Lucien's Quebecitude -

Lucien’s Quebecitude


Lucien Bouchard is apparently less of a Quebecer today than before. At least, this is what Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir seems to think. Khadir and Bouchard had it out during a parliamentary commission on the rights of mining and petroleum companies to compensation after the Quebec government revoked their exploration permits.In any other democratic society, this would be a decent dust-up between a respected right-of-centre former politician and an upstart lefty over the very relevant issue of shale gas development.

This being Quebec, though, the debate inevitably devolved into a jingoistic pissing match instigated by Khadir and brought to a full boil by Bouchard.

Khadir: Mr. Bouchard, many people, especially sovereignists, are disappointed to see you become a representative of the oil and gas industry. It is pretty inconceivable that one can at once serve the interests of a nation while working ardently to protect the interests of foreign multinationals that seek to despoil our natural resources. you haven’t been faithful to your pledge to serve the public good…

Bouchard: Must I be subjected to the moral judgements of this man? Is that now the tradition in this forum, to pass moral judgements on people who testify?

Khadir: Well, it’s because you serve the interests of…

Bouchard: But it’s absolutely disgraceful Where are we? Is this an anarchist’s courtroom?

Khadir: M. Bouchard, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to personally insult you.

Bouchard: You said that I haven’t been faithful to Quebecers, sir.

Khadir: I said you haven’t been faithful to the role incumbent to premier…

Bouchard: I don’t recognize your right to pass judgement on my faithfulness towards Quebecers. Not one right. He’s beyond the pale, M. President.

Khadir: Mr. Bouchard is here because he’s worried about the exploration and development rights of companies that are mostly American or Canadian from outside Quebec….

Egads. You see what happens here? These two gentlemen are discussing an issue that would affect  thousands of Quebecers should the resource be developed, while millions more (say, the entire province) stands to gain from what is under our feet. The stakes are incredibly high, and yet two of the more important people charged with setting the boundaries in parliament would rather argue over who has the bigger fleur-de-lys. Congrats, ladies.

Filed under:

Lucien’s Quebecitude

  1. Arguing over ‘who has the bigger fleur-de-lys’ is a male pastime, and nothing to do with ‘ladies’.

  2. The question is in there somewhere: what is an appropriate role for a provincial premier once he or she leaves office?  Bernard Lord, former premier of New Brunswick, can shill for the wireless industry and nobody says tweet. But then, one could argue that Saint Lucien is not simply an ex-premier; just like Québec is just not another province. When one accepts to be canonized  by the nationalists, one has a moral obligation not  to represent just any money grubbing interests; they should be Québecois money grubbing interests. 

  3. Mr Patriquin. You suggest that the two gentlemen lost an opportunity to have a thoughtful debate about an important issue for Quebecers. You’re wrong. I have just watched the full length (about an hour) of Mr Bouchard’s hearing. The squirmish last about 4 minutes over one hour, and was due essentialy to Mr Khadir’s usual tactic to lecture instead of asking a question to the commission’s guest. Almost all reports on this hearing by the media have focused on these 4 minutes. The rest of the hearing was civil, thoughtful and informative, but few focus on that.

    Your blog entry will wrongfuly lead people to think that time was lost yesterday au Salon Rouge. This is not true and is not what I think the role of journalist should be.

    Christian Martel

  4. Seems to me that Khadir was the one throwing the eggs and Bouchard simply tried to defend himself. I wouldn’t let Khadir talk like that, either. What self-respecting person would?

  5. Well, pretty obvious the rich foreigners pay Bouchard because of his reputation, not because of his arguments. So attacking the reputation seem legit to me. Bouchard simply played the vierge offensée.

  6. “For many years, Amir was an active supporter of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), which is classified as a terrorist organization in the United States, Europe and Canada. When his brother Omid was arrested in 2003 in Paris during a police operation against the French base of WIPO, Amir intervened to secure his release by putting pressure on the Minister of the Interior, Nicolas Sarkozy, without specifying that it was his brother who was under arrest.”

    • The blog post the parent linked to is nothing more than a crazy conservative hit job. It borderlines on slander.

  7. And I realize not all conservatives are this “limbaughish”

  8. The exchange lasts 4 minutes out of one hour where all the corporate interests you seem to have at heart were thoroughly defended. Khadir only took a slice of the time to make a point a very large number of people in the Province would make to Mister Bouchard, would they be allowed in his circles.
    But good work, Mr. Patriquin, you barked on cue, as I guess you are paid to do at the sight of leftists and/or separatists, good boy.