I received several letters about my decision to fly the former Canadian Flag (Red Ensign – the current Ontario Flag) in the front of our Alexandria home, in place of the Maple Leaf.
Many of the letters I received supported my position. A few didn’t.
I sent a letter to one of my readers who supported my position, who said to me that he was not aware of some of the things I wrote in the editorial(October 16, 2004) that spurred this reaction.
So here is some additional history that helped influence my decision to fly the Red Ensign in place of the Maple Leaf.
Quebec has been at odds with Canada since July 1, 1867, the date of Confederation. But never more so, than during the Second World War, in which Canada participated above and beyond what the world should have ever expected, based upon the size of our population at that time.
All of that said though; many levels of Quebec governments sided with the Fascists before, during and after the Second World War.
As a matter of history, Quebec was North America’s portal for the Nazi-supporting Vichy government during the War.
The Vichy “Embassy” in Quebec was a launching point in North America for Nazi spies represented by Vichy French nationalists. J Edgar Hoover of the FBI tried to convince US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to authorize assassinations against prominent Nazi supporting Québécois. Unsuccessfully so.
To better illustrate Quebec’s allegiances, during the Quebec nationalist June 24 holiday (St Jean Baptist Day), Quebec would not allow the Gaullist French to march in their wartime parade. But made certain the Nazi supporting Vichy did.
During the War, Montreal’s mayor (Camillien Houde) was arrested in 1940, and was placed in an internment camp in Ontario until 1944 for extolling French Canadians to desert, or refuse to serve in the Canadian military, even though no one drafted was forced to serve overseas or see combat.
To resist Canada’s war effort, the Fascist, Nazi supporting, Jew-Hating and anti-Canadian Bloc Populaire was established in Quebec by the likes of:
– Montreal’s Mayor Jean Drapeau, who was lucky enough to be in power at a time when the English and Ethnic communities were at their very most entrepreneurial throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
– Henri Bourassa, who was the founder and publisher of the Quebec nationalist newspaper Le Devoir, with a pan-Quebec influence amongst the French speaking intellectuals and elitists.
– André Laurendeau was the editor of Le Devoir, and the chairman of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1962). He was amongst the most strident of Quebec nationalists who believed in a two state solution for Canada.
– Camille Laurin was the Parti Québécois Minister responsible for the racist Quebec language (cultural) law Bill 101. His legacy lives today amongst the several hundred thousand English speakers who left Quebec, and continue to leave Quebec because of his racist policies.
The Bloc Populaire stood against Canada’s participation in the Second World War, and led 70% of Quebec’s population against the draft. When factoring in the English Quebec community at that time, the level of French support against the draft was probably more likely to have been 90%.
The Bloc Populaire’s motto was: “Le Canada aux Canadiens (non aux Britanniques) et le Québec aux Québécois (non aux Canadiens anglais)” .
The English translation: Canada for Canadians (not for the British) and Quebec for Quebecers (not for English Canadians).
Another famous name from Quebec who also participated in the founding of the Bloc Populaire was Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Adrien Arcand was not a co-founder of the Bloc Populaire. For him, the Bloc Populaire was too tame and moderate. Arcand was a prominent Quebec publisher and would-be politician who had the support of more than one third of Quebec’s voters.
Arcand’s many publications were exceptionally anti-Semitic which advocated sending Jews to Hudson’s Bay.
During his years of huge popularity, Arcand always referred to himself as Quebec’s Fuhrer, modeled after his hero Adolf Hitler. In 1940, like Camillien Houde, he too was interned during the Second World War for being an enemy of the state.
On November 14, 1965, Arcand delivered a speech at the Montreal Paul Sauve Arena before 900 supporters, where he publicly acknowledged, and gave thanks to a new Quebec Member of Canada’s Parliament who defended him during his “resistence” to the war.
The name of the new Member of Parliament from Quebec was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who would later become Canada’s 15th Prime Minister, who served from 1968 until 1984 with a brief (9 month) interruption.
Strangely enough, Trudeau ran and won consecutive terms in a riding that was hugely Jewish. After becoming Prime Minister, Trudeau made it clear that he wanted his government to have as little to do with Israel as possible. Yet, his Jewish constituents never failed to give him their near unanimous support.
Trudeau’s probably still laughing in his grave. And the Jews of the Mount Royal Riding are still proud to have repeatedly sent this creature to Ottawa.
When Arcand died in 1967, it was estimated that as many as 10,000 Québécois turned out at his funeral to give him a hero’s sendoff with a Fascist salute.
I can’t think of an instant that Quebec did something good for Canada, opposed to the countless times the rest of Canada does good for Quebec.
And if placating Quebec is all the Red Maple Leaf stands for? Then I’m proud to be flying the Red Ensign, which was the Flag of Canada, when Canada was once-upon-a-time a REAL COUNTRY.