Crime in the national interest

Crime in the national interest
Map, evolution of policy, crime in the national interest

Put them to sleep

I understand that he (DGIS John Starnes) was tasked by them (Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Solicitor General Jean-Pierre Goyer) to make sure that the FLQ was put to sleep or, you know, that it didn’t do its 1970 thing.

Inspector Don Cobb, interview by A/Commr Quintal, Assistant Commissioner Nowlan, July 20, 1977. LAC, AtIP 93A00238, p. 199.

By the end of 1969, Canada was ‘in a difficult situation’. The situation in Quebec had become critical, with some 60 bombings or attempted bombings in the previous year, students and workers on strike in the streets, and the influence of growing unrest in Europe, particularly in Germany and France, and in the United States.

An existential threat

But there was another, more serious – existential – threat; one that could tear the country apart. Of which, apart from a handful of officials at the top, most notably Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, most Canadians were blissfully unaware.

It resided in the silent diplomatic corridors of power, and the Elysée Palace of French President Charles de Gaulle, but in part driven also by the waves of labour unrest and strikes, of disorder and violence in the streets of Quebec, inspired in part by events in Europe, notably in Germany, France and Italy, provoked by the Vietnam War, and the treatment of blacks in American society. Added to this was the revulsion felt by young Germans’ growing awareness of the horrors of the Second World War, and of what their parents and neighbours had done and might have done.

Visit to Berlin by the Shah of Iran

In Germany in the spring of 1967, preparations were made for the nine-day visit of the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, and his wife Farah. Some of the Shah’s opponents were taken into custody without any legal justification. On 7 June, a demonstration by Iranian students in Berlin, who inspired members of the German Socialist Student Union, was met with brutality by the Shah’s security guards and the German police. A policeman shot a literature student, pacifist and member of a Protestant student community, Benno Ohnesorg, who was attending his first demonstration. The bullet hit his head, killing him.

The events in Berlin that day set off a powder train to Paris, and the explosive events of May 1968. These in turn inspired students in Quebec, joining the student unrest in Berkeley, the opposition to the war in Vietnam and the African-American struggle for freedom and justice.

Rot Arme Faktion, Baader-Meinhof, European terrorism

It also led to the radicalisation of Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin, the Rot Arme Faktion (RAF) and what became known as the Baader-Meinhof gang. Soon responsible for one of the most serious episodes of terrorist violence in post-war Europe.

A perfect storm developed there, a fusion of factors that would profoundly influence events in Quebec. The Zeitgeist turned to violence.

Vive le Quebec Libre

The most important disruptive element was the support of the French president, Charles de Gaulle, for the separation of Quebec and the political and social forces associated with it. De Gaulle’s “Vive le Québec libre” speech to an adoring crowd in front of Montreal City Hall, July 24, 1967. Among them, Mario Bachand.

From that moment on, Quebecers were aware that France, the most important and influential of the European powers, a member of the UN Security Council, closely linked to several African and other French-speaking countries in the world, la francophonie,  supported Quebec’s separation from Canada. Since separation and independence can only succeed through international recognition, via the United Nations, French support became a profound, existential, threat.

The loss of Quebec, with almost a quarter of Canada’s population and land mass, which had played a major historical role in the building of Canada, would leave the country torn asunder. The resulting social, political and economic violence and disorder would make it easy prey for predatory nations, particularly the neighbouring United States, which has always looked longingly at Canada’s enormity, her resources, and her riches.

While France itself, its citizens and its governmental institutions had little or no support for de Gaulle’s quixotic passion for Quebec separation, the president was at the heart of the state apparatus. In France, all roads lead to Paris, the Élysée Palace, the President.

While virtually all Canadian citizens, including civil servants, academics and journalists, had little or no knowledge of de Gaulle’s carefully crafted plan to dismember Canada, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, his close associates and officials, such as his principal secretary Marc Lalonde, Solicitor General Goyer, Michael Pitfield, Jean Marchand, and officials in the Department of External Affairs, especially Under Secretary of State Marcel Cadieux, and Alan Gotlieb were not so naive.

In 1968 and 1969, events were to increase the concerns.

The French strategy

The French government began to seize opportunities to treat Quebec as a country, a hostile act quite contrary to accepted practices between nation-states. Understandably, because it threatened their territorial integrity. At times, French actions seemed petty. For example, a government communiqué on 30 April 1968, following a France-Quebec financial cooperation committee, which referred to Quebec as a ‘country’. A second example, in February 1968, under pressure from France, Gabon invited the Quebec Minister of Education to a meeting of the Ministers of Education of the French-speaking states. Canada, under French suasion, was not invited.

The French strategy, in cooperation with the government of Quebec, was to encourage Quebec to exercise, in the diplomatic arena,  those powers where, under the Canadian constitution, had they had primacy. In paricular, education, culture, and communications. It was here that Quebec, supported by France, gave an exceptional twist, one contrary to normal state practice, in which the national authority has the sole right and power to negotiate and sign international agreements. Quebec argued that it had the right to represent herself in the diplomatic arena, to negotiate and sign international agreements.

The Quebec gambit would at a stroke diminish the authority of the Canadian state, grant the province of Quebec rights that traditionally belong to sovereign powers, and open the path to unending competion and conflict.

During this time, the RCMP became aware of France’s SDECE (Service de documentation extérieure et de contre-espionage) operations in Quebec, including support for separatist elements. It became apparent that these elements included the FLQ, the seriousness of which, if proven, would approach the gravity of a declaration of war. An excerpt of a Security Québec (SQ) report for Quebec’s CAD (Centre d’analyse et de documentation), based on RCMP intelligence, in particular paragraph 9, expresses that awareness.

Crime in the national interest
SDECE agents in Quebec

The Parti Québécois

The most serious addition to the overall threat came in October 1968, with the founding of the Parti Québécois (PQ), under the leadership of René Lévesque. Lévesque was classically educated, a former television journalist with a quick and easy manner, beloved by Quebecers. He lacked the discipline and fighting spirit of Pierre Trudeau, who prior to entering politics had been a professor of constitutional law, recognized for his support for human rights, and powerful intellect. But he, too, was exceptionally intelligent, had the benefit of a rigourous classical education, and the powers of an orator who could, and usually did, bring crowds to their feet. 

The very presence of the PQ on the Quebec political scene meant that, at some point in the furture, they would form a Quebec government. That meant a referendum on Quebec separation. It was just a matter of time.

The PQ’s separatist agenda, with the support of Charles de Gaulle’s French government, formed a dagger ponted at the heart of Canada.

Crime in the national interest

It was all of this that led Pierre Trudeau’s government to take steps to allow what it referred to as ‘crime in the national interest’. Initially cast as changes in the Criminal Code to enable the RCMP to infiltrate the FLQ, and other terrorist groups, which screened out infiltration by requiring prospective members to commit a crime. That practical interpretation merged with the concerns of RCMP Security Service members that they might be vulnerable to criminal charges from actions they might be ordered to perform.

But ‘crime in the national interest’, in the discourse of the Canadian government, soon developed sinister implications.

The 25th of September 1968, when Normand Roy and Jean-Marie Langlois, and likely others, left a bomb at the foot of the statue of Sir John A MacDonald, at Place du Canada in downtown Montreal. A bomb carefully designed and constructed, by the RCMP, to not explode. It was the first bombing of the Pierre-Paul Geoffroy réseau, and the RCMP had just constructed the first of two cells of the réseau, headed by Normand Roy, brother Jean-Marie Roy, and Michel Lambert.

On March 14, 1968, a Montreal police vehicle stopped a car  in the  north of the city. In the car are two men. The driver, Jacques Desormeaux,   was a founding member of the RIN, and member of the la Cognée group, the unofficial publication of the FLQ. La Cognée would include instructions on how to construct and place bombs, including along railway tracks. Desormeaux had recently given a key to his passenger, Bernard Sicotte,  to a left-luggage locker at Jean-Talon Metro station, and asked him to retrieve the contents and put it into the car. 

Sicotte was an RCMP informant.

Two cylinders of Pentomex were found behind the front seat.

In the trial that followed, Sicotte testified that Desormeaux had given him a key to a locker at Jean-Talon station and asked him to pick up the contents. He did so, bringing a box to car, which police stopped a short distance away.320

During Desormeau’s trial, it was revealed that Bernard Sicotte was an RCMP informant, and that RCMP Security Service Inspector John Walsh had given Desormeaux the 20 sticks of denatured dynamite, which could not explode. 

On the 16th of July, 1969, Desormeaux was found not guilty on all charges.

But it was the beginning of the second most disturbing aspect of the the anti-terrorist campaign against the FLQ: the strategy of tension. The most disturbing aspect, which would directly concern Mario Bachand, would come later.

The general security picture

On the 28th of October, 1969, three weeks after the Montreal police strike and the night of violence at Murray Hill, Prime Minister Trudeau met with Minister of Justice John Turner, Secretary of State Gerard Pélletier, Minister of National Defence Leo Cadieux, Principal Secretary Marc Lalonde and several senior RCMP officers for a briefing on the “general security picture.” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Maurice Barrette briefed them on separatism and on FLQ terrorism. Chief Superintendent Harold Draper spoke about subversion and the various revolutionary movments across Canada. Inspector Murray Sexsmith spoke on espionage and foreign interference. At the close of the meeting, the prime minister said they should meet again to discuss tactics and tactics to counter the threats that had been identified.

A month later, on the 27th of November 1969, a committee of Cabinet decided that there “was a need to identify priority problems.” What those problems were were initially revealed in a meeting between RCMP Commissioner Higgitt and the Solicitor General, George McIlraith, at 9:30 on the morning of the 9th of December. They spoke of a a meeting between Higgitt and the Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss the “Privy Council/security set-up.” The “set-up”, the Special Operations Committee (SOC), a committee to formulate the government’s overall strategy to deal with the security threats, was to be led by Jim Davey, an academic physicist from Montreal, who had been brought into the PMO as Program Secretary. As Director of the SOC, Davey reported directly to Marc Lalonde, Private Secretary to the Prime minister, and to the Prime Minister.

That afternoon, the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Security and Intelligence, Don Wall, called RCMP Commissioner Higgitt and informed him of the agenda for the meeting with the Prime Minister: “the current situation in Quebec, that is, the current state of affairs; Law and Order and National Unity; size of the current problem, who is directing it etc. etc. The Prime Mister wants a paper on this.”

Clearly two matters were at play. One, the strategy for dealing with the FLQ. The other, the “Law and Order problem”. The two merged, to become heads of the hydra.

The plan to establish the SOC was recognition that the Canadian government did not have an integrated strategy to deal with FLQ terrorism; interference, from the highest level, of France; the influence of political and social strife from abroad; social disorder and violence in Quebec; the political developments that would produce a legal separatist party, the Parti Québecois, that eventually, inevitably, come to power; the threat of a vote on separation; le tout. An existential threat of the highest order.

The Interdepartmental Committee on Law and Order (ICLO)

On the 12th of February, 1970, Don Wall met with Deputy Minister of Justice Maxwell, and Mr. Christie, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, to discuss the “Ways and Means” Memorandum which the Minister of Justice had been asked to prepare on the priority problem of law and order.

In his Memorandum for File of 16 February 1970, about the meeting, Wall states:

I indicated that, within the terms of the definition of the problem as approved by the Cabinet, it seemed clear that the most pressing threat to law and order as there defined lay in the phenomenon of Separatism in Quebec, and that the Ways and Means paper should therefore emphasize this aspect of the problem. (…) I gave Mr. Maxwell two copies of the recent joint Intelligence study of threats to Canada from espionage, subversion and sabotage, a portion of which dealt with Quebec  Separatism. I also gave him copies of the Prime Minister’s memorandum to the Cabinet Committee on Security and Intelligence of December 17, and a copy of the Minutes of the Meeting of that Committee of December 19. I further informed him that the RCMP were preparing an up-dated study of Separatism which should be available within the next week or two.

In order that Messrs Maxwell and Christie might be more clearly informed on the Cabinet’s decision to deal with priority problems in this way, I provided them with copies of the memorandum to the Cabinet on this subject and of the Cabinet’s Record of Decision, and also gave them copies of the P.C.O. Memorandum of December 9 entitled ‘Suggested Procedures for Consideration of Priority Problems.[i]

Wall was bearing a message from the highest level. No government official would misinterpret “In order that Messrs Maxwell and Christie might be more clearly informed…” as anything but a direct order from the Prime Minister.

[i] Don Wall, Memorandum for File, February 16 1970, MG 26, vo. 50, file 50-4, Law and Order.

On the 22nd of April, 1970, the government’s thinking of the “priority problems” began to focus on “law and order,” Two weeks later, the 5th of May, the Cabinet Committee on Priorities and Planning, the CPP, agreed that “an interdepartmental committee, chaired by the Department of Justice, and having representation from the Department of the Solicitor General, the Department of National Defence, the Department of Manpower and Immigration and the Privy Council be established…”. Its mandate, to study the law and order problem.[i]

The first meeting of the Law and Order Committee was May 7, 1970.

On the 7th of May,  Cabinet confirmed the CCPP recommendation 5.5.70 re. Law and Order committee.[i]

Initiated establishment of the SOC.[ii]

The first, organizational, meeting of the ICLO came four days later, 14h30 on the 11th of May, in room 216, Department of Justice Conference Room. Chaired by Deputy Minister of Justice Donald Maxwell, also present  were Assistant Attorney General D. H. Christie, Deputy Minister Couillard, Deputy Solicitor General Ernest Côte, General Michael Dare, General Lyle, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Security and Intelligence, Don Wall, P. Beasley, RCMP Assistant Commissioner E.W. Willes.[i]

They agreed that at the working level the committee would consist, in addition to Justice representative, of Ass. Comm. E. W. Willis (RCMP), Lyle, Wall or Beavis, E. P. Beasley, Director, Home Services Branch, Department of Manpower and Immigration, or Adams. Lyle would soon be replaced by General Gardner. A Col. Lessard might also  have worked on the committee.

It was agreed that the RCMP and DND would present working papers in relation to para. a), b), c) and d) on p. 2 of the Record of Cabinet Cttee Decisions taken 5.5.70 and confirmed by Cabinet 7.5.70. Willes agreed to provide an RCMP paper for 4.7.70 distribution and 8.7.70 discussion.[ii] In addition, Wall would prepare a paper raising more general considerations of the kind referred to on p. 1 of the Record of Cabinet Cttee. Decisions. These papers to be submitted Friday, 3.7.70. (they were discussed at meeting 8.7.70)

23    Starnes sends letter to Deputy Minister of Justice Maxwell, chairman of the Interdepartmental Cttee. on Law and Order (ICLO), along with report on subversive organizations targeted by Security Service, including the PQ.[i]     

The discussions and decisions of the ICLO, for the most part, are unavailable. Canada’s Access to Information Law expressly forbids release of records of legal advice to the government. However, related items of interest have surfaced. 

On the 15th of July, 1970,  RCMP Sgt. Dafoe of the Contact Group in L Branch, responsible for sources and their records, sent a note to Supt. Chishom:[i]

“I understand that Insp. Long kept you informed of the development of policy regarding criminal involvement of sources. It is my suggestion that we should perhaps discuss this with the Legal Section.”

“Go ahead”, replied Chisholm.

Next day, the 16th of July, Dafoe sent the following note to Chisholm:

Complete background material forwarded to Maxwell of the Legal Branch on July 16th, 1970. This date I obtained the following communication from him. He was mainly concerned if we could be held responsible for ‘counselling’. He could find a precedent and therefore thought (severed).

[i].    Transit Slip, 15 July and 16 July 1970, RG 33/128,            acc. 92-93/251, file 6000-5-251, PAC AtI 94-A-00072.

Unpleasant decisions

Letter from DGIS John Starnes to the ICLO

What can be done within the context of national security is to increase our knowledge of the various forces threatening the preservaton of law and order and national unity, with a view to neutralizing and isolating them, and, where appropriate, of destroying them. To do this effectively may require some rearrangement of priorities and resources and authority for the Security Service to act in areas from which it is now excluded. It also, of course, will require a determination to take unpleasant decisions and, when required, to take full advantage of the provisions of existing laws.[ii]

The letter later appeared as an exhibit at the McDonald Commission inquiry into the activites of the RCMP. Starnes testified before McDonald Commission: “…obviously destroy in this context does not mean kill or annihilate.”    (C-57, 7922.) 

At 10:00 on the 1st of December 1970, the Cabinet Committee on Priorities and Planning, meeting in room 340-S of parliament hill. Chaired by Prime Miniser Trudeau, attendfed by Michael Pitfield, Clerk of the Privy Council Gordon Robertson, Minister of Justice John Turner, DGIS John Starnes, Ministers Jamieson, Maceachen, Drury, Pepin, Marchand, Benson, Andras, Deputy Minister of Justice Don Maxwell; Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Christie; Carrière.[ii]The committee discussed Maxwell’s Memo regarding the inherent contradiction and “…commission of crime in the national interest”.[i]  

Leonard L. Trudel, the Recording Secretary, took minutes; A/Secretary to Cabinet Michael Butler Secretary, facilitating meeting, and also took notes.[iii]

Trudel records Trudeau saying “Why legal, if for security reasons we decide not to prosecute.”[iv]  Also “Deuxième Bureau – separate budget Lower moral standard? non-hierarchical!”[v] McDonald Commission, a lawyer questions if in fact it was Trudeau who said this.[vi]

“On the question of the inherent contradiction in police operations, the Prime Minister said that certain activities of the Security Service might not result in prosecution for security reasons.”[vii]

[i].    MC C-27, p. 3242.

[ii].   MC C-96, p. 12835.

 [iii].  See RG 33/128, C-119, pp. 15401-15406 for description of setting, activities of BUTLER and TRUDEL; also RG 33/128, box 48, v. 333, pp. 30294-313010. TRUDEL’s notes exhibit VC-1.

[iv].   RG 33/128, box 48, vol. 333, p. 302991.

[v].    RG 33/128, box 48, v. 333, p. 303003.

[vi].   RG 3/128, C-117-A, p. 15267.  TRUDEL notes exhibit VC-1; MC-22 tab 4; MC6 tab 3.

[vii].  RG 33/128, box 48, vol. 334, p. 303052. Quotation is from minutes of CCPP.

Final version of RCMP Strategy Paper submitted to Côté by Starnes.  It makes reference to ‘serious crimes’, rather than to ‘lesser criminal activities’ as did the first version or ‘breaking the law’ as did the December 4 version.[i]

The Strategy Paper accompanied by letter from Starnes to Côté. “This letter refers to discussion of Ministers – delicate problem we face in carrying out our responsibilities.”[ii]

On 15 December, DGIS Starnes, submitted the second draft of the ‘RCMP Strategy for Dealing with the FLQ and Similar Movements to Deputy-Solicitor Côté, for the Solicitor General.[iii]

What should be the responsibility of the government towards a member of the Security Service or an agent paid by it who is arrested for committing a crime in the line of duty as it were? What measures can be suggested by the law officers of the Crown to ensure that such persons escape a jail sentence and a criminal record without prejudice to their safety? Perhaps those clauses of the Letters Patent of the Governor General having to do with pardon might be resorted to in such cases, but it is difficult to see how this could be done without revealing the true role of the person concerned.[iv]

[i].    RG33/128, box 7, C-78, p. 10737-10738; exh. MC-22.

[ii].   Chronology prepared by RCMP Task Force, Law and Order – FLQ Strategy/Inherent Contradiction, p. 4, RG 33/128, 6000-5-17.6, NAC AtI 1027-94-A-00116, p. 10.

[iii].  MC C-26, 3032; also RG 33/128, 6000-10-B1.

[iv].   p. 3 of report.

[i].    MC C-28, pp. 3327, 3329, testimony J. STARNES; exh. MC-12. Complete copy of letter can be found in RG 33/128,            5000-5-16.25.

[ii].   MC C-58, 7920; exh. MC-9, tab C.

Copy of letter in RG 33/128, acc. 92-93/251, 6000-5-211,PAC AtI 94-A-00072. Copy of letter in MG26, O11, vol. 50, file 50-5, “Law and Order 1970”.

Starnes would later testify before McDonald Commission: “…obviously destroy in this context does not mean kill or annihilate.”    C-57, 7922.

[i].    D. H. CHRISTIE, Note to File, 15.6.70, Law and Order Committee records, Department of Justice, AtI A96-00169,      p. 11.

[ii].   Task Force chronology re. STARNES Documents, RG 33/128, 6000-5-17.6, NAC AtI 1027-94-A-00116, p. 7.

[i].    Chronology prepared by RCMP Task Force, Law and Order – FLQ Strategy/Inherent Contradiction, p. 1, RG 33/128,             6000-5-17.6, NAC AtI 1027-94-A-00116, p. 7.

[ii].   McDonald Commission v. 3, p. 269.

The SOC was established following meeting of interdepartmental committee chaired by Deputy Minister of Justice Maxwell on 7 May 1970.  It reported directly to PM Trudeau and to his Principal Secretary Marc Lalonde.  Its object was to’collate and analyse information on the situation in Quebec, to inform Prime Minister, Cabinet, and government agencies, and to recommend action.’  (Terrorism and Democracy, ed. Peter JANKE, St. Marten’s Press, p. 47.)  (See also Rapport sur les Evénements d’octobre, DUCHANE Report, p. 9)

Members of SOC were: Jim Davey (PMO), director; Jean-Pierre Mongeau (PMO); Jean-Pierre Goyer (PM Trudeau’s Parliamentary Secretary, appointed Solicitor General 22 December 1970); Fernand Cadieux (sociologist, PMO, PM’s principle speech writer during crisis); Robin Bourne; Arnold Masters (Deputy Minister); RCMP Inspector Joe Ferraris; representatives of DND.

Jim Davey, Program Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, was appointed director of the SOC. He reported to Principle Secretary Marc Lalonde, and to the Prime Minister. 

An academic physicist from  Montreal. As “Program Secretary”, Jim Davey had been involved in the watch on the FLQ since joining the PMO.  On the 16th of June, for example, the RCMP Security Service sent him the report “Unrest in the Academic Community”, Secret Canadian Eyes Only, dated 13 June, 1969, submitted to PCO Jim Davey, Programme Secretary to the Prime Minister. (LAC,  MG 26, O11, vol. 40, file 40-33). Much useful information of personalities, including Mario Bachand and his associates, and groups that he belonged to.

On Tuesday the 10th of November, 1970,   from 1430-2030, the  Security Panel Special Cttee. met, chaired by Clerk of the Privy Council Gordon Robertson.  Solicitor General Jean-Pierre Goyer, Jim Davey; several RCMP officers, Chief Superintendent Howard Draper, Chief Superintendent Parent, Deputy Commissioner J.R.R. Carriere, Don Wall, Beavis, General Dare,  in attendance.

Robertson introduced first item on the agenda – Allocation of Responsibility that the Prime Minister considered it important that every resource be used to deal with the situation. Total analysis – mentioned DRB (Defence Research Board), military, National Research Council  etc. Analysed at 1. police level 2. social level 3. economic level 4. broader that just Quebec[1]

Committee considered problem of allocation of responsiblility”…it’s concern was to determine how best to use the total resources available to the government, without being limited by normal departmental or institutional structures, to ensure that everything possible was learned, analyzed and handled in relation to the FLQ and the present problems in Quebec in a coherent and well co-ordinated program.”[2] Repeat request of PM Nov. 6 for RCMP Strategy Paper.[3]

Recommendations of Security Panel 10.11.70, submitted to CCSI in Memorandum dated 26.11.70, form an important stage in development of government strategy and in using entire Canadian security apparatus against separatism/terrorism in Quebec.[4]

Deputy SolGen Côté to undertake an analysis of information and intelligence from all sources to provide as soon as possible an in-depth evaluation of the FLQ threat; to produce document by end November which would include ways of removing barriers to infiltration activities of the RCMP.[5]

The phrase “barriers to infiltration”, in other words, to permit “crime in the national interst.

1970  November    10    Special Committee of the Security Panel:[vi]

Security Measures in Relation to Current Crisis

In relation to the Interdepartmental Committee on Law and Order, the Deputy Minister of Justice said that, once an evaluation of the FLQ and similar organizations was available through Mr. Côté, his department would be attempting to produce a new document for the end of November. He envisaged that the new paper would raise questions for ministerial decision:

  1. i) as to alternatives to make the security service more effective by removing previously imposed restrictions on infiltration activity (…)
  2. ii) alterations to methods of dealing with revolutionaries through existing procedures. (…)

VI Long-term strategy

The Committee examined the conclusions in the memorandum of November 3, 1970, to the Prime Minister from the Deputy Solicitor General

  1. a) from the point of view of the FLQ they had undoubtably achieved a propaganda success;
  2. b) further terrorist activity was continuing, and would continue in the immediate future;
  3. d) the prospects of further kidnappings and bombings was probable and that ‘selective assassinations’, already announced by the FLQ, would be one step forward in escalation, although some members thought that the terrorists were not psychologically at the point of straight killing;
  4. f) discouragement of further investments in Quebec was a distinct possiblility;
  5. g) terrorist plans to use the courts as propaganda vehicles and to threaten witnesses and others was a grave danger and not one which lent itself to easy prevention. (…)
  6. h) coordinated university/CEGEP student action in the spring of 1971, apart from rash acts in the nature of ‘spring madness’ would be the subject for a counter strategy already being examined by Mr. Davey.”

1970  November    24    Tuesday, 1000: Solicitor General Jean-Pierre Goyer met with Deputy/Commissioner add head of the RCMP CIB, Carrière and DGIS Starnes.[i]

1000: CCPP in room 340-S, PM Trudeau chairman, MCILRAITH, STARNES, DRURY MARCHAND, TURNER, CHRETIEN (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development), MCDONALD (DND), MUNRO, LANG .  Also present: MAXWELL, COTE, D. H. CHRISTIE, H. B. ROBINSON, A. D. HUNT, D. A. DAVIDSON, A. S. STEPHENSON (DIAND), Lt. Gen. M. R. DARE, L. COUILLARD, E. P. BEASLEY (Manpower and Immigration), D/Comm. CARRIERE, R. G. ROBERTSON, D. F. WALL, J. DAVEY (PMO).[iii]   PITFIELD Secretary, M. E. BUTLER and L. L. TRUDEL Assistant Secretaries.

Cab. Doc. 1323-70 circulated.  It consists of Maxwell Memo and the document ‘various questions raised by Law and Order paper’.  The seventh question: 

What should be done to eliminate inherent contradiction in existing Security Service which turns around the question of crime in the national interest.[iv]

DGIS Starnes, Carrière, and Solicitor General McIlraith meet:

…the Solicitor General raised with me the question of what should be done to eliminate the inherent contradiction in the existing Security Service which centres around the question of the commission of crime in the national interest.[v]

Carrière writes memo re. Law and Order Cttee. meeting 23 November.  It refers to ‘serious criminal offences’.

The following day, 25th of November, Jacques Monpetit of the SOC  wrote to Claude Roquet, giving some precision on the work of the SOC:[i]

subj. Travaux du Centre Spécial d’Opérations

  1. Pour ce qui est de la contribution que les Affaires extérieures peuvent apporter au travail du CSO, elle se rapporte essentiellement aux sujets suivants (voir ma note du 10 novembre):

1) Activités du FLQ à l’étranger (passées, présentes et possibles à l’avenir).

2) Mesures à prendre pour contrecarrer les activités du FLQ à l’étranger.

A precision that clearly implies that any concern about Mario Bachand would have been taken up by the SOC, and reported directly to Marc Lalonde and to Prime Minister Trudeau.

[i].    EA PSIR 7-1-6-1, vol. 7, p. 2262.

[i].    RG 33/128, acc. 90-91/251, box 232, Daily Journals, p. 51.

[ii].   RG 33/128, acc. 90-91/251, box 232, Daily Journals, p. 51.

[iii].  MCR-3, p.33. Also PCO AtI 929202.

[iv].   RG33/128, box 11, Paper 11, p. 21.

[v].    Testimony STARNES, MC C-26, 3018; STARNES memo found in exh. MC-1, tab 4. See also RG33/128, box 7, C-78, p. 10688; That CARRIERE was present is shown in box 10, C-117, p. 15155. Original note MG 31 E 56, vol. 1, file 1-23.

[1].    HIGGITT notebook, RG 33/128, 5000-5-16.2.

[2].    Memorandum for the Cabinet Committee of Security and Intelligence, 3 December 1970, S&I 12, RG33/128, 6000-10-B-13.

[3].    MC C-30, p. 3651; minutes exh. M-29; memo for meeting, M 28,       discussed V. 87, p. 14245.

[4].    Memorandum for the Cabinet Committee on Security and Intelligence, Counter Terrorist Action – Allocation of Responsibility, 26 November 1970, RG 33/128, 6000-5-10-B-1.

[5].    MC C-51, p. 6714; C-50, p. 6715.

[vi].   Minutes of the Special Committee of the Security Panel,       RG 33/128, 5000-8-16.25, pp. 309-316.

[i].   Chronology prepared by RCMP Task Force, Law and Order – FLQ Strategy/Inherent Contradiction, p. 1, RG 33/128,             6000-5-17.6, NAC AtI 1027-94-A-00116, p. 7.


Independence of the Judiciary

The establishment of the ICLO; its purpose, to profoundly change Canada’s criminal law;  contrary to Canadian and international human rights provisions;  the direct manner by which the Prime Minister pressured the ICLO and its chairman; was a flagrant, direct assault on the independence of the judiciary, and the separation of powers, both integral to democracy. Being a specialist in constitutional  law, having taught it at the University of Montreal, he was sensitive to all of the conflicts and contradictions inherent in his policies and actions. To this day, we have no knowledge of the Maxwell Memo that was prepared for the ICLO, and for those related operations of the RCMP Security Service.

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