CBC Digital Archives

Duplessis Orphans: Continuing the campaign

During the reign of Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis in the 1940s and 1950s, an alarming number of healthy children living in sanctuaries were hastily diagnosed as mentally incompetent, psychotic patients. The diagnoses were always swift — the children went to bed orphans and woke up psychiatric patients. The reason? Shrewd fiscal planning; federal subsidies paid out more to hospitals than to orphanages. Some children allegedly endured lobotomies, electroshock, straitjackets and abuse. For the rest of their lives they would struggle to bring attention to their story and demand compensation. They called themselves the Duplessis Orphans.

media clip

Medium: Television
Program: Newswatch
Broadcast Date: March 6, 2000
Guests: Lucien Bouchard, Julius Grey, Rejean Hinse, Denis Lazure, Jean-Claude Turcotte
Reporter: Lynda Calvert
Duration: 1:40

Last updated: July 16, 2013

Page consulted on January 7, 2015

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Maurice Duplessis

Maurice Duplessis's death was a rare historical marker, forever discussed in terms of before a...

The Duplessis Orphans

During the reign of Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis in the 1940s and 1950s, an alarming numbe...

Duplessis Orphans: Medical experimentation

The Duplessis Orphans demand a further investigation into alleged medical experimentation.

Avi Lewis on CBC-TV's Spinoff

On Spinoff, Avi Lewis gets people debating politics, whether they want to or not.

Chinese immigration: Going to church for 'Can...

In 2004, many new Chinese immigrants are going to Canadian churches to learn English and meet ...

Ottawa, Anglican Church make agreement

Native leaders say it's a positive step that Ottawa and the Anglican Church are addressing cla...