AngryFrenchGuy

Could a People that Can’t Build a Highway Ever Build a Country?

with 137 comments

dead-end2

I believe Québec should be an independent country. I’m convinced. I’ve thought about it long and hard. I’ve discussed it through and through, with both true believers and fierce opponents. I’ve pondered the implications from a bar stool in an NDG tavern, in a yurt near Ulan Baator, and perhaps most significantly, walking down Sniper Alley in Sarajevo. Every time I’ve come to the conclusion that, as long as it is done right, it is the most simple and elegant solution to many political and cultural challenges Québec faces.

Robert Lepage, one of the most famous playwrights and scenographers in the world, was on TV the other day. This is not a nationalist firebrand. He was reminiscing about how he grew up sharing a room in Québec City with his adopted English-speaking brother and how he has nothing but admiration for English-Canada, one of the great small L liberal societies. He then casually mentioned that he was a sovereigntist, notheless. He’s reached the same conclusion I have. I’m on the good side, I thought.

Then Guy A. Lepage, once Québec’s most merciless social critic and a man who is not known to have much patience for fools—although he’s now a much nicer man as host of Tout le Monde en Parle on Radio-Canada—agreed to MC Québec’s Fête Nationale this summer. He is also a sovereigntist. I thought, if he thinks Québec’s independence movement is for real, I’m not being taken for a ride.

Then Pauline Marois, the leader of the Parti québécois, unveiled the grand master plan that will take us from here to there, the roadmap independence and I thought, that’s it. I’m done. I’m moving to Toronto.

What’s wrong with these people, tabarnak? How can they take a project that inspires even our most inspired men and just turn it into 10 kinds of frustration? Why does building a country, a hospital, a goddam highway, have to always become the most complicated and aggravating project in the history of human society?

We’re here! According the the latest PQ internal poll, quoted in le Devoir, 49% of the Québécois, including 56% of those who speak French, are game! Sixty-one percent would settle for some sort of sovereignty-association deal with Canada. Two thirds at least want Québec to have a special status.

Even if those numbers are somewhat more positive than others we’ve seen recently, the trend is solid: even in this period of economic uncertainty, support for independence hovers in the high thirties to high forties.

The Conservative Party of Canada was barely able to keep up the « federalism of openess » charade a year and a half before breaking out into anti-separatist demonstrations and the more familiar calls to pacify the French with some « tough love ».

The new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada has already announced that Canada was as good as it was going to get!

The sovereignty movement has it made. There is only a few thousand votes separating them from the country. Canadian federalists have no counter offer, no vision, no dream. Canada in the country of No. The Parti québécois is the Parti of Oui. Yes we can!

Yet, they can’t.

The PQ has all this positive and entrepreneurial energy just sitting on it’s lap, waiting, itching to start building something, anything. What do they do? Do they open up the phones, start compiling projects until there is just so many fucking cool things to do that Québec will just pop out of Canada by itself?

Nope. The PQ wants to talk about shit that don’t work. Their great plan is to ask for federal powers they know they can’t get and threaten their own supporters with multiple referendums on boring ass crap like « single tax returns » just so they can pick a fight with Ottawa because, as Jacques Parizeau candidly admitted on tuesday: « To acheive sovereingty, you need a crisis. »

The PQ is stuck in a procedural dead end, wasting it’s energy on finding a gimmick instead of thinking about the way that country would work and what we could do with it.

That is the reason why the PQ usually trails it’s own raison d’être in the polls. That is also why, according to the poll published in le Devoir, only 34% of the Québécois believe Québec will ever be an independent country. Not because they don’t want one. Because they’ve come to believe the PQ is to proccupied with saving it’s own ass to ever pull it off.

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Written by angryfrenchguy

June 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm

137 Responses

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  1. “tell them not to believe in the federalist propaganada that the sovereignists are racists.”

    Antonio,

    After living in Quebec for 2 decades, do you think I need to read The Gazette, or National Post, or Andre Pratte’s column in La Presse, or be exposed to any of that evil “federalist propaganda” to form opinions about Quebec’s separatist movement? Do you, like afg, think that it’s all The Gazette’s fault, a paper that I held in my hands maybe 5 times in my entire life. The National Post that I’ve never read and the only time I came in contact with it was when I googled something for a post on this forum.

    How about a thing called personal experience? Perception? Observation? Critical thinking? Interpretation? How about the basic senses of seeing and hearing?

    When the leader of the movement talks about “des votes ethniques”, I don’t sweep it under the carpet, trivialize it, banalize it, find excuses for it. When English bands are banned from SJBD celebrations, I don’t spin it like our good old friend afg with a clever twist: Québec Separatists Save St.Jean Baptist Show From Ultra-Nationalists. When I don’t have a right to enroll my daughter in an English school, and my next door neighbor in Candiac does, I don’t trivialize it. When my individual rights are taken away under the banner of collective rights, I don’t trivilize it. When my intelligence is insulted by comparisons to some school board language laws in California and some “cantons” in Switzerland, I don’t trivialize it.

    But even with all these aside, what good does it do for me to break up a fairly prosperous country and put the economy, no so strong these days, at even more risk.

    I see that this separatist rot seeped deep into your head.

    “They should talk about the ethnic, financial, cultural, social and societal reasons for independence”

    What does it have to do with us? Or you? (I assume you’re of Hispanic descent).

    allophone

    July 3, 2009 at 11:27 am

  2. The immigrants are a key part of it, why do you think Quebec demands control over its immigration policies as well as cultural sovereignty. It would otherwise amount to cultural siucide to promote mass immigration without the ability to control and assert cultural sovereignty and cultural integration, and this remains the case whether Quebec is part of the Canadian federation or leads a separate existence.

    To do otherwise and remove Quebec’s cultural protection would be a recipe for social chaos and bring back the strife and language protests of the 1960’s which gave birth to the sovereignty movement in the first place.

    Now those immigrating to Canada are aware, or should be made aware Canada has two basic cultural components which compete, coexist, and both seek to culturally integrate into their respective societies. For those unhappy living in a society where French is the dominant language, it’s a big country and there are a lot of options available where their cultural preferences will be satisfied.

    As for the reference to Mexico, the previous poster appeared to ignore their existence. And yes, despite the presence of a powerful neighbour to their North with a different culture, they do exercise sovereignty over their affairs and their own culture.

    dupmar

    July 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  3. As to the issue of whether French language services elsewhere in Canada are freely available to one and all simply for the asking – no they are not. I am amazed there is such ignorance on such a basic issue.
    The right is hereditary, you must prove your entitlement to such services, particularly the right to French language instruction whether you are culturally francophone but received elementary instruction in English due to non availability of French language services or an immigrant who decides French language instruction might be a desirable cultural choice.

    dupmar

    July 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm

  4. I said I didn’t know. That’s why I asked.

    Can you provide links? I’m especially interested in immigrants to the ROC that ask for French language instruction for their children, and are denied.

    allophone

    July 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  5. Check with the policies of any French language school commission elsewhere in Canada. You have basic criteria to establish eligibility for the right to French language instruction. Nor can I simply decide that I wish my tax dollars to be directed to French language school instruction of my choice, I must prove my entitlement and my eligibility by providing proof of elementary French language instruction for either myself or other family members.

    dupmar

    July 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  6. “Nor can I simply decide that I wish my tax dollars to be directed to French language school instruction of my choice”

    Neither do I, nor any of us. I pay the school tax in Candiac, without any control over what school that money goes to.

    “I must prove my entitlement and my eligibility by providing proof of elementary French language instruction”

    But are there any immigrants who ask for their kids to be taught in French, and are then refused? Is there any demand for French instruction in the ROC, other than from a small number of Francophones who choose to stick with their language? And who probably fulfill the conditions of eligibility that is required.

    allophone

    July 3, 2009 at 3:50 pm

  7. The school commissions themselves would hold information on the number of admission requests for French language instruction and denials from the provinces outside Quebec. Presumably few outside of francophone immigrants from other areas of the world, as the criteria for admission itself would serve as a deterrent for those exploring this avenue, coupled with the fact there are no deterrents or hurdles or obstructions, other than citizenship/ residency status requireents for those electing public education in the majority language in the other provinces.

    dupmar

    July 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

  8. Les programmes d’immersion Français sont disponibles pour tous les Anglophones et Allophones dans tous les provinces. Néanmoins, seulement 10% des étudiants Canadiens sont inscrits dans ces programmes. Pourquoi? Parce que le Français est parlé par moins que 2% de la population d’Amérique du Nord. L’indépendance du Québec ne changerait pas la situation démographique de ce continent.

    Bien sûr, avant la loi 101, les immigrants au Québec avaient le droit d’envoyer leurs enfants dans les écoles publiques Françaises. Mais la plupart ont decidé d’envoyer leurs enfants dans les écoles anglaises. Pourquoi? Parce que le Français est parlé par moins que 2% de la population d’Amérique du Nord.

    Il faut que les séparatistes acceptent la realité démographique d’Amérique du Nord.

    Hamer

    July 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm

  9. 7,000,000 Francophones surrounded by 300,000,000 Anglophones.

    Anglo solidarity

    July 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  10. I agree with the separatists. Without federal bilingualism and multiculturalism, immigrants to Quebec would ignore the demographic reality of North America and the economic advantages of learning English. That makes a lot of sense.

    George-Étienne

    July 5, 2009 at 12:33 am

  11. It is people like Hamer with their intransigeance, their indifference to cultural protection of minority languages such as French, which presumably enjoys constitutional protection in Canada, their advocacy of cultural suicide for French Canada – “resistance is futile” , etc., who are basically making the case for sovereignty.

    Now either Quebec can prosper and protect its cultural heritage within the Canadian federation, or if the Hamers of this country have their way, they will succeed in driving Quebec out.

    dupmar

    July 5, 2009 at 7:08 am

  12. Dupmar,

    You’re obviously very good at constructing straw man arguments. How is Hamer advocating cultural suicide for French Canada? And how is he making the case for Quebec sovereignty? He’s clearly arguing that Quebec independence will not change the fact that Francophones constitute less than 2% of the North American population, and that English is the dominant world language. That’s an argument that separatists can ignore but cannot refute.

    Go ahead and make another straw man argument.

    Anglo solidarity

    July 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

  13. @ Acajack

    “Interestingly enough, my allophone friends and neighbours seem to have more run-ins with unilingual English store staff than I do for some reason…”

    I’m going to tell you why, I am sure they just don’t look like the stereotypical white francophone. I have mixed ancestry (Eurasian mix) and even though French is my first tongue – these unilingual Anglo store staff probably expect me to be more fluent in English than in French. In Montreal, we expect allophones to be fluent in English rather than in French whereas in reality 60% of them are just as fluent in one or the other official language.

    LL

    July 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm

  14. The English Language is discriminated in the Province of Quebec because of 1 main reason, that reason is the small number of Anglo-Quebecers living in the Province of Quebec.

    The current population of Anglo-Quebecers who live in the Province of Quebec is about 778.256 People (10% of the Province’s population). In 1827 the population of Anglo-Quebecers who lived in the Province of Quebec comprised 25% . When Anglo-Quebecers represented 25% of the Province’s population, there rights and freedoms were not trampled on by the Quebeocis. I believe that the Anglo-Quebec populaiton of the Province should be increased from 10% to 25% of the Province’s populaiton, this is increase of 15%. This would take the number of Anglo-Quebecers from 778.256 people to 1.945.640 People, an increase of about 1.167.384 People.

    The current population of Anglo-Quebecers who live in the City of Montreal is about 291.724 people (18% of the City’s Population). In 1842 the population of Anglo-Quebecers who lived in the City of Montreal comprised 61%. When the Anglo-Quebecers comprised 61% of the City of Montreal’s population there rights and freedoms were secured and protected against being trampled upon by the Quebeocis. I believe that the Anglo-Quebec population should be increased from 18% to 61% of the population of the City of Montreal. This is an increase of 43%. This would take the number of Anglo-Quebecers who live in the City of Montreal from 291.724 people to 998.622 people. This is an increase of 706.890 people.

    The current population of Anglo-Quebecers who live in the City of Quebec is about 9.982 people (2% of the population of the City of Quebec) in 1842 the population of Anglo-Quebecers who lived in the City of Quebec comprised of 43%. When Anglo-Quebecers who comprised 43% of the population of the City of Quebec, there rights and freedoms were protected against being trampled by the Quebecois. I believe that the Anglo-Quebec population should be increased from 2% to 43%, this is an increase of 41% . This would take the population of Anglo-Quebecers who live in the City of Quebec from 9.982 people to 211.191 people. This is an increase of about 201.209 people.

    Canada needs to encourage 1.167.384 Anglophones from Anglo-Canada, Great Britian, Australia, New Zealand and the United States to settle the Province of Quebec and of this number about 706.890 Anglophones need to be encouraged to move to the City of Montreal and 201.209 Anglophones need to be encouraged to move to the City of Quebec. Only with a strong and large Anglo-Quebec Community wil the rights and freedoms be protected and for the equality between the English and French Languages in the Province of Quebec and it’s 2 most important Cities of Montreal and Quebec.

    UnitedEmpireLoyalist

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm

  15. Dupmar

    The Province of Quebec is NOT just a French Society, it is also an English Society. In 1867 the Constitution Act of 1867 (BNA ACT of 1867) established both English and French Languages of both the Dominion of Canada and the it’s Province of Quebec. The Province of Quebec was made into a BILINGUAL and not a UNILINGUAL Proivnce. The Province of Quebec should not have it’s own immigration policy and neither shall the other Provinces and Territories. The Quebecois like yourself realy appreaciate the fact that French is a Co-Official Language of the Dominion of Canada but resent the fact that English is also a Co-Official Language of the Province of Quebec.

    If the French Language can only survive in the Province of Quebec with represive and oppresive laws like Bill 101 (Charter of the French Language) and Bill 22 (Official Language Act) and having a Language Gestapo/NKVD (Office Quebecois de la langue Francais) to enforce these laws then the French Language should die out peacefully and all Quebecois assimiliate into Anglo-Canadians. The French Language in the Province of Quebec should not be protected and preserve and at the same time that the English Language is deprived of being an equal Language in the Province of Quebec which it was meant to be. BOTH English and French Languages in the Province of Quebec should be treated equaly and have the same rights and privilegs as each other. The Quebecois both VOTERS and POLITICANS should be ashamed of themselves at their downright persecution of the English Language and the Anglo-Quebec Community. Do you think that these repressive and oppresive laws will save the French Language in the Province of Quebec, I will tell you they wont, they will mearly slow the death of the French Language in the Province of Quebec, like it or not. Language Laws and an a Language Police dont belong in a 21st Century Democracy and Canada must destoy these laws just like how the United States destroyed the Jim Crow Segeration Laws of the Southern States and ending segeration and in eqaultiy of White Americans and Black Americans.

    You Quebecois are some of the most ungrateful people I have had the displeasure of meeting. The Britsh and Canada saved and protected your language from destruction by Establishing it as an Official Language of both the Dominion of Canada and it’s Province of Quebec in the Constitution Act of 1867 when many British Canadians wanted to destroy it and forcibly assimiliate the Quebecois and how do you repay such tollerance by creating anti-English Language Laws like Bill 101 and Bill 22 and removed English as an Official Language of the Province of Quebec, how would you ingrates like if at the time of Confederation the Majority British Canadians banned the French Language and imposed English versions of Bill 101 and a Bill 22 and enforced these laws by there own versions of the OLF on the Quebecois people, they would not like it one bit.

    Constitution Act of 1867
    Use of English and French Languages
    Section 133

    Either the English or the French Language may be used by any Person in the Debates of the Houses of the Parliament of Canada and of the Houses of the Legislature of Quebec and both those Languages shall be used in the respective Records and Journels of those Houses: and either of those Languages may be used by any Person in or any Pleading or Process, in or issuing from any court of Canada established under this Act, and in or from all or any of the Courts of Quebec.

    The Acts of the Parliament of Canada and of the Legislature of Quebec shall be printed and published in both those Languages.

    http://www.solon.org/Constitutions/Canada/English/ca_1867.html

    FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE WAS PROTECTED BY THIS ACT AND DID NOT NEED SUCH FASCIST LAWS LIKE BILL 101 AND BILL 22 TO PROTECT IT.

    The Province of Quebec must have the same Language Policy of the Province of New Brunswick. In the Provinc of New Brunswick both English and French are the Official Language of the Province and they are both treated the same and have the same rights privileges under the law, Both English and French New Brunswickers are happy about this, why cant the Province of Quebec be just like the Province of New Brunswick and have both English and French as Official Languages and where both Languages have the same rights and privileges as each other.

    ANY QUEBECOIS WHO SUPPORT SUCH ANTI-ENGLISH LANGUAGE LAWS LIKE BILL 101 AND BILL 22 AND ANY OTHERS ARE NO BETTER THEN THE GERMANS WHO SUPPORTED THE ANTI-SEMITIC NUREMBERG LAWS OR THE AMERICANS WHO SUPPORTER THE JIM CROW SEGRATION LAWS AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVS AND HAVE THE GUTS WHICH SADLY THEY DONT TO REPEAL THESE LAWS AND GIVE FULL EQUAL RIGHTS TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC.

    UnitedEmpireLoyalist

    July 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm

  16. English Canada pays a tremendous economic and psychological price for the ‘privilege’ of retaining Quebec in the Dominion. Every few years Quebec does the separation dance and English Canada buys off the province with more subsidies and special entitlements.

    The Language Law is beyond a joke. Let’s all pretend Canada is ‘bilingual!’ Queen Elizabeth speaks perfect French but most Anglo-Canadians don’t and never will. Why should they?

    Let Quebec go her own way and Canada will have a good friend instead of an unhappy, subjugated province that must be constantly and eternally placated, catered to and bought off.

    Quent

    November 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm

  17. FUCK OFF SEPARTISTS! I HATE ALL OF YOUR FUCKING GUTS! I HOPE ALL OF YOU BURN IN HELL! I TRY TO SPEAK FRENCH BUT IF YOU EVER TAKE MY COUNTRY AWAY FROM ME I’LL TRY MY FUCKING BEST TO NEVER SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE AGAIN! MAROIS, PARIZEAU, AND ALL THE REST OF YOU BIGOTS ARE A BUNCH OF BLOOD SUCKERS! GIVE IT UP ASSHOLES! YOU LOST TWICE! DON’T YOU BASTARDS KNOW WHEN TO STOP! OH YEAH…..GO FUCK YOURSELF!

    Angry English Guy In Montreal

    November 28, 2009 at 9:18 pm


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