Letter from Roger Ouimet, to Paul Martin, M.P., November 15, 1945 - en anglais seulement

This typewritten letter is a translation from the French original written by Roger Ouimet, Attorney, to Paul Martin, M.P. and Secretary of State, on November 15, 1945. The nature of the informal address suggests the two parties were well acquainted with each other. The contents pertain to the internment of Italian-Canadian Antonio Dieni, who had operated a restaurant on the premises of the Casa d'Italia in Montreal. During his internment, the Casa d'Italia was seized by the government and used by the RCMP, and Dieni's restaurant was closed and his equipment and furnishings lost. Dieni, through his legal representation, is seeking renumeration for his loses. Dieni claims no involvement with fascism. However, his brother Gentile Dieni, who was also interned, was a loyal and unapologetic fascist supporter.

Paul Martin was a Canadian politician with a long and distinguished career. Representing the Liberal Party, he was elected in 1935. In 1945, he entered Cabinet, serving as the Minister of National Health & Welfare and the Secretary of State.

His son, also named Paul Martin, became the 21st Prime Minister of Canada in 2003. In Prime Minister Paul Martin’s 2005 federal budget, the Canadian government set aside $25 million to address the claims of several communities seeking redress for internment, confiscation of property and businesses, and alienation. This was called the Acknowledgement, Commemoration and Education (ACE) Program. It was not the formal apology many had hoped for, nor would it provide compensation to the families affected. The fund was designated primarily for educational initiatives. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government took office in 2006, it replaced the ACE Program with the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), which was established to formally distribute monies to community initiatives.