to limit the spread of COVID-19. That is why we must expect our traditional gatherings to be a little different this year. However, I am confident that Quebeckers and Canadians will continue to do their part.
    They will need to keep complying fully and consistently with the measures proven to effectively control the spread of COVID-19. The government is aware that Canadians are all tired of following certain public health measures, which have had an immense impact on each one of us. I know that this has been difficult for all of us. It is ruining our year and special moments. Nevertheless, it is clear that individuals play a critical role in controlling the pandemic, and that is why we must all keep doing what we can to protect ourselves and others.
    Canada has adopted an evidence-based approach to dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19, an approach backed up by our current understanding of the virus and by scenario planning. Canada's strategy recognizes that our guidelines and our response to COVID-19 will evolve as the evidence evolves. Our approach emphasizes the crucial role that public health and communications will continue to play.
    Overall, the Government of Canada's efforts focus on three key objectives. First, we are determined to keep preventing and controlling the pandemic. Second, we are figuring out how to manage COVID-19 effectively with the participation of all levels of government, especially when case counts are rising. Last, we are supporting the development of vaccines and treatments to ensure Canada's long-term recovery.
    To achieve these objectives, we have identified 10 crucial areas where the government is taking concrete measures to keep Canadians healthy and help them learn to live with COVID-19.
    First is monitoring and data. We are committed to collecting, analyzing, interpreting and sharing information. These measures are essential to making evidence-based decisions that will improve Canadians' health. Our monitoring activities include monitoring cases and outbreaks, early warning systems and lab testing, among other things.

  (1340)  

    For example, we have strengthened our national approach to data collection and monitoring to continue to monitor COVID-19 across the country.
    Secondly, there are the borders. We act before travellers arrive at the border, when they arrive and when they leave. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have used border control measures and traveller health services programs to mitigate the risk of importing and spreading COVID-19. This includes enhanced screening measures at Canadian airports and implementation of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. As a result of our efforts, we have been able to minimize public health risks and reduce the burden on the Canadian health care system.
    Thirdly, there are public health measures. The Canadian government continues to work with the provinces and territories on public health measures and communications. We have introduced public health guidelines on how to protect the health and safety of Canadians and reduce the spread of COVID-19. We can see the results of these efforts every day. Basic public health measures are now part of everyday life and conversations. Governments and health professionals at all levels continue to emphasize the need for physical distancing, handwashing, staying at home when sick, and wearing a face—
    Order. The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I have been listening to my Liberal colleague for some time now, and what he is saying has no relevance or relationship to the motion that is being debated here today. I am fine with us having measures to deal with the pandemic, but there is a motion on the floor, and I get the impression that the Liberal member is just trying to skirt the issue.
    I would remind the hon. member to try to relate his comments to the motion that we are debating.
    Madam Speaker, I hope that my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie will continue to listen carefully to my speech. I began by saying that we are in another crisis. It is a current crisis that Canadians in general, and Quebeckers in particular, are concerned about these days. This is very important. If we ask Quebeckers, they will—
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable also has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to remind my colleague that we cannot do indirectly what we cannot do directly. His answer is therefore unacceptable under the circumstances. I would urge him to return to the subject at hand.
    I would remind the parliamentary secretary that his speech must address the motion.
    Madam Speaker, as I was explaining to my hon. colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, I am in the process of linking the crisis of 1970 to the one going on today, the COVID-19 crisis. If we ask Quebeckers which is the more important crisis, I think the first thing they will say is that it is the current health crisis. It is important to remember that it is by comparing past and current events that we can learn lessons.
    I have two minutes left. I will continue by telling you what matters. It is the capacity of our health care system, the facilities for high-risk populations or the need to have—

  (1345)  

    The member for Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères also has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to echo the comments of one of my previous colleagues and say that the member should speak to the subject matter of the motion at hand. I understand that he may make connections with other subjects sometimes, but it seems like 90% of his speech is on another subject, and I do not think that is acceptable.
    I would remind the parliamentary secretary one last time that he must speak to today's motion.
    Madam Speaker, we need to talk about the past. We need to know about it and learn from it. That is essential.
    At the same time, we must never forget to think about our constituents who are suffering at this very moment. We must never forget to focus all our energy on getting through this crisis.
    In 1970, a political crisis shook all of Quebec and all of Canada. The government responded to the request of the Province of Quebec and the City of Montreal. Today, as we go through this health crisis, all levels of government and all civil society organizations are asking the federal government to show leadership, and that is exactly what we are doing right now.
    This concludes my remarks.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we are in a crisis now, but this motion is discussing a crisis in the 1970s. I think it is a relevant debate to have today on its 50th anniversary.
    My uncle was a Japanese Canadian. He was born in Canada. In 1942, as a child, he went to an internment camp. There was a war at the time. There was a real threat that Japanese Canadians could be working with the imperial military and that would have serious implications, so people were put into internment camps. It was a horrible thing for my uncle Kaz Iwaasa to go through. The purpose of the apology for that time was to apologize to people like Kaz.
    I have talked to some friends and colleagues in Quebec who were children during the October crisis and lived in real fear of their parents being taken away at night because of their political involvement. I would like to ask the hon. member this: Does he think those people deserve an apology for the actions that were taken by our government at that time?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Vancouver Island for the link he made to his uncle's experiences during the war. It is important for us to understand and place ourselves in the time when this was happening. We now have the benefit of looking back at history with assurance as to what the results have been because we did not live through them.
    We have the assurance of looking back with the knowledge of what transpired, but the people who were involved in it at the time acted on the best information and took the best actions they could at that time. That is why the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec made a request to the federal government to invoke the War Measures Act and the federal government—
    Comments and questions, the hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the off-topic speech I just heard leaves me somewhat stunned, flabbergasted even. We might even see it as a lack of respect and empathy for the people who were imprisoned without cause and without a warrant, without even being told why. He did not say a word about André Rousseau, Louise Rousseau, Claude Rousseau, François Roux, Clément Roy, Denis Roy or Jean Roy, who were among the 497 people whose civil rights were suspended without cause.
    Before his time is up, does he not think it is time to apologize to these people and apologize for his whole speech being off topic?

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, when I think about what happened in 1970, I also remember the people I grew up with who lived through that period or whose parents were involved in the nationalist movement or the federalist movement. Everyone was afraid.
    The advantage of time allows me to better understand what happened. We must remember that people were terrified after Mr. Laporte's murder—
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Madam Speaker, this being the 50th anniversary of the October crisis, I really wish my Liberal colleague had taken the opportunity to talk about the victims of the crisis, including Pierre Laporte and the 10 other people who were killed. Something very serious happened in Quebec, and we should take this opportunity to talk about these people and honour their memory.
    Why did he not do that in his speech?
    Madam Speaker, those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. I felt it was important to make the connection between the two crises.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin my speech by thanking the member for Beloeil—Chambly for his motion. This is certainly an important motion, and it is my pleasure to say a few words about it.
    I would like to start off with a little bit of my own story. I am the only Acadian Liberal MP from Nova Scotia. I want to emphasize the “Liberal” part because over on the Conservative side, Mr. d'Entremont—
    Let me remind the member that he must refer to his colleague not by name but by riding.
    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence may continue his speech.
    I must point out that I was only 11 years old when this crisis took place, so I was pretty young. It was a very difficult time for Quebeckers, for Canadians, and for me and my family. We would talk about it, and it was really hard to see the army patrolling the streets of one of the country's provinces.
    I want to remind everyone that I am Acadian with ancestors in Quebec. I want to emphasize that because I often say that a third of Quebeckers are of Acadian origin. We must not forget that, and if we look around the House, my colleagues will recognize that.
    Getting back to my family, a monument was erected in 1967 in the city of Lévis, across from Quebec City, to the Samson family, my ancestors, to mark Canada's 100th anniversary. Anyone can go and see it if they do not believe me. The monument is located at the corner of Saint-Louis and Belleville streets in Lévis. I have been to see it many times, as have many of my friends from Quebec City. One could easily imagine that the Samsons must have made quite a contribution for such a monument to be erected.
    Like many of my colleagues, I studied the Front de libération du Québec, or FLQ, in my history classes. It was a very difficult time. Many will recall that between 200 and 900 bombs were planted between 1963 and 1970, during the seven-year crisis. Today we are talking about the events of October 1970, but those seven years of crisis were really difficult and troubling, with many injuries and murders.
    However, I believe that it is essential that we now focus on the facts. According to the information we had at the time, which I will rely on in my speech, there was indeed a crisis, and the Province of Quebec declared a state of emergency. Quebec police made it clear that they needed help, and the chief of the Montreal police even wrote to the mayor, Jean Drapeau, saying:
    An extremely dangerous subversive movement has progressively developed in Quebec in recent years with the objective of overthrowing the legitimate state by means of sedition and eventually armed insurrection.
    It could not be any clearer. There was a crisis, there was an emergency, and Quebec was in dire need of the federal government's help.
    Now I want to draw your attention to a second letter, this one sent by Mayor Drapeau and the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Bourassa, in which we find the words “apprehended insurrection”. These words appear clearly in the letter, which asked the federal government to intervene.
    Why did they request federal intervention? It was because the province of Quebec was in crisis. The health and safety of Quebeckers were at stake, and the people needed help from the federal government. Naturally, the federal government came to their rescue.

  (1355)  

    Cabinet invoked the War Measures Act during the night of October 15, 1970, following a request, as I said, from the Province of Quebec, the Premier of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal, Mr. Drapeau.
    It is also important to point out the actions of the police and the army, which no one has spoken about today. The police and army provided by the federal government reported to Quebec's justice minister. We provided the tools available in our arsenal to support a province that made a request during a key crisis. They were responsible for what happened on the ground, not the federal government.
    Order. I would like to inform the hon. member that he will have three more minutes after Statements by Members and Oral Questions.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Housing

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this chamber again and talk about housing and cities. This week, our government took the historic step in choosing to work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and directly fund cities as we work together to end homelessness in Canada.
    Our government knows that not everyone can safely practise social distancing because of shelter conditions or overcrowded homes. We know that when people who are already struggling with illnesses are left to sleep rough or pitch a tent in a park, this precarious situation turns deadly very quickly during COVID-19. This is why $1 billion is there to help cities directly, to fund non-profits and indigenous housing providers in rural, urban and northern communities immediately and help them acquire new housing. This funding, combined with close to $500 million in Reaching Home funds this year for front-line homeless services, is so critical right now.
    I talked to someone living in a tent encampment in my riding who told me that homelessness is not like COVID. They do not need a treatment, they need the cure. This rapid housing initiative is a bold move to do just that. We need to end chronic homelessness now.

  (1400)  

World Psoriasis Day

    Madam Speaker, psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects an estimate 1% to 3% of people in Canada. Psoriasis causes skin cells to grow and shed 10 times faster than normal, resulting in flaking, redness, pain, itching and bleeding. People living with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing other diseases, including arthritis and depression. Psoriasis has no cure, but it is treatable. Treatment decisions are often difficult because of the long road to stability with this unpredictable disease. Access to effective care is critical to supporting psoriasis patients.
    This World Psoriasis Day, I would like to recognize the work of groups like the Canadian Psoriasis Network and Unmasking Psoriasis in Saskatchewan for providing critical information and support to people affected by psoriasis.

Diversity and Inclusion

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightfully proud of our tremendously rich diversity. For far too long, however, our extraordinary diversity has not always been reflected in our corporate boardrooms and senior management positions. Our institutions and leaders should not only serve as microcosms of society, but also as inspiration to the next generation of incredible Canadians who deserve to see themselves reflected in positions of leadership.
    Representation matters and that is why I am devoting my statement to welcoming the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry's clarion call to Canadian businesses of all sizes to commit to the 50 - 30 challenge by striving to achieve 50% gender parity and 30% representation of under-represented groups, including racialized persons, those who identify as LGBTQ2S+, people living with disabilities, and first nations, Inuit and Métis people. We can unleash the full potential of diversity and the promise of inclusion for all Canadians.

[Translation]

Victims of the October Crisis

    Mr. Speaker, I want to let the victims of the October crisis tell their stories.
    People like Gilles Paquin, who said, “They arrived at my home between 4:30 and 5 in the morning…they were kicking in the door, two men with rifles.” Mr. Paquin was imprisoned for seven days, without being allowed to shower.
    People like Louis Hains, arrested by the police. Mr. Hains said, “They police arrested the whole group: Nicolas, 16 years old, Pascal, 19 years old, and me, 20 years old. I am pretty sure I stayed for a week…but when you are in a place where the lights are on all the time, at one point you lose track of whether it is day or evening, whether it is yesterday, the day before yesterday or tomorrow.”
    People like Gaëtan Dostie, who said, “When you are woken up with a machine gun and kept under watch with a machine gun pointed at you for four or five hours, you are afraid.”
    There are 494 other Quebeckers with similar stories. The federal government owes them an apology.

[English]

Yemen

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak about the forgotten people of Yemen. The continuing war in Yemen is deemed by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Much of the country's infrastructure has been destroyed. There are 20 million Yemeni who face food insecurity and 10 million are suffering from famine. The suffering of the Yemeni does not make front-page news, but the images of the women, emaciated children and families are a reality. We should also be concerned about the human rights violations.
    Canada, as a middle power country, can facilitate the peace effort and should engage neighbouring Saudi Arabia to ensure that the peace talks respect international laws and convention. For peace to be sustainable, it is important that the Yemeni women are actively engaged, because they bear the brunt of conflict.

  (1405)  

Oil and Gas industry

    Mr. Speaker, Canada's beleaguered oil and gas industry has suffered for five years at the hands of the government. From east coast refineries to west coast access to oil drilling in the territories, the government's disregard for the industry from coast to coast to coast is astounding.
     As Canada's territories work tirelessly to recover from the economic effects of this pandemic, vital oil drilling projects have been noticeably absent from Calgary. What is worse is the disregard for dialogue, as the government did not even consult with its territorial counterparts before it banned offshore drilling in the Arctic.
     I have seen first-hand in my riding of Calgary Centre how the government's policy misdirection has cost my constituents jobs. Canadians workers in the oil and gas sector are rewarded for their dedication to excellence with cancelled projects and open disdain for their valuable work.
     I wonder when the government will start listening to territorial and provincial leaders and stop punishing Canadian workers and their families based on unsubstantiated policies.

Birthday Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, I celebrate Mr. George King and wish him a very happy 100th birthday.
     George was born in Scotland, served in the Second World War and chose to make Canada his home. He is a very proud Canadian Scot and family man. Here in Canada, George served on boards and as director of the Canadian Real Estate Association, because it is community that matters most to George.
    Just two years after arriving in Canada, he co-founded Rexdale Presbyterian Church, a touchstone in our community. Two decades later, he co-founded the Rexdale Presbyterian Senior Citizens Corporation, which today is home to 200 seniors. George is a man of strong faith, deep conviction and tremendous wit.
    I hope to see George for Robbie Burns day, share a poem and song, and reminisce about the Highlands. However, for now, I thank him for his service to Canada and wish him a happy birthday.

A Heart Like Mine

    Mr. Speaker, I recently met with Will Petschenig, a local hockey champion who formerly played professionally for the Oshawa Generals and is now coaching kids locally.
     Will suffered the loss of his father Dan in 2013 and like so many who have lost a parent, Will's grieving did not stop and did not get resolved immediately. In fact, one in 14 children in Canada will experience the death of a loved one by the age of 18.
    Knowing this, Will has created a program called “A Heart Like Mine”, helping kids who have lost a parent. In honour of his father, this young man has converted his grief into passion and taken initiative to ensure others in our community have the support they need.
     Will continues to use his profile as a professional hockey player to help build a children's grief centre in the Durham region, which will serve over 3,000 children in need. The facility will offer children a place to share experiences and heal.
    I invite everyone in the Durham region to support his efforts. I hope the hon. members in the House will join me in recognizing Will's dedication and leadership in the pursuit of his dream of helping grieving families in the Durham region. I am sure Will's father would be proud.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, there were two major announcements this past week regarding our energy sector.
     The first was the merger between Cenovus and Husky, which, unfortunately, is going to result in some more job losses in my home city of Calgary. However, the announcement that received less attention was Suncor's repatriation of 700 jobs from Mississauga and Oakville to Calgary.
    This should be a wake-up call for the Liberal members across the way who represent those ridings. These jobs are leaving Toronto and coming to Calgary, but it proves how the energy sector has had a stronger impact on the entire Canadian economy than the government will give it credit for.
    Government policies around the green agenda, banning plastics, are not only a direct attack on western Canada, but also on jobs across the country. It is time for Liberal MPs to stand up to their leader and say no to his desire to phase out the oil sands and ruin the economy of western Canada.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

Orléans Health Hub

    Mr. Speaker, on October 16, I had the honour of joining my provincial counterpart Stephen Blais for a tour of the very impressive Orléans Health Hub, where construction is moving quickly. I thank the team at Monfort Hospital, Bernard Leduc, Mélanie Potvin and Carl Nappert, as well as Andrew and Zyad from EllisDon for having us.
    The Orléans Health Hub is a unique and innovative project that will provide integrated health care services to our community. The hub's fundraising campaign is well underway. I want to thank Yves Tremblay and his spouse, Sylvie Villeneuve, who recently made a historic $1 million donation to the Montfort Hospital Foundation. I will say it again: They donated $1 million to the Monfort Hospital Foundation.
    On behalf of the community of Orléans and Ottawa, I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for their generous donation and their commitment to the project.

[English]

Jessie's House

    Mr. Speaker, the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation operates Jessie's House, a home for those fleeing domestic violence in my constituency.
    Jessie's House opened this past May, after years of fundraising, and it could not have come at a more needed time. With the pandemic raging, domestic violence has increased, making spaces like Jessie's House crucial for survival. Unfortunately, due to economic conditions, charitable support has decreased dramatically.
    Provincial government support and some federal support has been forthcoming, but it needs to access the wage subsidy to cover part of its estimated $60,000 monthly payroll. Jessie's House was denied the wage subsidy because it had not been open long enough. This is absurd. We need shelters like these now more than ever. They are only running at half capacity and are turning away those fleeing domestic violence for lack of support.
    It is time for the government to immediately revisit the wage subsidy legislation to ensure that crucial shelters and other desperately needed services get the financial support they deserve.

David Braley

    Mr. Speaker, our nation and our hometown of Hamilton lost a statesman, an icon this week with the passing of Senator David Braley.
    The successful entrepreneur from humble beginnings to kind-hearted philanthropist with an avid passion for sports and arts, David Braley was the first Hamiltonian to serve in the Canadian Senate. He was an extraordinarily selfless person.
     When the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were on the verge of bankruptcy in 1989, David Braley stepped in to save the team. The senator also chaired the committee that brought the extremely successful World Cycling Championship to Hamilton, was a director of the successful 2015 Pan American Games bid, and has donated millions to amateur sport.
     Never missing a single opportunity to help his fellow Hamiltonians, he has led fundraising campaigns and donated millions to the Royal Botanical Gardens, local hospitals, art galleries and other educational institutions, including his alma mater McMaster University, where an athletic centre, a health sciences centre and a centre for antibiotic discovery all bear his name.
    When asked why the senator was so generous, he responded, “I'm making sure Hamilton has the best. I think Hamilton is a very special place.” David Braley was one of the most truly honourable people I have had the privilege to know. David, my friend, is and will be sorely missed by all.

Neighbour to Neighbour Centre

    Mr. Speaker, for over 20 years, St. Thomas More high school has conducted a Halloween 4 Hunger campaign in support the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre in my riding of Hamilton Mountain. Instead of trick-or-treating, students could collect non-perishable food donations for the food bank run by Neighbour to Neighbour.
    Sadly, due to COVID-19 restrictions and out of concern for the health and safety of their students, the event has to be cancelled. Forty-two per cent of our current households using the food bank are new to the centre, putting added pressure on the food bank as we head into the holiday season.
    Undeterred, the high school is reaching out to the community, asking for financial support for Neighbour to Neighbour. I recognize it has been a difficult time due to the pandemic, but I ask those who can to help the Neighbour to Neighbour food bank by making a financial contribution this year. Details are available on the Neighbour to Neighbour website.
     I would like to recognize and thank the students of St. Thomas More for their past and continued efforts to help Neighbour to Neighbour and the residents of Hamilton Mountain.
    I would also like to add that it is my daughter's birthday. I wish Megan a happy birthday. She is my youngest daughter at 29 years of age.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Victims of the October Crisis

    Mr. Speaker, it is not the Bloc Québécois that is calling for a formal apology for the war measures, it is the victims of wrongful arrest, detention without charge and intimidation, whose words I will share today.
    It is people like Serge Mongeau, who said, and I quote, “The worst part was the uncertainty. What was going happen to us? Did my wife know? What if I had disappeared and no one knew where I was? What lay ahead for us? How long would we be there for?” In Mr. Mongeau's case, it was eight days.
    It is people like Jocelyne Robert, who was seven months pregnant at the time. She said, “To calm me down, he takes a sheet of paper from his briefcase. ...he shows me that my name is on it. He says that it is a list...of people who really should not be allowed to escape. They might even shoot at you. ...I hear women who have been here for three days, a week, 10 days. That makes me imagine that...I am going to give birth in prison”.
    Four hundred and ninety-five other Quebeckers have similar stories to tell. The federal government owes them an apology.

[English]

Don Mazankowski

    Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to pay tribute to a lion and a legend. The Right Hon. Don Mazankowski served Canadians with dignity and integrity for two decades as the MP for Vegreville. As deputy prime minister he was called the “minister of everything”, and apparently the prime minister's instruction to everyone else was to “run it by Maz”. He said he was inspired by Diefenbaker's visit to Vegreville and his message that the west must play a meaningful role in national business.
    Maz was a powerful voice for Alberta, for the west and for our role in Confederation. He never forgot where he came from while he was in Ottawa. A staunch advocate for his riding, where he is much loved, he was said to have no enemies after over 20 years in politics, which really is a remarkable feat on its own. I cannot say the same for me after only five.
     After a political life, Maz kept giving in other ways to countless charities and causes. Selflessly, he even declined a seat in the Senate. A former MLA in Lakeland said, “Maz did politics the right way, tenacious but gracious, argumentative but not mean-spirited, hard-nosed but soft-hearted.”
    I thank Lorraine, Roger, Sheryi Ray, Morgan, Mackenzie and all the Mazankowski family for sharing him with Canada. We are all better for it.

Republic Day of Turkey

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House on the anniversary of the 97th Republic Day of Turkey.
    On October 29, 1923, Turkey was formally declared a republic. It was also the day the Republic of Turkey elected its first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Twenty-one years later, Canada and Turkey established diplomatic relations and now, in 2020, the Canadian Turkish community has grown to over 65,000 citizens.
     Canadians of Turkish origin are a vibrant community, whose language, culture and traditions have enriched the social fabric of Canadian society. Organizations, such as the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations, among others, work hard to put on important events for the community, including International Children's Day. I want to acknowledge and thank them for their tremendous contributions to Canada. Canada is stronger because of our diversity, and the Turkish community has made us a stronger and better country.
     I conclude by wishing a happy Republic Day to all those celebrating in Canada and abroad.

[Translation]

Attack in France

    Following discussions among representatives of all parties in the House, I understand that there is consent to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of yesterday's attack in Nice, France. I invite hon. members to rise.
    [A moment of silence observed]

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

  (1420)  

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister contradicted his own government on the shut down of the pandemic warning system. In an interview last week, the health minister admitted the pandemic warning system had been shut down and the decision was being examined. Yesterday, the Prime Minister suggested his government made no change to the system. Both of these things cannot be true.
    Why is the government spreading misinformation about its shutting down of Canada's pandemic early warning system?
    Mr. Speaker, let me be really clear about one thing. Canada, today, is facing a grave second wave of the coronavirus. Now is the time for all of us to come together and fight this second wave, which is ravaging Europe and our neighbour to the south.
    Now is the time for us to focus on what we can do going forward to save Canadian lives and to preserve the Canadian economy. There will be a time for post-mortems, but while the plane is flying, one does not try to change the engine.
    Mr. Speaker, if one made some errors while the plane was taking off, one should learn about them before the plane has to land.
    There has been another disagreement about the shutting down of the pandemic warning system. In the same interview, the health minister said the review into closing the system had not started yet. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said the review was complete.
    Will the Deputy Prime Minister let the House know? Is it over? Has it not started yet? Who will they appoint to review the decision to shut down Canada's pandemic warning system?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, what I am focused on, what the government is focused on and what I believe all members of the House need to be focused on today is the crisis before us. We need to work together to fight the second wave, which is here right now.
    I do agree with the member opposite that there are lessons we can all learn from this global pandemic. For me, one of those lessons is that, as a country going forward, we need to invest more in our public health systems. We need to invest more to be sure that when the next pandemic comes, Canada is even more prepared. I know that all members of the House will support us in doing so.
    Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister is correct. We have to work together. We have to learn the lessons, so we would like to learn who made the wrong decisions in her government. A news report this morning revealed that the Deputy Prime Minister disagreed with the health minister's handling of the early pandemic. Particularly, she was in favour of closing the border immediately and the health minister wanted to keep the border open.
    My question to the Deputy Prime Minister is simple. Why did the Prime Minister overrule her decision and favour the health minister's decision to keep our borders open, letting in thousands more cases of COVID-19?
    Mr. Speaker, when the global pandemic hit Canada, we introduced tougher restrictions on the Canada-U.S. border than had existed in Canadian history. What I am especially proud of is that we have managed to have those restrictions in place without harming the vital trade between our two countries. That is a real accomplishment for the Canada-U.S. relationship. It is an accomplishment by all Canadians.
    I want especially to thank Canadians living along the border, who have really enthusiastically understood the value of these restrictions and supported them.

[Translation]

Terrorism

    Mr. Speaker, once again, France is under attack. Our values of openness and freedom of speech are the targets of these Islamist attacks. After the horrific murder of teacher Samuel Paty, it took the Prime Minister 10 days to mention the attack. Ten days of silence is a long time.
    Is the Prime Minister reluctant to stand up for our values and our allies?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very important question.
    I think all Canadians are truly horrified by this heinous attack in Nice, and I think I speak for all members of the House when I say that our hearts go out to the people of France and the people of Nice.
    France is one of Canada’s closest, dearest and most important allies, and we will always stand in solidarity with France.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, if France is under attack, all democracies are under attack.
    Here in Canada, the Prime Minister promised to create deradicalization centres. It was another promise he did not keep. Protecting citizens from terrorist attacks is one of the Prime Minister's primary duties.
    Why is he refusing to show leadership on this issue?
    Mr. Speaker, we never refuse to show leadership when it comes to protecting the lives of Canadians, and that is why protecting Canadians, here in Canada and around the world, is a priority for our government.
    I want to emphasize one more thing, because it is very important: now and forever, Canada stands in solidarity with France and its people.

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, when the Canadian army was deployed to arrest 497 people and intimidate thousands of others in October 1970, René Lévesque said that the wolves had been unleashed. He called it a shameful day.
    The military burst in on innocent people in the middle of the night, brandishing machine guns, and then arrested these people without cause and detained them without explanation for days on end. Fifty years later, the victims of these war measures deserve an official apology.
    Your father said, “Just watch me.” Prime Minister, we are watching. Will you give them justice?
    Mr. Speaker, my father did not say, “Just watch me”, but I think this is an important question.
    It is important to remember that the period surrounding October 1970 was difficult for all Quebeckers. We must think about the family of Pierre Laporte, for whom this anniversary brings some painful memories.
    Mr. Speaker, in hindsight, the use of the War Measures Act has been criticized by members of all parties.
    The Liberal justice minister, John Turner, opposed it, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau's Quebec lieutenant, Jean Marchand, described it as being like using a cannon to kill a fly.
    The Conservative leader at the time, Robert Stanfield, said the act was cruel and based on claims that were never proven.
    Why is this government refusing to do as many key actors did at the time and admit to an abuse of power that requires an apology?
    Mr. Speaker, the period surrounding October 1970 was very difficult for all Quebeckers, but this is an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come since then.
    We can be proud that we live in a country where we choose to express our ideas in a peaceful, non-violent way, and we can be proud that we live in a country where the government allows democratic discussions like the one we are having in the House today.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, more than 10,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19, and 80% of those deaths occurred in long-term care centres. The Canadian Armed Forces had to be sent in to protect our seniors, and still the problems persist.
    The Prime Minister promised to work with the provinces and territories to establish national health care standards.
    What has become of those standards?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.
    As our country is in the midst of the second wave of this pandemic, now is really the time to be thinking about our seniors once again. Yes, our women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces stepped up in the spring to protect our seniors. Today, we must continue to work with the provinces and territories to protect our seniors during this difficult second wave.

  (1430)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we have to take in these numbers. There are 10,000 Canadians who have died because of COVID-19, and 80% of them have been in long-term care homes. What is even more staggering is how clear the evidence is that the worst conditions were found in for-profit long-term care homes.
    The evidence makes it clear, so my question to the Prime Minister is this. Knowing that the worst conditions are in for-profit homes, does he still believe the federal government should be in the business of for-profit long-term care homes?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is right that there have been particular concerns about how our elders have fared in for-profit long-term care facilities. We cannot turn a blind eye to this, and I very much agree that all options need to be on the table when we think about how we run, operate and regulate our long-term care facilities in the future.
    The lives of our elders must be a priority. Our country as a whole has not done well enough, and we need to do better going forward.
    Mr. Speaker, the government is not transparent or consistent about applying its pandemic rules. It is another day and there is yet another revelation that a wealthy U.S. executive was granted a quarantine exemption when he entered Canada on October 19 to push Teamster union workers to accept a new contract. The first time this kind of thing happened, the minister said it was a mistake, but he has not fixed it. Quarantine restrictions are enforced on everyday working Canadians, their small businesses and their family members.
    So, I have a very simple question. Why is there still one set of rules for wealthy, well-connected elites and a different set for everyone else?
    Mr. Speaker, that is an important question. There are not two sets of rules. Canadians have the right to enter Canada at any time if they follow the proper health and safety protocols.
    As to the member's question, our top priority is the health and safety of Canadians during this pandemic. Decisions on exemptions by officials are only issued after approval by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the relevant province or territory. We will continue to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, everyday Canadians are concerned and confused about the obvious double standard. They do not know what to expect. People, for example, who go to the border for a visa or other issue stay in their cars, remain in the neutral zone and do not even cross into the U.S., but when they turn around they are told that they have to put their lives on hold and quarantine for two weeks. However, if someone is a U.S. billionaire who wants to come to Canada and travel around freely, the Liberals say, “No problem, the door is open. Come on in and take our jobs while you are at it.”
    When will the government show the same compassion and fairness to everyday working Canadians as it does to U.S. billionaires?
    Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. There are not two sets of rules. Canadians have a right to enter Canada at any time when they follow proper health and safety protocols.
    To the member's question, as I said, the health and safety of Canadians is the top priority of all members of the House during the pandemic. It is also essential, and I am sure the member would agree, to keep our economy moving during this pandemic, and to protect our critical and essential businesses. Exemptions have been granted after extensive consultation by Global Affairs Canada officials, with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provinces and territories.
    Canadians understand that we need to—
    The hon. member for Carleton.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, with our unemployment being the highest in the G7, the 1.8 million Canadians without jobs are wondering what the economic plan is. Yesterday, we learned that the finance minister's plan is debt-fuelled government spending. The Bank of Canada governor's plan is debt-fuelled consumer spending. It is the credit card strategy. How will we pay it all back? We will cross that bridge when it collapses.
    When will the government realize that Canadians want paycheques, not bigger credit card bills?
    Mr. Speaker, let me start where the member opposite started, which is something that is so important for this government: jobs for Canadians.
    Let me point out to everyone in the House that the job recovery in Canada has been stronger than in the United States. TD pointed this out in a report that it issued on October 20. This is what was said:
    No matter how you slice the data, the Canadian labour market has been on a steadier road to recovery relative to the U.S. This is true for both full and part-time employment despite similar depths of decline.
    We are working hard for Canadians and Canadian jobs.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member quoted bankers because bankers are thrilled with all the printed money that is being pumped into their profit margins, but she forgets to mention that we still have the highest unemployment in the G7: higher than the United States, in fact. What do we have in response? So far, we have had no budget in a record 18 months, no number to associate with the deficit, no spending levels to report and no date for the fall economic update. The last time we had those biweekly reports on COVID spending was back before Bill Morneau became Bill “No More.”
    When are we going to get some facts about the recovery?
    Mr. Speaker, what is really important is for Canadians to understand that our work to support Canadian jobs is working. Canada has recovered particularly on employment, which is such an important measure for us all. Canada has recovered much more strongly than the economy with which we are most connected, the United States, and more strongly than economists predicted. That is because Canadians want to work hard. They are working hard, and it is because we have put the economic measures in place to allow that jobs rebound to happen.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, we are learning this week that our francophone public servants are being left to fend for themselves. The President of the Treasury Board said he is aware of the situation, but today the Commissioner of Official Languages is sounding the alarm. This is not the first time he has spoken out about it, but nothing has been done. The government is all talk and no action.
    Why is the government ignoring the alarm bells rung by francophone public servants and the Commissioner of Official Languages?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the Commissioner of Official Languages for his report and for the important work he does. It goes without saying that during a pandemic, Canadians must be able to access information in the official language of their choice to ensure their health and safety.
    While we were in the midst of managing a crisis, the Commissioner of Official Languages did raise some concerns. He also noted in his report that we reacted quickly at the time. However, I agree with him and with my colleague that we still need to do more, and we will.
    Mr. Speaker, the situation is particularly problematic in a pandemic. I am not the one saying so. I am quoting the Commissioner of Official Languages, who said that the government must address the matter and ensure that it can communicate in both official languages simultaneously, adding that it was crucial to the safety of Canadians.
    The president of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada goes even further. He says that with the current situation, citizens are being placed at risk.
    When will the President of the Treasury Board address the situation in all departments?
    Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that the President of the Treasury Board and I agree. We always need to do more. We must also protect the health and safety of Canadians. There must be respect for the letter and the spirit of the Official languages Act. That is why it is a priority and we work on it every day.
    We know that we are in the midst of a pandemic. We also know that this is an extraordinary situation. We have made adjustments and fine-tuned our approach.
    Under the circumstances, I thank the commissioner for his excellent work. We will follow his recommendations.

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, the federal government had no justification to invoke the War Measures Act in 1970. It had to come up with some kind of James Bond plot to get it approved. The Liberals claimed that there was an insurrection brewing in Quebec; that a provisional government was prepared to overthrow the rule of law; and that 3,000 terrorists armed with machine guns, shotguns and dynamite were just waiting for a signal to take down the government. The government lied to invoke the War Measures Act and it did so against the advice of the RCMP.
    Fifty years later, will the government finally admit that it made a mistake and apologize?
    Mr. Speaker, we have the privilege of living in a society that stands for democracy, dialogue and respect for differences, a society in which conflicts are resolved through politics, not violence. That is who we are. That is our history, but if we are talking about our history, we need to talk about all of it. We need to talk about all of the facts and not just the ones that suit us.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, the federal government did not arrest terrorists during the October crisis. The federal government arrested our national poet Gaston Miron. It tried to silence the great Pauline Julien. Ottawa had poet Gérald Godin arrested.
    Will the Minister of Heritage and member for Plateau Mont-Royal, the riding of Godin, the home of Miron and Julien, acknowledge that the federal government tried to intimidate Quebec by caging up its culture?
    Will his government finally apologize for the abuses of the October crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, October 10, 1970, at 6:18 p.m., Pierre Laporte was playing with his nephew in front of his home. That was the last time his family saw him alive.
    Why does the Bloc motion fail to mention that? Why does it ignore the kidnapping and murder of this man who was an MNA, a minister, but above all a father, son and husband? Why?
    Mr. Speaker, the 497 arrests during the October crisis were not just immoral and violent, but also illegal.
    That is what the IRAI demonstrated in a study published this morning. After the order that enacted the measures written in English only, the legislation would be illegal and in violation of at least 12 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1970, what we saw were not arrests so much as abductions and confinements.
    Why refuse to apologize for such dangerous abuse?
    Mr. Speaker, I love my Quebec and I love it as deeply as I am sure all Bloc Québécois MPs love it, but when we love Quebec that much we must not try to divide it, but instead try to unite it. That is what we must do. It is the responsibility of each member of the House and that includes all Bloc Québécois MPs.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister two questions, and he could not answer me. Today, I will direct my question to the minister responsible for the file.
    The first vaccine development contract that was signed was awarded to a Chinese company called CanSino Biologics. The contract failed, in reality, because the Chinese communist regime cannot be trusted.
    Now that the government has made this mistake, we want to know how many millions of dollars have been lost because of this failed deal.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    Let me clarify that the company and government in question did not receive any funding from the Government of Canada. We will continue to actively pursue all promising options for a vaccine against COVID-19.
    Mr. Speaker, that is what I call an answer. He might want to share that with the Prime Minister, who did not seem to be aware of it yesterday. We would like to get the same kinds of answers to questions about WE Charity and Frank Baylis and the $237 million.
    Things did not work out with CanSino Biologics, so we are falling behind. We know that seven companies were contracted, but we want to know how far behind Canada will be in getting COVID-19 vaccines.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for giving me this opportunity to speak.
    It is important to have a vaccine strategy. That is why we will keep working with all the companies to find solutions for all Canadians across Canada. That is an absolute priority for our government.

  (1445)  

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the minister might want to update his notes for next time.
    Now let us talk about rapid tests, another complex file for the Liberals. The first time I asked the question, the minister was proud to answer that the government had 200,000 rapid tests for Quebec. Then she backtracked in the media and said there were 30,000. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said there were 200,000.
    Can we get an accurate number? Do we have an update?
    How many rapid tests are ready for Quebec, and when will we get them?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is actually correct. I made an error. In fact, 453,000 tests have been shipped this week to Quebec, and we look forward to supporting the province of Quebec with future shipments as they arrive.
    Mr. Speaker, families are sharing appalling stories of the treatment of their loved ones at Parkview Place. Yesterday, CBC reported that this federally owned, for-profit care home did not even separate COVID positive residents from other residents. Their beds were simply pushed apart.
    This is unacceptable. We know reducing crowding saves lives. The tragedy at Parkview and other long-term care homes has happened under the watch of the Liberal government. Will the government immediately end for-profit care and implement national standards before families lose more precious lives?
    Mr. Speaker, I share the deep dismay of the member opposite at the conditions many people have to live in in long-term care homes. Let me be clear. All long-term care home operators must be held accountable for providing care that protects the lives and dignity of the people for whom they are paid to care for.
    We must do better, as the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister have said. Every step of the way we have been there for provinces and territories, including $730 million in the safe restart program to ensure better infection prevention control measures. We will continue to be there as we develop standards for every Canadian across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians across this country are deeply concerned about their parents and grandparents in long-term care. Shamefully, seniors living in for-profit homes are four times more likely to become infected and die from COVID-19 than those in non-profit homes. That is unacceptable and it shows what happens when profits, instead of quality care for seniors, are the priority. Every dollar must go to the well-being of patients.
    Will the government commit to getting profits out of long-term care to ensure seniors are safe in these centres?
    Mr. Speaker, I share the member opposite's deep concern about the outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. This is a national tragedy. We have worked closely with our provincial counterparts to ensure that provinces and territories have guidance for facilities on how they can protect their residents from COVID-19. I believe that all long-term care operators must be held accountable to keeping their obligations to protect the people whom they are paid to serve.
     Under the safe restart agreement, we have provided $740 million to support, control and prevent infections, including for those in long-term care. We are going to work with provinces and territories to set new—
    The hon. member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, as the only francophone university west of Manitoba, Campus Saint-Jean is a source of pride for Franco-Albertans and all Canadians who believe in supporting Canada's official language minority communities. I know that because I was proud to attend the Pauline Johnson French immersion school in West Vancouver. However, the proposed education cuts by Jason Kenney's Conservative government is threatening vital institutions like Campus Saint-Jean.
    Could the Minister of Official Languages tell the House that this government will continue to support Campus Saint-Jean and the community—
    Order. The hon. Minister of Official Languages.
    Mr. Speaker, our government understands that Franco-Albertans and all Albertans need to have access to post-secondary education in French. We have always supported Campus Saint-Jean, which is currently under threat of budget cuts by Alberta's Conservative government. We know that institutions such as Campus Saint-Jean are key to the vitality of our official language minority communities.
    Will the Conservative leader who is right in front of me today join us, join his voice with ours and denounce the cuts currently being made in Alberta and talk to his friend Jason Kenney?

  (1450)  

[English]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, many thousands of unemployed Canadians, after claiming EI benefits, negotiated severance packages with former employers, either individually or through lawyers, but now they are stuck with no income at all. That is because Service Canada is not issuing notices of debt, leaving severance packages frozen in trust accounts while EI has been cut off pending back payment of portions of those packages.
    Does the minister realize what is happening?
    Mr. Speaker, we worked really hard to make sure that severance earnings did not impact workers' entitlement to EI under the new, more generous EI system, which we temporarily have in place. I can promise this House to look into the exact issue the member is raising. Between me and my colleagues, we will make sure we address it.
    Mr. Speaker, even before COVID, notices of debt were often delayed for many months. Now, they are not going out at all. This does not involve deep mathematical computation. The employer knows the severance package amount, the government knows how much EI has been paid, and simple subtraction should release the balance.
    Why will the Liberals not act to ensure that more Canadians are not pushed into poverty?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, we actually lifted the requirement that severance be considered as part of forward-looking income as we changed the EI system to welcome more Canadian workers into the system. I can happily report that 1.8 million Canadians are in the new, more relaxed and generous EI system, with another 2.5 million Canadians on the new recovery benefit.
     We have four million Canadians who are very happy today, because they are getting support from the federal government.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, Ontario's Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission released an early report last week. This report has urgent recommendations to help protect Canada's seniors in care and to mitigate the risks of outbreaks. It emphasizes the critical need for prioritized access to rapid testing in these facilities.
     The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise again, and there is no time to wait. Why do our most vulnerable people, our seniors, still have no access to rapid testing?
    Mr. Speaker, in fact, the member opposite is incorrect. Since October 21, nearly 1.2 million rapid tests have been sent to provinces and territories; in Ontario alone, 530,000, and I could go through the list.
    Rapid tests have been deployed and are in the process of being shipped to provinces and territories on a rolling basis. Provinces and territories will be able to use those with the populations they deem the most urgent.
    Mr. Speaker, Jakob Guziak is a one-year-old in my riding who suffers from severe combined immune deficiency, and he has been given six months to a year to live. His family has been working tirelessly to get him access to gene therapy treatments, which are currently unavailable here in Canada.
    Over a month ago, and on behalf of the family, I wrote the Minister of Health about Jakob, and we still have yet to receive a response. Time is precious. Will the minister commit to reviewing Jakob's case so his family, and hopefully others, can get the help they deserve?
    Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to speak with the member opposite about Jakob's case and understand it so that we can ensure that Jakob has the supports he needs.

[Translation]

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, today I heard Liberal MPs say that they could not apologize for the invocation of the War Measures Act because they have to focus on the pandemic. However, it is their stubbornness alone that is forcing us to debate this historical issue today.
    It would take eight measly seconds for the Government of Canada to officially apologize for invoking the War Measures Act and using the military against the citizens of Quebec.
    The government prorogued the House for six weeks, but it cannot take eight seconds to apologize to the 497 Quebeckers who were unlawfully imprisoned.
    Mr. Speaker, in order to prevent history from repeating itself, it must be addressed in its entirety, in all its beauty and ugliness, without erasing its constituent elements. Some people sometimes refuse to see or accept certain elements.
    The Bloc Québécois motion presents a partial account of the events and history. We cannot ignore the death of Pierre Laporte and the other victims, nor the pain inflicted on their families. This is not a mere historical detail that we can allow ourselves to simply forget.

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, the federal government rightly apologized for the mass internment of Japanese Canadians without cause during the Second World War. For the same reasons and the same war, the Prime Minister himself promised an official apology to the Italian community.
    The only people that the federal government arrested en masse and without cause, which the Prime Minister has no time to apologize for, were the 497 victims of the war measures.
    Why is an apology warranted for the other groups, but not for the innocent Quebeckers who were unjustly imprisoned?
    Mr. Speaker, there were indeed arrests, but there were also bombings, deaths, injuries, kidnappings and the assassination of Pierre Laporte. All of that happened.
    When we want to approach history responsibly, we have a moral and political obligation to talk about it in its entirety, not just the bits we want to raise.
    That is an obligation that the Bloc Québécois had, and it failed.

Air Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, the airlines are in jeopardy. The government must find a way to save these companies and the jobs associated with them.
    Consumers who have paid for vacations and have not been able to take them are also important. The government must require the airlines to provide a full refund to Canadian travellers as an essential condition of the airline bailout.
    When will the government ensure that Canadian consumers receive a full refund for services not rendered?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly understand that passengers who want a refund are very frustrated because of the current situation.
    We are working on this matter, as well as on the important issues affecting the entire airline sector. This sector was hit hard, and we are working to find measures that will allow us to reassure Canadians who depend on air transportation that it will be there for them after the pandemic.

[English]

Telecommunications

    Mr. Speaker, after months of COVID restrictions, we know that our Internet connectivity is more important than ever. Despite years of Liberal promises, we still have areas that lack broadband Internet and adequate cell service. In my own riding in 2016, I was promised $12 million for a specific SWIFT program, which the Liberals now say they are going to deliver in 2026, which is not swift.
    When are the Liberals going to deliver on their promises to build broadband Internet in rural areas?
    Mr. Speaker, like my colleague from Sarnia—Lambton, I too care about rural economic development and see high-speed Internet as a vital recovery tool for every Canadian. Whether in Curve Lake First Nation, Douro-Dummer, Trent Lakes, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, North Kawartha, Selwyn, Peterborough or any corner of this great country, Canadians deserve access to this essential service. Our government has been there for them, including partnerships with SWIFT. There is more to say and I look forward to working with my colleague to that end.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, for the Liberals, a team Canada approach means helping their friends in business.
     Months ago, manufacturers in the Prairies and in B.C. were quick to retool, prove their capacity and offer ready support. They were not picked by the Liberals, and now there are piles of PPEs going nowhere.
    However, there is totally the opposite treatment for companies like Baylis Medical and Medicom.
    Why does the government prioritize Liberal connections and Liberal ridings?
    Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this pandemic, we have taken every effort to procure PPE from domestic and international suppliers. We have received support from suppliers right across the country who have stepped up to support this great effort.
    We now have two billion items of PPE procured. We have 28.5 million rapid tests procured. We have seven agreements for vaccine procurement. Why? Because our government is here for Canadians, and will remain so.

  (1500)  

Health

    Mr. Speaker, COVID-19 has exposed significant ugly weaknesses in our health care system.
    Of all of Canada's deaths related to COVID-19, a staggering 85% have occurred in long-term care homes. With a second wave, we must do more to protect our most vulnerable. Many seniors from my riding are residents of Camilla Care long-term care home. Tragically, Camilla Care lost over 70 residents to the coronavirus.
    I would like to hear from the hon. Minister of Health regarding what is being done to support those living and working in long-term care homes in these difficult times.
    Mr. Speaker, I share the member's concern about the outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. My heart goes out to all of the families who have lost a loved one across Canada.
    Under the safe restart agreement, we provided $740 million for measures to control and prevent infections, including those in long-term care. We supported provinces and territories in their work to boost care in these long-term care homes through the Canadian Armed Forces and, of course, the Red Cross services.
    If provinces and territories need support, we are there. We continue to provide support to long-term care homes across the country. We will continue to do that and to support Canadians no matter where they live.

Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that the U.S. has set its sights on yet another Canadian industry. This time it is blueberries that are the target of American tariffs.
    The Americans know a weak-kneed Liberal government when they see one. They went after our steel and aluminum. They went after our softwood lumber. We all know how the Liberal government sold out our dairy industry in the NAFTA renegotiations.
    Does a similar fate await our blueberry producers? What action has the minister taken to defend our blueberry industry?
    Mr. Speaker, our government will always stand up for Canadian producers, farmers and the agri-food industry.
    We are very concerned by the U.S. decision to launch a global safeguard investigation of fresh and frozen blueberries that could eventually lead to the imposition of tariffs on imports from Canada.
    Minister Ng raised the issue during a recent call with U.S. representatives. We are confident that there will be no problems.
    I want to remind all members, and I have heard on both sides, to refer to their colleagues by their title or riding, not by their names.
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, this week we learned the Liberals allocated more than half of the promised $1 billion for rapid housing behind the scenes. How is it fair that some big cities get funded while the remainder of Canada’s communities struggling with homelessness are left to compete among themselves and apply for the rest?
     What about Coquitlam? What about Trois-Rivières, Mission and Guelph? What about rural Canada and the north, where housing challenges are more acute than anywhere else? Why are these communities and regions less important to the Liberal government?
    Mr. Speaker, the rapid housing initiative is focusing the first $500 million to the top 15 municipalities that have the highest number of individuals experiencing homelessness. The second $500 million is open to every other community that has ready-made projects that can turn into affordable housing solutions in 12 months or less.
     That is the advice we got from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. That is the advice we got from the mayors of the top 15 municipalities that have the highest number of homeless individuals.

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal strategy for Fraser River chinook salmon has been an utter failure. Instead of implementing an effective recovery strategy for our iconic Pacific salmon, the Liberals chose once again to place unnecessary restrictions on fishing opportunities for British Columbians.
     The minister has closed the fishery where there are a lot of fish and impeded the efforts of groups trying to restore salmon stocks in areas with low numbers of fish. The Liberals have ignored balanced proposals and the advice of experts, including their very own scientists.
    When will the minister stop scapegoating British Columbian fishers for her failing to protect our B.C. salmon?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, we know that we need to do a lot to protect the B.C. salmon. That is one of the reasons we have put a number of initiatives in place. This is an iconic species that means so much to the province of British Columbia.
     We continue to make our decisions based on the best science available. We will continue to work with our provincial and territorial partners as well as with indigenous groups to ensure we are protecting salmon.
    This is a long-term solution that we have and we will make sure we do everything we can to protect this species.

Small Business

    Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the pandemic, local businesses in my riding of Don Valley North have been reaching out to my office to ask about what supports are available to help them throughout this difficult time.
     Shutdowns due to COVID-19 have been extremely difficult for small businesses. That is why I am proud that from day one, our government has acted quickly to support small businesses through this crisis.
    Could the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade please explain how these changes to the Canada emergency business account will continue to help small businesses in Don Valley North?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member of Parliament for his advocacy for small businesses in Don Valley North.
    Since the very beginning of this pandemic, we have listened to small businesses. The member has been excellent at sharing feedback from those businesses in his riding so we can better serve them.
    To date, the CEBA has helped more than 770,000 businesses. I am pleased to announce that businesses operating with a personal account now can have access to this important interest-free loan.
     The member of Parliament for Don Valley North can tell the businesses in his riding that we are for them every step of the way.

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, 14 long-term care facilities in Alberta have COVID-19 outbreaks; 90% of COVID-related deaths in the province are seniors. The government needs to do much better to support our seniors. The priority needs to be on care for our loved ones, not on the bottom line. Care standards need to be put in place and they need to be enforced.
    When, what date, will the government put in place national standards to protect our seniors?
    Mr. Speaker, I share the member opposite's deep concern for the outbreak of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Of course my heart goes out to all the families that have lost a loved one in every community across the country.
    In fact, early on we understood that long-term care homes were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infections. That is why we provided $740 million for measures to control and prevent infections. We have also provided, as the member knows, help with long-term care through the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Red Cross is still on site at a number of care homes across the country.
    We will be there for provinces and territories. We will work with provinces and territories to strengthen standards so no matter where one lives, one has a safe—
    The hon. member for Vancouver Granville.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, as we hear demands for an apology from the Prime Minister for his father's invocation of the War Measures Act of 1970, as we hear the current COVID October crisis spike in terms of cases, I remind the House that the Emergencies Act replaced the War Measures Act in 1988.
    In light of what is happening in Canada, in the U.S. and around the world, could the Prime Minister please tell us if he intends to invoke the Emergencies Act, as our COVID crisis continues to seriously endanger the lives and health and safety of Canadians? Further, is he confident his actions and his leadership today will not see demands for an apology for not invoking the Emergencies Act 50 years hence?
    Mr. Speaker, when we go back to the events of 50 years ago, we have to remind ourselves and keep in mind that the Province of Quebec had requested the intervention of the army at that moment.
     Again, if I may go back to the Bloc opposition motion today, it just speaks about part of our history. When we want to be true to ourselves, we should speak about the whole story, not just part of it.

  (1510)  

Flight PS752

    Mr. Speaker, I think if you seek it you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
    I move:
     That the House:
(a) condemn the threats, harassment and intimidation tactics which are targeting family members of flight PS752 victims;
(b) call for the government to investigate the complaints; and
(c) call for greater action to protect the safety of all family members of flight PS752 victims.
    This being a hybrid sitting of the House, for the sake of clarity, I will only ask those who are opposed to the request to express their disagreement.
    Accordingly, all those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay. Hearing none, it is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay. There being no dissenting voices, I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to)


Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Criminal Code

    The House resumed from October 28 consideration of the motion that Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:10 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Wednesday, September 23, the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on Bill C-7 at second reading stage.
    Call in the members.

  (1550)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 15)

YEAS

Members

Aitchison
Albas
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bessette
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blois
Boulerice
Bratina
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Champagne
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chen
Collins
Cormier
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Doherty
Dong
Dowdall
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Gerretsen
Gill
Godin
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Green
Guilbeault
Hardie
Harris
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kelloway
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemire
Liepert
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Manly
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Michaud
Miller
Monsef
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Murray
Ng
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Regan
Reid
Rempel Garner
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Ruff
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simard
Simms
Singh
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Tabbara
Tassi
Thériault
Therrien
Trudel
Turnbull
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Vignola
Virani
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zann
Zuberi

Total: -- 246


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Allison
Barrett
Bezan
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Diotte
Dreeshen
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Gallant
Genuis
Gladu
Hallan
Harder
Hoback
Jansen
Jeneroux
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacKenzie
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
Moore
Motz
Nater
O'Toole
Patzer
Poilievre
Redekopp
Richards
Rood
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shin
Sloan
Soroka
Steinley
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tochor
Uppal
Van Popta
Vidal
Viersen
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Williamson
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 78


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, Government Orders will be extended by 39 minutes.

[Translation]

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy, pleased and enthusiastic to ask my counterpart on the government side to tell us what is on the agenda for the upcoming days in the House.
    Mr. Speaker, I am equally happy, pleased and enthusiastic to answer my colleague's question.
    This week, we wrapped up debate at second reading of Bill C-6, on conversion therapy, and Bill C-7, on medical assistance in dying. I would like to thank the opposition members for their co-operation on these bills.
    This afternoon, we are continuing the debate on the Bloc Québécois opposition motion.
    Tomorrow, we will resume debate at second reading of Bill C-5, regarding a national day for truth and reconciliation.

[English]

    On Monday, we will start second reading debate of Bill C-8 concerning the implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action 94.
     I would like to inform the House that Tuesday, November 3 and Thursday, November 5 shall be allotted days.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

  (1555)  

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Official Apology from the Prime Minister   

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I will pick up where I left off. To summarize, this happened after the Premier of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal asked the federal government to provide them with the tools they needed to support the province during the crisis.
    I also mentioned the importance of pointing out that the police and the army were under the responsibility of the Quebec department of justice, not under the responsibility of the federal government. Leadership involves making a decision based on the facts and data available at a given time. It is easy, 50 years later, to wonder if the right decision was made. The federal government received a request and offered its support.
    I would like to raise another aspect that is also very important. Exactly two months after the crisis, in December, in a survey of respondents from across Canada, 89% of anglophones said they supported the use of the War Measures Act, and 86% of francophones said the same thing. This demonstrates that the government acted as it should have. This is what Canadians clearly showed.
    I will draw a little analogy. When someone is drowning and cries out for help, we come to their rescue.
    I would now like to make a connection with COVID-19. We are in a new crisis. We had the first wave, and now we are in the second wave. Once again, the governments of Quebec and Ontario asked for support. We provided $19 billion to support Canada’s health care system. We provided $2 billion for education. We then offered the support of the Canadian Armed Forces, which helped out in seniors' residences in the two provinces in question, Ontario and Quebec. We deployed that resource.
    It is very important to set the record straight. This day should have been a time to honour the victims, to think about Pierre Laporte's family, as well as those who faced challenges. It is an opportunity to acknowledge what these people went through.
    What really bothers me is that the Bloc seems to want to rewrite history in order to create partisan divisions between the parties. The Liberal Party is here to help Canadians. During the pandemic, we have been there for Canadians. We are still here to help them, and we will still be tomorrow. We will make sure that the federal government can support all Canadians across this country.
    Mr. Speaker, we have been very patient since this morning, but we are tired of hearing that it was not the federal government’s fault. Something happened in 1970, and human rights were violated. They are claiming that it was requested by Quebec. Is this a federal law or not? I would like our colleague to talk about that.
    Will he acknowledge that the War Measures Act is a federal law, that invoking it was an action taken by the federal government, and that the federal government should therefore apologize? The other orders of government will deal with their apology, but we need one here and now.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his important question.
    I want to remind him that it is a Canadian law. That is the first thing I want to say.
    The second is that the mayor of Montreal and the Premier of Quebec asked for support, and it was our responsibility to provide it. Who compensated people? Quebec. Who controlled things on the ground? Quebec. We were there to support Quebec and the people of Quebec. We did it then, and we will continue to support Quebeckers.

  (1600)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow up on the previous question. Given the fact that the federal government was being asked to act at the time by both the Province of Quebec and the City of Montreal, and the very nature of the background information, the vast majority of which is missing from this particular resolution, I am somewhat surprised by the reaction from the Bloc.
    If today we had requests coming in from both the provincial government and the mayor of Montreal, Bloc members would be jumping up and down asking why the federal government was not doing what the Quebec government and the mayor of Montreal were asking.
    Would the member like to share his thoughts on that?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague's important question is the essence of this discussion today. As I stated in my speech earlier, the chief of police in Montreal sent a letter to the mayor, Mr. Drapeau, saying that it was extremely dangerous. In turn, the premier of Quebec and the mayor sent a letter asking the government to come to their aid as quickly as possible. Based on that, the government had to support Quebec citizens, which is exactly what it did. I know Quebeckers would be screaming if the government had not come forward, because as my survey showed, 86% of all French people in Canada were in support—
    We have enough time for one last question.
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, many events that occurred in October 1970 and well before then explain what was at stake, the seriousness of the situation, and the difficult decision that the federal government had to make once it received the Government of Quebec's request.
    One of those events occurred a few hours before the act was invoked. Over 3,000 people gathered at the Paul Sauvé Arena, where the FLQ manifesto was read out in all its terrifying detail. Afterward, those 3,000 people raised their fists in the air and chanted the FLQ slogan, “Nous vaincrons”, which means “We will prevail”. They were excited about the idea of supporting a group that, just days before, had committed heinous crimes, kidnapping two people and threatening to kill them, and that was planning more crimes.
    I would like to hear the member's thoughts on that. Does he think that those 3,000 people chanting the FLQ slogan hours before the War Measures Act was invoked was a factor in the decision-making process?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    As I explained in my speech, a decision was urgently needed based on the information available at the time of the events. When the premier of a province and the mayor say there is a crisis and they are worried about an insurgency, any government has a responsibility to help its citizens. That is exactly what the government did, and now here we are.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    I am very pleased to rise to speak to this motion. I do so with great humility and compassion, because this motion is about compassion for the people who were unjustly imprisoned in 1970.
    My friend Pierre Falardeau often liked to refer to a Chinese proverb: “The ox is slow but the earth is patient.” Of course this is in reference to the struggle for independence, which can be one step forward and two steps back. With all the ups and downs, one must be patient. I think this proverb also applies very nicely to the motion we are debating today.
    It has been 50 years since the War Measures Act was invoked and people have been demanding justice. For 50 years now, people have been calling for recognition of the trauma that those individuals endured. October 16, 1970, is a dark day in Quebec history. On that day, the government suspended individual freedoms and arrested 500 people. On October 16, 1970, Quebec lived de facto under a dictatorship.
    What happened? How did a democracy like Canada end up that way? Why did the government do what it did? The government was afraid. It was not afraid of the FLQ; it was afraid of the rise of Quebec nationalism. We have to go back 10 years earlier to fully understand what happened.
    Quebec in the 1960s was characterized by the economic, social and linguistic oppression of one people by another people. At that time, 44% of Quebeckers were under the age of 20. They flocked to the cities and wanted to shake things up and build a society that they felt reflected them.
    Thousands of Quebeckers, both men and women, rose up and founded two democratic political parties. In the early 1960s, Marcel Chaput, André d'Allemagne and, later, Pierre Bourgault founded a movement that would become a political party. It was called the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale. This party ran candidates in the 1966 election. In 1968, René Lévesque left the Liberal Party to found the Mouvement Souveraineté-Association, which would become the Parti Québécois, the PQ.
    These two political parties had the same response to the oppression and exploitation of francophones in Quebec. The only possible response was independence.
    In 1970, the PQ received 25% of the votes. Remember that at the time, a vote for the PQ was a vote for independence. In 1970, the independence movement clearly had momentum. That is what Pierre Elliott Trudeau would target. On October 16, 1970, Mr. Trudeau was not afraid of the FLQ, but he was afraid of René Lévesque and the thousands of people who followed him. It was this movement that they would try to crush in 1970. These were the people they would try to intimidate and arrest on the night of October 16, 1970.
    They were people, young people, children and women who loved freedom and justice and who yearned for equity and equality, like the singer Pauline Julien, Guy Kosak, Gilles L'Espérance, Marie Labelle, Ronald Labelle, Raynald Lachaîne, Gérard Lachance, Robert Lachance, Donald Lacoste, Michèle Lafaille, Henri Lafrance, Robert Lafrenière, Jacques Lagacé, Hélène Lakoff, Serge-Denis Lamontagne, Hélène Lamothe, Daniel Lamoureux, Danièle Lamoureux, Michèle Lamoureux, Denis Landry, Richard Langelier, Robert Langevin, Yvan Lapierre, Harold Lapointe, Hélène Larochelle, André Larocque, Jacques Larue-Langlois, Claudette Larue-Langlois, Les Lasko, Jean Laurin, Michel Lauzon, André Lavoie, Michel Lavoie, Pierre Lavoie, Roger Lavoie and Urbain Lavoie.

  (1605)  

    We can see that these were family affairs.
    There was also Jean-Denis Lebeuf, Alonzo LeBlanc, Côme Leblanc, Monique Leblanc, Thérèse Leblanc, Kristiana Leblanc. Again, a family affair.
    We must not forget Manon Léger, Jim Leitch, Jean-Guy Lelièvre, François Lemay, Robert Lemieux, Serge Lépine, Marcel Lepot, who is a constituent of mine, Jean-Guy Leroux, Jean-Jacques Leroux, Loyola Leroux, Robert Leroux, Michel LeSiège, Gabriel Levasseur, Jean-Yves Lévesque, Michel Lévesque, Serge Lévesque and hundreds of others.
    The only reason that the government gave for arresting these individuals was apprehended insurrection. Historians have been searching for 50 years. When we hear the phrase “apprehended insurrection”, we think there must have been boxes of grenades, crates of submachine guns, caches, guns or an army. Where were the military training camps? None were found. None have ever been found in 50 years.
    I just named some individuals. We are talking about 497 people being arrested. This number represents realities and people. In the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet individuals who were jailed in 1970.
    I would like to talk about Jocelyne Robert. She was 22 years old in 1970. She was seven months pregnant. She was a separatist activist like thousands of others in 1970. She was living in Montreal with her husband and parents. One night in late October, police officers came into their house with submachine guns. Her father, who had just suffered a heart attack, was in a room in the back of the house. She unfortunately asked them not to make noise because her father was in the back room. They charged to the back of the house, broke down the door and pointed their guns at her father's head. He could have died.
    They came back to her house three times. The third time, they arrested her and her husband. Jocelyne said that as she sat in the backseat of the car, flanked by two massive police officers, they showed her that her name was on a list. The officer then said something quite flattering. He said that they had received orders to shoot her if she tried to run. A police officer told her that in 1970.
    In the middle of the night, Jocelyne underwent a gynecological exam in a small grey cell illuminated by a bare lightbulb. She was seven months pregnant. It took her 45 years to put into words what happened to her that night in October 1970.
    Do we owe her an apology?
    Will the government apologize to her?
    She wrote a book a few years ago. She finally was able to get over this ordeal, but it took her 45 years. It is a lifelong trauma.
    I could name many like that. I met many people who had a traumatic experience in October 1970 and never recovered. The apology we are demanding today is for them and for all the others, dead or alive. We are demanding an apology so their traumatic experience will not have been in vain. We want to be able to tell them that it was not a dream, that their pain is real, that it was a mistake and that it should have never happened.

  (1610)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my Bloc Québécois neighbour for his remarks.
    It is true that most of the people who were arrested and detained in the cells on Parthenais Street were just Quebec nationalists. I knew one of them, Nick Auf der Maur, a journalist, politician and activist who became a friend of mine.
    I remember standing on Parthenais Street and gazing at the prisoners at the window.

[English]

    It is true, terrible mistakes were made that infringed on the rights of activists, nationalists and those who were speaking for change in Quebec. It is true, history tells us with hindsight, that the federal government, properly fulfilling a panicked request from the mayor of Montreal and the premier of Quebec, made a historic mistake. The Liberal government, which has been so free with its apologies over the years, should make an acknowledgement, if not a formal apology, and should at least recognize that a mistake was made. My question—

  (1615)  

[Translation]

    I am sorry, but I must let the member know that he has only a few seconds left to finish his comments.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my question is this. Why could the member not, as well as recognizing this national tragedy, recognize and sympathize with the family and friends of the assassinated politician Pierre Laporte in his motion?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    He is quite right in his comments. Nick Auf der Maur was indeed among the people who were put in jail.
    We consider the death of Pierre Laporte to be a national tragedy. It should never have happened. The Bloc Québécois readily accepts that. October 17, 1970, is the day when the concept of violence as a political tool in Quebec and Canada was abandoned. Since then, nobody thinks about using that as a tool.
    We are strongly opposed to political violence, and we condemn the death of Pierre Laporte. However, this motion is about the 497 people whose rights were violated. Fundamental freedoms were suspended. We were under a dictatorship in October 1970. Today, these people deserve our consideration, be it only a gesture to say it was a mistake and should never have happened. This is what our motion proposes, and this is what we expect from the government.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from the Bloc Québécois.
    I think that the member for Thornhill is right. There is no reason why the motion cannot be slightly amended to honour Mr. Pierre Laporte.
    The intent of the motion is to get an apology from the government, and that is important. I agree that the story the member told about the pregnant woman who was arrested by police officers is truly awful. That said, why is the Bloc Québécois not willing to amend the motion in order to get unanimous support?
    Mr. Speaker, no one is denying that Pierre Laporte was killed in Quebec and that it was tragic. However, our motion is about the nearly 500 people who were arrested.
    I am pleased that the member brought up the story of Jocelyne Robert. I encourage members to visit the Bloc Québécois Facebook page. I did some interviews and videos with her. Her story is very interesting. Radio-Canada also published an article about her this morning.
    There are all kinds of similar stories. I have met all kinds of people.
    For example, Louis Hains is quite interesting. He was 20 years old in 1970. He came from a conservative family. He had voted for Trudeau in 1968 because he thought it was fun to have a prime minister who drove around in a convertible and dated Barbra Streisand. Then, Louis Hains met Pauline Julien's daughter, which opened him up to a whole new world. One night, people came to arrest Pauline Julien and Gérald Godin. Louis Hains was there. He was 20 years old and was dating Pauline Julien's daughter, who was 18. Another night, people came for him, who was just 20, and his girlfriend, who was just 18, and Pauline Julien's son, who was just 16. He has an interesting story, but I unfortunately do not have the time to share it.

  (1620)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in this chamber.
    We have been saying it over and over all day, but I think that some still do not understand. In the middle of the night on October 16, hundreds of Quebeckers were arrested unfairly, arbitrarily and sometimes violently. I am going to name some of them: Zav Levinson, Gaston Lorrain, Jean Lorrain, Raymonde Lorrain, Serge Loyer, André Maheu, René Mailloux, Denis Mailloux, Félix Maltais, Michel Maltais, Francis Marin, Normand Marion, Emery Marleau, Claude Martel, Denis Martel, Mathieu Martin, Jacques Massé, Colette Mataigne, Pierre Melançon, François Mercier, Pierre Mercille, Réal Michon, Gaston Miron, Roger Monette, Serge Mongeau, Paul Morel, Gilles Morin, Guy Morin, Joo Raymond Morin, Marcel Morin, Maurice Morin, Michel Morin, Pierre Morin—that is an entire dynasty—Robert Murphy, Pierre Nadeau, Serge Nadeau, Suzanne Nadeau and there are more. There were 497 people arrested.
    In October 1970, Pauline Julien was arrested. I feel the need to say it again. She was an author, composer and actor. She is an icon of Quebec music who is known in Canada and Europe and was the wife of a minister as well. My colleague just mentioned Jocelyne Robert, but there is somethine he did not say. She was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter who has a problem with her sight linked to this arrest.
    In October 1970, Michel Chartrand, a well-known labour leader, and Robert Lemieux, a Quebec lawyer and civil rights activist, were arrested. That is strange. There was also Nick Auf der Maur, who was just mentioned and who was a journalist and a city councillor, another politician. The police also arrested Gaston Miron, our national poet, whose voice resonates still. They arrested Denise Boucher, a writer and poet, and many others. Such a thing was unprecedented in a western nation. These were young people, nationalists and separatists. What a shame, they were separatists. They were intellectuals, labour activists, lawyers, artists, writers, teachers, poets, and plain old activists.
    Regardless of which party these people supported—at the time, it was the Parti Québécois—nothing justifies those actions. These people were freethinkers, men and women who played an important role in post-Quiet Revolution progress. People of strength and conviction, they cared deeply about Quebec, about their nation's future.
    The War Measures Act was already archaic, dating back to August 12, 1914. It was used three times, namely during the First World War, the Second World War and the third war, the one declared by the federal government against the sovereignists. The purpose of the legislation was to give the government every power imaginable when under the threat of war or during an invasion or insurrection. None of those three things have anything to do with Quebec.
    This legislation set aside for an indeterminate period the rights and freedoms of Quebeckers and allowed the government to respond quickly. That is one of the main reasons for using this legislation. It was enacted quickly, behind closed doors, and we know what happened next. In the end, the federal government trampled individual liberties as no other government had done before. That same Liberal government struck down, here in this chamber, parliamentary freedoms not so long ago, but that is another topic.
    In all, 497 arrests were made under the act. On top of that, 30,000 people were raided and others were detained by law enforcement. People were imprisoned and interrogated and suffered physical and psychological harm; this has been proven over and over. People were beaten in prison. They were beaten for having certain convictions.

  (1625)  

    As my colleague mentioned, people were made to believe that they would be executed. Some had a gun pointed at their head or their chest when they were arrested. People were arrested and stayed in their homes with a gun pointed at them for hours before being taken to the police station. We are talking about people believing that they would be executed. I cannot get over it. That was just 50 years ago.
    People were incarcerated around the clock and had no access to a common room, showers, books, pencils to write with, the right to a visit and, above all, access to a lawyer. I will repeat that they had no access to a lawyer. That is the foundation of our legal system which is supposed to be so democratic.
    We were reminded on every street corner, especially in Montreal, by an army of 18,000 soldiers deployed in Quebec that Canada was at war. I lived on the outskirts and was very young. I will tell you about it later. When you see tanks, armed men and so many soldiers, it is hard to understand. Eighteen thousand soldiers were needed for this operation, which I would say was an outright act of political terrorism. Political terrorism is a strong term. That is what I think.
    I just want to point out that 18,000 soldiers is 15 times the number of soldiers Quebec managed to get in the middle of a pandemic, while people were dying in our long-term care homes. That is 15 times the number of soldiers. Quebec had to fight to get soldiers in our long-term care homes. I repeat, that was 15 times the number of soldiers.
    Politicians used the pretext of an apprehended insurrection to justify their excessive response. History has made all of this abundantly clear. My colleagues in the House are saying that we will see what history has to say. Fifty years later, history is here, and there is every reason to support what the Bloc Québécois is saying today.
    The federal government's goal was to quash the rise of the sovereignist movement in Quebec. I remind members that the Parti Québécois had just gotten its first representatives elected. As my colleague said, the Mouvement souveraineté-association and RIN, the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale, had just merged. The sovereignist movement was strong, and that was scary. There was definitely fear.
    Although the 1960s brought about a lot of change, and many countries in Europe, America and Central America had some tumultuous times, none of these civilized countries invoked such a barbaric law. Many people, including Robert Stanfield, said it was absurd.
    I would like to add something that I hope will speak to my colleagues.
    I remember those 497 arrests and the 30,000 searches mainly because I was and am part of the collateral damage. I remember the collateral damage. I experienced it when I was 12 years old. With all of my 12 years, I remember the search that was done of my own home one morning. I remember my mother standing in the door frame telling me not to be frightened. It was just enough to scare me. She had two RCMP officers on either side of her, one of whom was making sure that his long gun was plainly visible under his jacket. I was told to get up and I did. I was in my underpants. I, as a 12-year-old boy, was then searched, and so were my brothers and my sister. This was all simply because my father was a photojournalist. He worked in a newsroom, and newsrooms were frightening at the time. The people there were armed with a pencil. That is why my father was on the list, and I find that deplorable, of course. He was well-known, listened to, respected, and he was one of the people who had to be silenced at the time. That is why we were searched. I will always remember that. Consider these 30,000 searches and multiply that by four or five. That will show the collateral damage caused to these people, their children, their fathers, their mothers and their spouses. It was appalling.

  (1630)  

    That is why we are asking for an apology. I have a feeling the questions will come later. We do not want an apology for the death of Pierre Laporte. No one condones that criminal act. We want an apology for the application of a completely senseless law, the War Measures Act.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am looking for more clarification. The member made a couple of what I thought were surprising statements, but they may be consistent with what the Bloc genuinely believes. He believes the War Measures Act was put into place to crush the sovereignty movement. I believe that is what the member's wording was trying to imply, and that the federal government wanted to silence people.
    Is that what the member genuinely believes is an accurate portrayal of history, given the fact it was the Province of Quebec and the City of Montreal that requested Ottawa bring in the War Measures Act?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, yes, that is exactly what I said and that is what I can repeat.
    The War Measures Act was invoked essentially to kill the sovereignty movement. No one would be able to convince me that there were other apparent reasons. Fewer than 10 FLQ members had to appear in court, and they were already targeted anyway. There were fewer than 10, so there was never an insurrection.
    I would also like to say that, in addition to the famous “just watch me” line that everyone has heard over and over again, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau said, about those who felt that their rights were being violated, that they were weak-kneed bleeding hearts. There is all the respect we had.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I feel like I have gone back in time a little between talking about the dramatic events in Quebec and it being the anniversary of the national energy program. In both these instances, we saw an example of potential federal government overreach. As important as any apology, my mother always told me, are the actions one takes next.
    I wonder if the member could comment on the impact of government overreach, what happens to freedom and liberty when the government overreaches, and how that might apply today.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I half understand my colleague’s question. I thank him for it anyway.
    I would say that today’s debate is a very simple one. We are not talking about the death that unfortunately occurred and that will always be remembered by everyone—we are talking about an excessive law.
    I think that over the past five years the Liberal government has apologized many times for things that are less important and not at all as close to their hearts as Quebeckers could be.
    I would like to ask my colleagues a question. If in 2020 there was, in Quebec or in the rest of Canada, a strong movement and there was evidence of an insurrection, would they accept the invocation of such an act?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, for many of us outside of Quebec, the October crisis can be a relatively unknown event, especially for young Canadians. This is one of the only times citizens' rights were suspended for the sole purpose of controlling what the government deemed an imminent uprising.
    I want to thank the member for explaining the importance of this historical scar for Quebeckers but also for sharing his own personal trauma, which this inflicted on him. Here we are 50 years after the October crisis and the wounds of the enactment of the War Measures Act are still clearly being felt by this member and many Quebeckers. Maybe he can give us some idea as to why the Liberal government would still refuse to acknowledge its responsibility and apologize to Quebeckers.

  (1635)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague talks about wounds still being felt.
    I was 12 years old at the time, so I did not experience long-term trauma, but I can say that in the weeks and months that followed, I locked my door. We were not allowed to lock the door, but I got the right to do so. It is a normal reaction for a frightened 12-year-old.
    I would like to mention something else. I was afraid of the police for several years. The police are there to defend people, but what happened was quite the opposite. In the years that followed, I was always a little skeptical when it came to the police. I would be extra careful around them, but not to worry, I have since done a bachelor's degree in criminology which has allowed to turn the page on all that.

[English]

    How do I start to put all my comments within 10 minutes? Maybe it is to say that I love my city, Winnipeg. It is a beautiful city, and I am very proud of it. However, I am first and foremost a Canadian. I am a very strong nationalist, someone who believes in our Confederation, and someone who believes in the true value of what Canada, as a nation, has to offer the world.
    There have been other important times in our history besides the October crisis. Not long ago I stood up and asked for unanimous consent in regard to the 1919 general strike, which was a very significant event in Canada. My own personal heritage is rooted in the province of Quebec. I have made reference to this in the past, and I hope to get back to that momentarily.
    I want to portray my understanding of the October crisis, and it was a somewhat limited understanding. I would have been eight years old at the time, but it did make national news. During the two or three years that followed, in elementary and even in secondary school, it was still a very hot topic. I can only imagine what it was like for the individuals, such as the Liberal caucus chair, who spoke about his situation earlier, who were walking the streets and living in the community.
    We have to put things into the proper context. I ask members to imagine hundreds of bombs going off over a number of years, and being a child or an adult, or having a child, and living in the city of Montreal at that time. When that child went out for a walk in the street or to school, their parents had no idea if a bomb could go off. That was happening here in Canada. We cannot forget about that.
    We have heard about a politician, the deputy premier, being kidnapped while he was out with his child. He never saw his child again as he was then killed. That is a part of the story. That is part of our history.
    Let us talk about the diplomat Mr. Cross being kidnapped. Can members imagine the psychological impact that had on him, his family and friends? Not to mention the impact of what was taking place in that environment on the overall population. It caused a great deal of concern.
    We had the mayor of Montreal telling the federal government it needed its help, which tells me that at the time the citizens of Montreal had a great deal of concern. We had the premier of the province appealing to Ottawa and asking for help. To me, that emphasizes the importance of the issue. What is being missed by the Bloc today, is that it is not putting everything into the proper perspective. If we want to reflect on our history, then we need to make sure to cover different aspects of it.
    I think we could be talking about what is happening today with coronavirus and the people of Quebec and others across Canada. However, I will not take away from the importance of our history and heritage.
    I am passionate about this because I love my country. I believe in freedoms. I served in the Canadian Forces because I believe in our country and freedoms. The Bloc is quick to criticize the prime minister who brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and who ensured we had bilingualism in Canada.

  (1640)  

    I talked about my heritage and my family originating from the province of Quebec. My father could speak French. During the forties, fifties and sixties it was not necessarily encouraged to learn French within francophone families. It was Pierre Elliott Trudeau who made sure the French language would be spoken from coast to coast to coast and that Quebec would always remain a francophone province.
    However, the Bloc seems to just be interested in being critical of Pierre Elliott Trudeau because he listened to what the province, the premier of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal were saying at the time. Could members imagine if the current Prime Minister were being called upon by the Province of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal, and we did not listen to what they were saying or at least give it some attention? They would be jumping out of their seats, demanding that we listen.
     We need to put it into the perspective of what was taking place at that time. At that time, it was not just people in Quebec who were concerned. Canadians from coast to coast to coast were concerned.
    If members ever come to Winnipeg they will see a beautiful francophone community. The contributions the people of Quebec have made to the province of Manitoba are immense and immeasurable. There are communities that have roots, just as my family does, back in Saint-Pierre. There are francophone communities, such as Saint-Boniface, doing well in Manitoba today. They are doing well even in the north end of Winnipeg. If it were not for the efforts of Pierre Elliott Trudeau many years prior, we would not have French being spoken to the degree it is being spoken in the province. When people of Filipino or Indian heritage can have a dialogue in French and English, I see that as a positive thing.
    We should appreciate the value of our Confederation. There are areas where there is room for improvement and where we have made some mistakes, but let us not turn it into a political issue by trying to put a slant on history that is not necessarily accurate.
    The former speaker said the federal government brought it in because it wanted to crush the sovereignty movement. That is just not true. My understanding is that is far from the truth. When the Bloc members say the federal government wanted to silence other people, it is just not true.
    I believe members have to try to get a better understanding of what is motivating them to do the things they are doing by bringing forward this motion. They say it is about the victims, and to a certain degree it might be, but I do not believe that is the primary reason. I think it is a bit more mischievous, which is why we hear them bring up Pierre Elliott Trudeau every so often and why they are so quick to blame the national government.
    We need to recognize that the purpose of the Bloc is to take Canada apart. That is really what it wants to do. When those members who get elected come to the chamber, good for them, but at the end of the day they represent a percentage of the province of Quebec. Sadly, we have separatists out west as well, and I hope they are not as successful at getting representation here in the House of Commons.
    However, I will always respect those individuals who have garnered the support necessary to get into the House. I see my time has expired. I always appreciate the opportunity to address the House.

  (1645)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the House that I am very proud to stand up and say that I am a sovereignist. I am not afraid to say so. I have been a sovereignty activist, an independence activist for 20 years. If this law were adopted in the 2000s, it is likely that, after the names “Lemay” and “Lemieux”, there would have been “Lemire”. I would probably have been a victim of the same things these people were victims of, to use the words of the member for Winnipeg North. To me, this is totally unacceptable. I want to tell him that I am not afraid to stand up and say that.
    My question is very simple: Why not show compassion to these victims, their families and the people of Quebec? Why not support this motion?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, one could reverse the question and ask why not reflect within the motion the context and history of everything that was done. One can still be a sovereignist and recognize that Canada is in a coronavirus pandemic.
    The people of Quebec are looking to Ottawa and all elected officials, including members of the Bloc, to do what we can to fight the coronavirus and the negative impacts it is having on all our communities throughout Canada. I am sure there will continue to be more opportunities to have this debate well into the future.
    Mr. Speaker, we heard the history of the October crisis in its historical context and heard members from the government's side talk about how the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was implemented since then. This is also a government that supported the draconian Bill C-51, which of course defined economic disruption as a form of domestic terrorism. This extended government overreach to indigenous communities seeking their inherent sovereign treaty rights, and to environmentalists and trade unionists.
    What does the party that in fact named the person responsible for G20 as the Minister of Public Safety have to say for its continued support on Bill C-51, which has resulted in situations such as lethal over-watch on the Wet'suwet'en territory and rubber bullets being fired at Haudenosaunee peaceful land defenders today?
    Mr. Speaker, I was here during the debate on Bill C-51. In fact, I was sitting not too far from where the member would have been sitting back in Centre Block.
    There were many aspects of Bill C-51 that deserved our support as the third party at the time, for example, the establishment of a security committee. If we look at the Five Eyes countries of the world, Canada was the only one that did not have a parliamentary committee to deal with security related issues. We have one today as a result of this government. That was one of the things we talked about during the debate of Bill C-51.

  (1650)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal and Conservative members can wash their hands like Pontius Pilate if they want. The motion underscores the responsibility for this abuse of power which took place 50 years ago and yet has been ignored, in spite of the vote having taken place in this House.
    The state of apprehended insurrection was so serious that on October 5, James Cross was kidnapped, and on October 10, the deputy premier was playing ball on his lawn. What kind of state of apprehended insurrection was that?
    About the War Measures Act, Don Jamieson said that “Prime Minister [Trudeau] used the war measures without any evidence of an apprehended insurrection, just to consolidate his power”. Now that we think about it, we see that from the time James Cross was kidnapped, the Prime Minister saw the matter as a pivotal moment in which to state the federal government's position in a dramatic fashion.
    His chief of staff at the time accused René Lévesque and Claude Ryan of wanting to establish a parallel government. That is quite something. A few minutes after the death of Pierre Laporte, René Lévesque denounced that. The sovereignist movement denounced terrorism 50 years ago, but this House never wanted to take responsibility for its abuse of power, and still the Secretary to the Leader of the Government is lecturing us today.
    During the debate in the House, Jean Marchand said—
     Order. Unfortunately, time is up. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we need to put things into perspective. We can talk about the different tools police forces had back then and compare them to what they have today. Whether it be data banks, contacts or computers, things change over time.
    It is important to recognize that there was a high sense of co-operation between the municipality of Montreal and the Province of Quebec, both appealing to Ottawa. In portraying the issue, it is very important that we have a holistic approach in dealing with it.
    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, Small Business; the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, Public Safety; the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Public Safety.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, by October 1970, 50 years ago, Quebec had for several years been experiencing major social tension that culminated in the murder of Quebec's deputy premier and labour minister, Pierre Laporte. Those tensions left their mark on Quebec's recent history.
    On October 16, 1970, the federal government invoked the War Measures Act in response to requests for help from Quebec's premier and the mayor of Montreal, who needed help managing the crisis situation at the time.
    In the 1970s, I was in my 20s. I was a teacher at Curé-Antoine-Labelle high school in Laval. I distinctly remember all those moments that left their mark on our history and our collective memory.
    Today, every one of us has a duty to remember those events to ensure that we never again express our political demands violently in Quebec. We have to look at history head on and not forget it or distort it. Rewriting it is wrong. We have to tell the story as it is with both its highs and its lows.
    As members of the House of Commons, it is our duty to help bring the nation together over these deeply sensitive issues. Right now, Quebec and Canada are going through some tough times, and we need to focus on protecting our people. Quebeckers and Canadians deserve better.
    Rewriting history in the midst of a global pandemic is quite simply irresponsible. We must work together and act honourably to protect Quebeckers and Canadians and help our businesses through this crisis. That is exactly what our government is doing, and we urge all parties in the House to find constructive ways to help.
    We are committed to keeping Quebeckers and Canadians safe. That is why we are working hard to develop bold plans that will help us conquer this pandemic. I want to take this opportunity to talk a little more about the assistance available to Quebeckers and Canadians since the beginning of this crisis.
    In March, while COVID-19 cases were starting to rise at alarming rates across the country, all levels of government took drastic measures to control the virus. The federal government launched Canada's COVID-19 economic response plan. This plan is the largest and most comprehensive investment in times of peace in Canada's history. It represents 15% of our GDP in direct support.
    More than 3.7 million Canadians were able to keep their jobs thanks to the Canada emergency wage benefit, which has paid out nearly $44 billion as of mid-October, a number that continues to rise. Nearly 9 million Canadians were able to pay rent and put food on the table thanks to the Canada emergency response benefit.
    On October 22—

  (1655)  

    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but your microphone does not seem to be working. Can you make sure it is turned on?
    You may continue.
    This plan supports millions of Quebeckers who are going through tough times because of the pandemic. So far, more than two million Quebeckers have applied for the Canada emergency response benefit, which provided support to eligible workers who had to stop working or whose hours were reduced because of COVID-19. Although the program has now come to a close, Quebeckers who still need support can now turn to the Canada recovery benefit.
    We also provided direct support to the most vulnerable in Quebec: students, seniors, families with children and low-income front-line workers. On October 22, more than 160,000 Quebec businesses received support through the Canada emergency business account for a total of more than $6 billion.
    During this difficult period it is essential for all levels of government to work together to protect our economy and fight against COVID-19. We brought in the Canada emergency commercial rent assistance program in collaboration with all the provinces and territories. So far this program has helped more than 137,000 small businesses and supported 1.2 million jobs in the country. In Quebec, more than 32,000 business owners have used this subsidy for a total of nearly $400 million in commercial rent assistance. This subsidy has ultimately contributed to supporting more than 228,000 jobs in Quebec.
    On October 9, 2020, the government proposed a new Canada emergency rent subsidy. This new subsidy builds on the previous program by providing direct, targeted and easy-to-access support for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. Those who pay rent would not have to go through the owner of the building they occupy.
    In addition to Canada's COVID-19 economic response plan, the Government of Canada created the regional relief and recovery fund, an initiative with an envelope of more than $280 million just for Quebec. This fund aims to help Quebec businesses and organizations that need immediate assistance with their cashflow. It is intended for all of Quebec's economic sectors, such as aviation, cultural and sporting events, food production, manufacturing, retail, technology and tourism. So far, more than $211 million has been paid to various Quebec businesses and organizations through the regional relief and recovery fund.
    In addition to all of these programs, we committed to investing up to $173 million in a Quebec company called Medicago. This investment will allow the company to continue developing a reliable vaccine manufactured in Canada.
    In conclusion, the programs created by the government support Canadians—

  (1700)  

    Excuse me. The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, our colleague's comments have nothing to do with the motion being debated today. Can he move on to something else?
    I appreciate the point of order raised by the hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    I see that the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin has about one and a half minutes left in his speech. I would ask him to ensure that his comments are completely relevant to the matter being addressed by the House, and I invite him to adjust the last minutes of his speech accordingly.
    The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.
    Mr. Speaker, the subject I am speaking about is a most compelling one at this time in Canada. I am not as concerned with history. We will be talking about the present.
    We will adjust our support as the situation evolves, but rest assured that we will never turn our backs on Canadians.
    As the Minister of Finance said yesterday, we will continue to provide support to those who need it, as we have been from the start of the crisis, because that is the thing to do.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am sure the member went to great pains to prepare the remarks he is continuing to read after the last point on relevance was read. However, the opposition day motion is not related to the speech he is continuing to read, even after my colleague rose on the same point.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin has run out of time.
    We will now proceed with questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Shefford.

  (1705)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am a little shocked after listening to the speech by the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin. It was completely off topic.
    In life, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can deal with the pandemic and take eight seconds to apologize to the 497 Quebeckers who were victims of the war measures. At the same time, I can also work on the pandemic in committees, which, by the way, were stopped by the government's six-week prorogation.
    Mr. Speaker, the October crisis was difficult for many Quebeckers. I remember it very well because I was there. It is important to remember that, at the time, the federal government responded to formal requests from the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal. Rewriting history today is out of the question.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my voice to those of my colleagues who are disappointed the hon. member spent almost all of his time speaking about the COVID recovery and not the motion before the House, which I think raises a very important issue.
    I am proud to be a New Democrat and very proud of the fact that in the 1970 October crisis our party stood in the House and opposed the War Measures Act. We did so because of its extreme suspension of and attack on civil liberties. I keep hearing about how the fact the Province of Quebec and the City of Montreal wanted federal government involvement somehow justifies the move by the federal government and Pierre Trudeau to suspend civil liberties in this country.
    I wonder if my hon. colleague has any comment. Does he agree the decision by Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the seventies to suspend the civil liberties of Quebeckers was a justified response when there were obviously great political problems in Quebec at that time?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I must say that I agree 100%. I was there. I was 28 years old at the time, I was teaching high school, and I can say that it was a step forward.
    Today, the Bloc Québécois is trying to rewrite a condensed version of history and sow division for partisan purposes. We know it. However, our government is committed to bringing Canadians together and supporting them as we tackle the greatest public health and economic challenge of our generation.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin said earlier that he is not really concerned with history, but if he learned more about it, I am sure he would be sitting on our side. Jacques Parizeau used to say that history is not taught anymore because it turns people into sovereignists. I would like us to focus on the motion.
    Will the member recognize that the invocation of the War Measures Act was an abuse of power that warrants an apology?
    Mr. Speaker, certainly not.
    Reflecting on the October crisis allows us to see how far we have come. Since 1970, violence has never been used as a political tool in Quebec or in Canada. Our concern is what is going on now in Quebec and across the country, and that is the COVID-19 pandemic.