The memory of Claude Morin, 94, remains unchanged, as do the intellectual abilities that made him an essential part of contemporary Quebec history.
The man who advised five prime ministers and was the father of the movement that led to the election of René Lévesque’s first government, in 1976, has been considered a traitor for 31 years by part of his clan, after journalist Norman Lister revealed that he was a paid informant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). At least until 1977, when he was Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Lévesque government.
Documentary series Claude Morin: A Dangerous Gamewhich arrives in Vrai this Tuesday, is interested in this exciting period in our history.
What information did the man nicknamed the Sphinx provide to the secret branch of the Federal Police? Was this cultured and knowledgeable man a sovereignty advocate by day and working in the shadows to undermine his efforts to make Quebec a state?
This was done by interviewing Claude Morin in 2019 for the series The last Philquest That Morin dropped a bombshell when he said he recorded in detail in his notebooks his exchanges with the RCMP. Antoine Robitaille, accompanied in this project by journalist and historian Dave Noel, finally had access to the notebooks of this new series directed by Flavie Payette-Renouf and produced by Babel Films and Productions Déferlantes, in collaboration with Quebecor Content.
“He amused himself by playing the role of a secret agent, especially against the Soviet Union and the communist countries, but I seriously believe that he did not do it to deceive his team or make them fail, because without traps there would be no Lévesque government,” says Antoine Robitaille.
Image courtesy of VRAI
Political writer in Newspaper And host on QUB Radio, Mr. Robitaille makes no secret of the fact that there are still gray areas regarding Claude Morin’s involvement with the feds.
About thirty meetings were held in 1974 between the RCMP and Mr. Morin, bringing in $20,000 for the key person involved, the equivalent of about $90,000 today.
Mr. Morin’s role in this case has been greatly exaggerated. He fought for Quebec’s independence all his life, but he played a dangerous game, hence the title of our series. »
Was Claude Morin naive, or even arrogant, in believing he was more powerful than the RCMP? Since 1992, he has told anyone who will listen that he used federal police — not the other way around — to learn more about Ottawa’s intentions with the Parti Quebecois.
Espionage and interference
There is also talk of espionage – from France and Russia – in the four episodes, which is still linked to suspicions of Chinese interference in the recent federal elections.
Note that the Royal Canadian Police refused to reveal to the team its notes related to the meetings with Claude Morin, in reference to state security.
“We would like to know what the RCMP learned from the meetings with Claude Morin,” Antoine Robitaille said. I have a copy from an informed source within the RCMP that supports Mr. Morin’s statements, namely that he never revealed any secrets and that this is why the RCMP terminated the agreement because we found that he did not say much. »
Antoine Robitaille is preparing a book about the Claude Morin case, which will take the content of the documentary series even further.
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