Phil Parent wrote a Letter to The Publisher (Please see LETTERS April 11, 2005) describing himself and Quebec as Ethnocentric. His letter was honest and right to the point.
My response to him is just as honest and just as right to the point.
Ethnocentric nationalism is a sickness no less toxic than religious fundamentalism. And just like countries that govern themselves via Theocracies, countries that govern themselves along the lines of Ethnicity are doomed to be cultural backwaters.
He uses examples as Spain and Japan as model ethnocentric society success stories. I see them as countries that have fought vicious civil and global wars.
Ethnocentricity has brought the entire world to war twice in just one century. And if there is any example of a world determined to shake the chains of ethnocentric nationalism, it is the European Union.
Without the money poured into Quebec by the rest of Canada, Quebec would be even more of a backwater than it already is.
In Phil Parent’s letter; he wrote about Canada’s biculturalism: but he’s wrong about biculturalism.
Canada is not a bicultural country. It is in fact a multi-cultural country where the two “principle founding groups” are very much in the national minority.
I could factually argue that Quebec City was almost 50% English at one time, and that Montreal was mostly English before the “Anglos” were made to feel sufficiently uncomfortable to leave in a huge exodus from 1967 to date.
I mention this only because of phil Parent’s argument in defense of protecting the Ethnic majority.
Based upon his reasoning, the French speakers of Montreal should have been assimilated by the English, and Montreal should have become an exclusively English city.
But this isn’t a viable argument, since what once was, is no more.
What is a viable argument is as follows:
If it wasn’t for Canada:
1) Quebec would have no Canadian Bank or Insurance Industries.
2) Air Canada would not have its head office in Quebec.
3) There would be no Aerospace Industry on the South Shore of Montreal.
4) There would be no Bombardier beyond snowmobiles and motorized toys.
5) There would be no modern Mont Tremblant ($100 MILLION federal money).
6) There would have been no Expo 67.
7) There would have been no 1976 Olympics.
The above doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Quebec would not have if it wasn’t for Canada.
BUT – IF IT WERE NOT FOR QUEBEC:
1) Canada’s national debt would either be a fraction of what it is now or non-existent.
2) Canada wouldn’t have such sour relations with the USA.
3) Canada would have a real military.
4) Canada would have the respect of the world as a “PLAYER”.
5) Canada would have the money for unbelievable national healthcare.
6) Canada would have politicians who were not obligated to Ethnocentricity.
In essence: If it were not for Quebec, Canada would have been the country of the 20th and 21st centuries as was envisioned by Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in the 1950’s.
To Phil Parent, I can say only this:
I do not want to ever live in a country that is Ethnocentric. That’s mostly why I left Quebec.
Parent said in his letter to me, what I’ve been saying all along; but what politicians in and from Quebec prefer to hide.
Given his mind-set on Quebec, as being a philosophy shared by the majority of Quebec nationalists, I too would vote OUI for Quebec’s exit from Canada.
Successive ethnocentric Québécois nationalists have convinced me, Canada will be far better-off without Quebec.
The only questions that remain:
When do we draw up the divorce papers? And how do we divide the household belongings?
Everything else is just details.