Mr. Speaker, Louis Riel remains a paradox.
On March 10, 1992, the House of Commons unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Louis Riel as one of the Fathers of Confederation. Today, however, from a legal standpoint, Louis Riel remains a criminal, because he was sentenced for high treason.
History portrays Louis Riel as a traitor to Canada, because, among other things, he wanted the rights of francophones and Metis to be given the same consideration in his country's Constitution as those of the anglophones.
The refusal to overturn the guilty verdict against Louis Riel sends the message in the now famous 19th century remark by John A. Macdonald to francophones in Canada and Quebec: "He shall hang, even though all dogs in Quebec bark in his favour".