Report From Montreal (November 1969)

Category:  Historical Reprints.
SourceStraight Talk! The Official Bulletin Of The Edmund Burke Society.
Editor:  Joseph A. Genovese
Associate Editors:  F. Paul Fromm, D. Clarke Andrews
Typist:  Veronica O’Hare
Distribution Manager:  Jeff Goodall
Writers:  EBS members and friends
Directors:  The Council of the EBS
Volume II Number 2, November 1969

The Edmund Burke Society is a conservative organization unaffiliated with any political party.  We are dedicated to the principles of individual freedom and responsibility, free enterprise, and firm ACTION against all tyrannies, especially Communism and all its manifestations in Canada and abroad.

The E.B.S. is financed mainly through small donations from generous Canadians.  Straight Talk!  is produced by voluntary labour.

Report from Montreal

From our Montreal Correspondent


It was a bad month all around here for leftists, anarchists and outside agitators hoping to get a piece of the action at the expense of the local police and population.

Montreal City Executive Chairman Lucien Saulnier, a widely-respected financier and administrator, took a shot at the do-good-for-nothing Company of Young Canadians who, he charged, were at the source of some of the city’s current rampages.  Cesar Chavez, who claims to speak for thousands of so-called under-paid and over­worked grape pickers in California, came to town to drum up sympathy — but ended up with indifference and even criticism on the part of the local populace.  The Vietnam moratorium day activities fizzled out.

Even Cheddi Jagan, Jr., son of Guyana’s illustrious commie, Cheddi Jagan, was complaining that things got so tough for him since his involvement with the infamous Sir George Williams University rioting of last February that he can’t find a job to live on.  He claims that prospective employers turn him down flat when he tells them who he is.  And the cruelest cut of all:  he’s been suspended from the university pending the outcome of the whole affair in court.

All this, together with some deft police work in stemming a planned leftist-separatist demonstration in early October, has left the liberals, pseudo-liberals and kindred souls pretty shaky.  The idea that Montreal may be entering a period of some tranquility and stability must be hard to take.

Heaviest blow, of course, came from Saulnier who called for a Royal Commission investigation into the activities of the CYC, long a target of criticism for stepping out of its defined limits.  Saulnier, in one of the harshest speeches he’s ever made, pulled no punches about his feelings on the CYC, strongly suggesting that some members of its local group may well have been involved in mapping out some of the (by now) well-known Montreal riots.  Even if his request for a commission probe goes unheeded (as it apparently will be), Saulnier’s status is established enough to raise some serious questioning about the outfit.

As a matter of fact, immediately following Saulnier’s charges, scores of mayors throughout Quebec followed suit, asking that the CYC be Investigated and/or get out of town.

The CYC was set up by mankind-loving Lester Pearson, the former Prime Minister, purportedly to help out the underprivileged.  Here is an example of some of the workings of the outfit in Montreal.  Last August the local office of the CYC distri­buted a pamphlet among beleaguered, low-income residents of a slum area known as Little Burgundy.  The leaflet warned that 800 families face eviction from their homes and called for the residents to fight for their rights.  (The area is being rehabilitated).

“Citizens of Little Burgundy,” trumpeted the pamphlet, “800 families will soon receive a visit of a city investigator.  It might be you.  What to do?  Be Careful!  Don’t Be Scared!  Fight for Your Rights!”

The leaflet goes on to list six “rights” the residents can use, including the power to demand the city find evictees new homes before moving them.  “The city has an obligation to do so,” the people were told.

Though the name of the CYC is not on the pamphlet, there are instructions to call a certain number which turned out to be the CYC headquarters here.  The city established that it was from this office that the pamphlet was issued.

As sympathetic as the leaflet appeared to be, the fact is that it contained a bunch of lies, and the CYC knew it!  The facts are that there were never any plans to evict the 800 — or any families at all; that the CYC either knew, or should have known, that its own warning was blatantly untrue (some weeks before, the city sent the CYC full details of its plans for the area); that even when informed of their error, the CYC activists did not see fit to print a retraction (while privately conceding their “mistake”, they refused publicly to let the scared and angry residents in on the secret); that such unfounded scare tactics have been partially successful in sabotaging city efforts to set up co-operation and rapport with local residents (it was only after an exasperating education campaign that the city was able to win the confidence of the residents once again).

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