Pat Martin uses his members’ statement to appeal on Louis Riel’s behalf.
Mr. Speaker, today I call upon Parliament to set the history books straight and reverse the conviction of Louis Riel for high treason and instead recognize his role as the founder of the province of Manitoba, a Father of Confederation and the champion of the rights of the Métis people.
Louis Riel was elected president of the territory that he named Manitoba and negotiated its entry into Confederation as Canada’s fifth province on July 15, 1870. He was elected to the House of Commons three times. He was wrongfully tried, convicted and executed for high treason on this day of 1885, a case of justice and mercy denied.
It is consistent with history, justice and respect for the rights of the Métis people that the conviction of Louis Riel be reversed and that his historic role in the building of Canada be formally recognized, commemorated and celebrated, I suggest, by the placement of a statue of Louis Riel on the grounds of Parliament Hill.