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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loan.

Topics

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to my colleague's speech and I now would like to ask him a question and remind him that I clearly indicated—I believe—that we are already engaged in the process to restore justice and that our minister was actively working on this before the motion was tabled, which was not done by the previous government, nor by my colleague on the opposition benches.

First, our minister is gathering material on this case. The material is quite extensive and a lot of time is required for classifying the documents. Second, we have to understand that the minister is not a replacement for the justice system, but that he is involved in a review process that includes various stages: preliminary hearing, investigation, report, notice to the minister and then a ruling that will be made by the minister. It is clear that our minister became involved in this process because its purpose is to rebuild trust.

In my colleague's opinion, will being involved in this process and seeing it through rebuild the trust of Quebeckers in their legal institutions?

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say that trust is earned. Trust is not based on any single action or event; it is based on a history of actions and events. I can see that this situation will force the minister to make a decision sooner or later. It seems to me that the member for Lévis—Bellechasse was expressing a point of view similar to the current government's. Nevertheless, I feel we must seek to achieve the ultimate goal, which is to ensure that justice is done and that truth triumphs. That is all.

People are smart enough to understand when someone is saying one thing and doing another, or the other way around, and people are old enough and informed enough to know who they can trust. I myself trust the family that came to my office one day, a family I have met with several times since then. Their message is that they still believe in justice.

That is why they are doing what they are doing now. Imagine their situation. They go to the mall day after day, asking people to sign a petition about one of their ancestors who was hanged and telling everyone that they are ready to accept their support. You do not see that kind of courage often. They are opening themselves up to the public, sharing their deepest and most important thoughts.

What Marie and Jim are doing is very difficult for them. They kept quiet about it for quite a while, but it takes courage to do this kind of thing, to stand and take up the fight again. They are doing this after 30, 40, 50 years.

Hats off to these people for doing what they are doing. I still have faith in truth, in justice, but what happens next will determine whether that faith is well placed.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Bloc Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not from Gaspé, but near there. When this colossal mistake was made, I was a student in Quebec City. I knew students from Lac Saint-Jean and Quebec City. The Matapedia valley was part of Gaspé, although it is no longer considered to be today. People felt terrible when the court handed down its verdict and when the hanging took place. This feeling lasted for many years.

My colleague gave a very good presentation and has done a huge amount of work on this case. I have a great deal of admiration for him and for the family, which has demanded justice for Mr. Coffin. This event was a major factor in the government's decision to abolish the death penalty, because there was a feeling that a terrible miscarriage of justice had occurred.

I would like to ask my colleague—even though he is a little younger than I am—whether this is still true and whether the Coffin affair weighed heavily in the government's decision to do away with the death penalty.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. The answer is yes, without a doubt.

Mr. Coffin was executed on February 10, 1956. Today is February 5, and Saturday, February 10, will mark 51 years since he was hanged. When a judicial error is made—and the expression does not begin to describe the seriousness of the consequences—it is always possible to correct that error when the person was not killed. In this case, he was killed; he was hanged. A week later, someone else confessed to murdering the three American hunters, but it was too late. Mr. Coffin was already dead.

The events of 1956 weighed heavily in the balance. Fortunately, there were noises in the press at the time, but unfortunately, the political context was not very receptive. It is important to remember who was in power in Quebec at the time; that, too, was part of the history of this case. Wilbert Coffin's hanging weighed heavily in the balance. The government decided that it no longer wanted to find itself in situations where it wondered whether an error had been made and, more importantly, whether it could be corrected.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am moved when I hear the hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine ask that Mr. Coffin's name be cleared and that justice be done in this case. In Quebec, the Coffin case is etched in our collective memory. I too was not born when these events took place, but I did hear about them.

A motion was adopted in committee by a number of members representing the various parties. I heard the Conservative member speak to this issue today. I suppose there were other government members sitting on that committee. Yet, we are hearing little from the government side on this issue today. I wonder if the hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine could tell us what he expects from government members, so that some pressure can be exerted to ensure that justice is done in this case.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

I wish to inform the hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine that he has 10 seconds left to reply.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want very quick and unanimous action on this issue. It is as simple as that. Everyone must cooperate, so that truth and justice will prevail.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

Order, please. It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the question to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment is as follows: the hon. member for Saint John, Ports and Harbours.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to better understand and give the Chair the opportunity to make its point on this. I was under the impression that, at the end of my speech, we would give a yes or a no, and that the question would be put to the House to decide the outcome of the debate. Otherwise, I have a hard time figuring out what is going on.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

This is precisely what we are about to do, but I just want to make sure that no other member wants to address this issue.

Is the House ready for the question?

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

All those opposed will please say nay.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

A recorded division on the motion stands deferred until tomorrow.

Co-op HousingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition today that was circulated by residents of the many housing co-ops in my riding of Hamilton Mountain.

As the House can imagine, these residents are incensed about the financial crisis caused in many co-ops by the cuts to subsidies as a result of a flawed section 95 program.

They are keenly aware of the fact that over two million Canadians are still in desperate need of decent, affordable housing and are petitioning the House to first, repay all law subsidies to section 95 housing co-ops; second, to provide new assistance so these co-ops can help low income residents thereby making up to 10,000 co-op homes affordable again for people in need; third, to build 200,000 affordable and co-op housing units, renovate 100,000 existing units and provide rent supplements to 40,000 low income tenants; and fourth, to extend the supporting communities partnership initiative, known as SCPI, that funds successful homelessness prevention programs.

I am pleased to support their efforts both here in the House of Commons and in our community, and I full endorse their petition.

Co-op HousingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain knows that in presenting petitions a member is not to indicate whether or not the member supports the petition. She should refrain from such comment in future. I am sure she will.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

February 5th, 2007 / 4:40 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 121 supplementary could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 121Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

With regard to each of the grants and contributions awarded by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions since the beginning of the fiscal year 2004-2005: (a) which were the recipient organizations; (b) on what dates were they awarded; (c) what were the amounts of the grants and contributions; (d) what were the names of the programs being supported; (e) in what federal ridings were the recipient organizations located; and (f) what was the nature of the grants and contributions?

(Return tabled)