Taste the chin, Montreal
Lucien Bouchard recently referred to the Parti Québécois, a party he once led, as a “radicalist niche” bent on exploiting Quebecers’ collective language fears for electoral gain. The PQ reaction was to a) largely ignore these specific sentiments and instead concentrate on Lucien’s bit about how sovereignty ain’t gonna happen, allowing the party to label him a sellout, as it has done before with this guy and, to a certain extent, this guy; and b) largely shrug off Lucien’s bon mots as the babblings of a bitter old man who can’t keep his anger in check. After all, they breed ’em big and angry up in the Saguenay.
But, as usual, Lu-lu’s sense was canny. A week later, this: the PQ, leader Pauline Marois says, will focus her party’s attention on “defense of the French language” and “affirmation of national identity” (it actually sounds creepier in English) in the upcoming parliamentary session.Translation: she’s doing exactly as Lu-lu said she would. And for one very good (and terribly cynical) reason: demographics.
Buried in today’s interesting Le Devoir story about how Canada is becoming less and less white is the following bit:
Quebec City and Trois-Rivières are two of Quebec’s largest cities that have the least number of visible minorities. [By 2031] visible minorities will constitute five percent of Quebec City’s population and four percent of Trois-Rivières, compared to two percent in 2006
The city of Saguenay will be the least number of visible immigrants in all of Canada by 2031, with at most two percent of the population. Still, this number is double what it is today.
In Montreal, meanwhile, one in three people will be a visible minority by 2031. The PQ base, not coincidentally, is fast eroding in Montreal (the results of 2008’s election are telling enough) and growing in les régions. Translation: Montreal is fast becoming a convenient, readily exploitable multi-coloured boogie man.
Good call, Lucien.