Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
November 2005

Documents of Quebec History / Documents de l'histoire du Québec


La loi du cadenas

The Padlock Law


Quebec Fascism



[This editorial was published in the Canadian Forum. For the precice citation, see the end of the document.]


THE chief activity of Mr. Duplessis, however, seems to be red-baiting. Quebec cannot enact criminal legislation to replace Section 98, so a new law has been put through which will seek to prevent "Communist" meetings by padlocking their meeting-places. This is a good example of the working of the ultra-reactionary Catholic mentality in the province, for whom the premier is undoubtedly the spokesman. The more the anti-communist drive gets under way, the clearer it becomes that the danger really feared is anti-clericalism. The enormous wealth and power of the Quebec church, derived from a populace largely poverty stricken and backward, is producing the inevitable discontent, and the ecclesiastical authorities are seeking to justify repression of perfectly legal opposition by dubbing the anti-clerical as communist. It is modern Spain in miniature. We may expect grave disorders in Quebec if this suicidal policy is continued. The Montreal Standard of March 13th reported the organizers of the Knights of Columbus in Quebec City as having said that "if they cannot prevent communist activities by organization, they will resort to force". Who are the real enemies of law and order now? Such language is clear sedition. If Mr. Duplessis would enforce the existing criminal law with equal impartiality against all who provoke disorder he would have nothing to fear, but in that case he would find it was not communists who filled his jails.

Source: Editorial "Quebec Fascism", in Canadian Forum, Vol. XVII, No 195 (April 1937): 4-5.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College