I receive a great many letters. Some which I just read. Some are stupid and I delete at a glance. Some I respond to. A few I publish.
And then there are the letters that motivate me to write an editorial. This is one of those.
I won’t publish the letter I received from this French Quebecer who claims to be a “Proud Canadian”, and who is deeply offended by my position on de-Confederation. In his letter, he argues passionately for keeping Canada together.
My response to him in this editorial more than clearly illustrates what he wrote to me.
But just to establish a mind-set, it must be noted that the letter-writer was dismissive about my request that he sign his first and last name, and the city where he lives. If his opinions don’t merit his (true) signature, then his opinions don’t merit serious consideration.
Nonetheless; I responded to him because his letter represented a peculiar mind-set amongst Quebec nationalists who consider themselves “Proud Canadians”.
Here’s my somewhat edited response to this “Proud Canadian’s” letter.
I’m pleased that you paraded around Old Montreal draped in a Canadian flag on July 1, 2004. Why shouldn’t you have? Canada has been exceptional to Quebec.
All Quebec nationalists who want special status and language laws that make the use of the English language illegal in Quebec, but at the same time want to see the use and visibility of the French language expanded throughout the rest of Canada should thank Canada for making it possible.
If I was an ethnocentric Québécois nationalist, I’d parade with a Canadian flag too.
I’m afraid I cannot support a country that is constantly reinventing itself and creating racist laws to appease just one province. You said that even the Supreme Court of Canada supports Quebec’s language laws (more or less). So what?
Who gave them the lock on morality and integrity?
Remember, it was the Supreme Court of Canada which said that Quebec is in violation of two parts of the Canadian Charter of Rights vis a vis the right to work in the construction industry; but nonetheless ruled in Quebec’s favor because of Quebec’s “unique character” as they put it.
Now that’s justice Canadian style. Impressive . . . No?
I agree wholeheartedly with you, that healthcare, education, and manpower are all exclusive provincial jurisdictions that have somewhat been encroached upon by Ottawa. But I don’t see Quebec refusing the money.
For you to suggest that I am a malcontent, standing on the sidelines throwing slurs at Quebec is a stupid and ignorant observation.
No one who I know has spent as much personal time, effort and money (proportional to personal wealth) fighting for the right of everyone to be equal everywhere in Canada as I have. And by the way: that fight included the rights you enjoy as well.
You keep writing that I’m anti-French. From where do you get this?
I’m anti-Québécois nationalist, and against Quebec laws that make 100% of their minority population second class. Not to mention the 6 million French speaking Quebecers (the majority) who are denied the right to educate their children in the English language.
I have no problem with French speaking people. But I do have a problem with whiners, racists and people who have no understanding of their own history. No matter what language they speak.
No one I know took more verbal abuse, and lived under a constant barrage of physical threats and insults for taking a stand for equality than I did. I was threatened. My wife who was not directly involved in my activities was threatened. Even the safety and well being of our horses were threatened. But that didn’t stop me.
It was worth the effort, because now I know that Quebec will never want to be an equal province and play by the rules established for everyone else. I also know that Quebec will NEVER respect the equality of all people. Much less the RIGHTS of its minorities.
I will assume that you’ve read Animal Farm by George Orwell, where all animals on the farm are equal, but some animals are just a little more equal than others.
As a “Proud Canadian”, how would you respond to Ontario, Alberta and/or British Colombia passing English language versions of Quebec’s Bill 101, making it illegal in their respective provinces for you as a French Canadian to be equal and visible?
Would you be such a “Proud Canadian” then?
This is what Stephen Harper is proposing in citing Belgium as a Constitutional example for Canada. And why shouldn’t he? If it’s good enough for Quebec, then it should be good enough for the rest of Canada too.
You mentioned that the Québécois racists I’ve spotlighted in past editorials: the likes of Adrien Arcand, Camillien Houde, Lionel Groulx, Andre Laurendeau, and Henri Bourassa are in the past. So I should just stop writing about them.
If they’re so much in the past, why then are there so many Quebec streets, colleges, parks, subway stations and monuments named after them?
When you want to fight for my right to be equal and visible in Quebec, you can lecture me on national unity and how “Great Canada” is as a country. But until such time, I have no use for a country that behaves like Animal Farm.
And less use for a person who shoots his mouth off in anonymity.
It should be noted that the opinionated anonymous “Proud Canadian Québécois” letter-writer has not bothered to respond to this letter. I guess it’s hard for him to argue against what is the truth, and what is his fantasy.