Where we should be a nation of international leaders, we’ve become a nation of whiners who rewrite our history and establish roadblocks to protect the piss-poor status quo.
Friday, February the thirteenth was the day former Quebec newsman and politician Claude Ryan was buried. He was eulogised as a Great Canadian as his coffin was hoisted upon the shoulders of uniformed officers of Quebec’s “police nationale” carrying his body from the Church for burial.
People remember Ryan as the man who stood for Canada during Quebec’s first referendum to secede from Confederation in 1980. But they conveniently forget that it was the same Claude Ryan who was the editor and publisher of the Quebecois nationalist newspaper Le Devoir, which never missed an opportunity to stoke the flames of Quebec nationalism.
The elitists and journalists who are shovelling tributes to this man, who is being referred to as a model of democratic principles, was also the driving force behind Robert Bourassa’s imposition of the Notwithstanding Clause (Bill 178) on December 18, 1988 that suspended the civil rights and liberties of all English speakers and Ethnics living within Quebec.
Claude Ryan was also the minister in charge of language and culture in 1993, who introduced Bill 86, yet another of Quebec’s language laws that allowed English and other languages on signs, but only if they were half the size, or half as many as all other languages combined; rendering English as a second class and diminutive language.
But make no mistake about Claude Ryan’s motive to throw the English speaking community even this minuscule crumb; he had no choice. The United Nations ruled against Canada’s imposition of a language law that took away the freedom of choice.
More than that however; Claude Ryan held secret meetings with executives of all major retailers to secure their pledge that they would not post bilingual signs in Quebec, even if the law allowed it.
This unknown and now ignored fact in history was divulged to me by no other than John Eaton, of the now defunct Eaton’s department stores in April 1996; later confirmed under pressure of the media by the Quebec Liberals themselves, as if it was no big deal.
The generous eulogies Ryan’s passing is receiving reminds me somewhat of the time when Camille Laurin died.
To refresh your memory, Camille Laurin was the sick-minded (one-time psychiatrist) ethnocentric Quebecois nationalist who was a co-founder of the Bloc Populaire which supported the reign of the Nazis during the time of World War Two.
His support for Nazis aside, he is best remembered as the Father of Bill 101, Quebec’s racist cultural law which renders the English speaking community and its long history in Quebec invisible.
I was aghast at how much respect the English community of Quebec gave this beast in tribute to his eulogy. Some “federalists” even stretched it to suggest that his racist Bill 101 helped save Canada. And in Ville St Laurent, home to a substantial English speaking community, Canadian flags at Montreal’s largest postal distribution center were flown at half mast.
Stephane Dion, Federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister at that time, called this horrible man’s racist Bill 101: “A GREAT CANADIAN LAW”.
If nothing else, Quebec’s history is a mixture of lies, distortions, embellishments and fantasy. It never ends.
In my mind, the best thing I can say about Claude Ryan is that his “greatness” can no longer harm the minorities who are so quick to pay him homage for the damage he caused them.
Merci Pour La Visite.