Yesterday, November 27, 2006, Canada’s Parliament voted almost unanimously to recognize the QUEBECOIS people to be a Nation within the country of Canada.
In one fell swoop, Parliament gave French speaking ethnocentric Quebec Nationalists what they’ve been fighting for, for several generations.
It used to be that French Quebecois Nationalists wanted to be recognized for their distinct nature. Then it became that Quebec Nationalists wanted Quebec to be treated as an equal to all of Canada, opposed to being “just” equal to each province.
But we’ve gone much further than that. Over the years, Quebec has been given the right by Ottawa to negotiate with “Francophonie” countries, some of which are not even French speaking, on a nation to nation basis.
And to add to all of this; Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just recently given Quebec the right to represent itself at UNESCO, with the privileges and recognition reserved for sovereign states. Of which Quebec is not. At least not yet.
It seems that the big question on everyone’s mind is: what does recognition of the Quebecois people as a Nation really mean? I would go even further: Who are the Quebecois? And what if people living within Quebec don’t want to be associated with Quebecois Nationality?
So far, as hard as I listen, and as much as I read about it, it means everything from nothing to deluded people, to actual Nation status for the province of Quebec as a whole.
I fully believe that Harper has recognized Quebecers to be a Nation within Canada as an impetus for Quebec’s political class to take Quebec out of Confederation, as we know it.
There is no doubt in my mind that all Quebec politicians, including the so-called Quebec federalists will move as one, SOONER rather than later to define Quebec, and not just the Quebecois people as a Nation.
I also believe that once Quebec becomes a recognized Nation, Quebec will successfully insist that as a Nation, they must be accorded National jurisdictions.
By recognizing the Quebecois people as a Nation, Harper has sped up the process for Quebec to leave Confederation at warp-speed.
Some people suggest that Harper recognized Quebecer’s National status in order to shore up his falling political favor within Quebec. They’re wrong.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has lost political ground in Quebec because of his support for the USA, George W Bush, the war in Afghanistan, his support for Israel, his policy to scrap the gun registry, his stand against same sex marriage, his decision to more or less blow-off Kyoto, his determination to harden the criminal code including the part that deals with minors, etcetera.
Harper’s steadfast support for these principles, which are an anathema to the French speakers of Quebec, are what is killing his political popularity in Quebec.
Not national unity and Quebec’s hunger to be recognized as being distinct from the rest of Canada.
An age-old Chinese proverb that states: be careful for what you ask, because you just might get it, is a proverb Quebec would have done well to have understood.
But it’s now too late.
The NATIOANL SOVEREIGNTY Genie is out of the bottle, and no matter how hard anyone might try to put it back in, it’s over. Quebec is now on an inextricable course to National self-determination.
Unless Quebec falls upon its knees begging to stay within Confederation, I believe that Quebec will be out of Canada before the end of this decade.
And even if they have a 100% change of heart, they’ve now passed the line of no return.
For better or worse, Quebec is on the fast track to sovereignty. And the only thing left for Canada, is to figure out how to divide the silverware.
Harper understands that there is no problem with National Unity in Canada, as Canadians around the country have been claiming for generations. The problem has always been with Quebec’s lack of unity.
And through this act of recognizing the Quebecois people as a Nation, the non-existent Canadian unity question will pretty soon be a thing of the past.