The Post to Quebec: Love Canada or else


quebec-bashingIf you haven’t read the National Post‘s editorial about the canceled re-enactment of Battle on the Plains, it’s worth checking out, if only because it stands out as a perfect example of the breathtaking lunacy Quebec’s identity debates sometimes generate in the Rest Of Canada. To wit:

Enough of the decades of appeasement; it’s time for Ottawa to adopt a tough-love attitude toward Quebec. And who better to do that then Mr. Harper and his Tories? They’ve got nothing to lose…

They can start by reinstating the Plains of Abraham re-enactment and, if need be, providing federal security for the event. They also can end the unofficial federal policy that as near to half as possible of all federal defence spending must go to manufacturers in Quebec.

While they’re at it, they should tell the truth about equalization… There is no “fiscal imbalance,” at least not between Ottawa and Quebec…

Let’s also take away the Quebec chair at the Francophonie. Defend vigorously in court any challenges filed that seek to uphold the minority-language rights of English-speaking residents in Quebec. Such an approach won’t make any friends in Quebec. But at least everyone in the rest of the country won’t keep feeling like suckers.

So, if I’ve got this right, the National Post believes the reasonable response to Quebecers’ getting their panties in a twist over, as Adam Radwanski aptly puts it, “a bunch of history buffs [running] around in costumes,” is to dramatically and irreversibly raise the stakes. English Canadians apparently deserve to be made aware of the conniving, money-grubbing, power-hungry opportunists living next door—and Quebecers as a whole should be tarred and feathered for not knowing their place in the federation. What’s most astounding about the Post‘s editorial is the paper’s suggestion that the “rest of the country” would somehow embrace collective punishment against Quebec as appropriate retaliation for the rantings and ravings of a bunch of kooks no one except the National Battlefields Commission pays attention to.

Aside from the dubious implications of the Post’s suggestion, if the paper is going to rely on history to make its point, it should at least get it right: Pierre Trudeau didn’t “placate” Quebec nationalists with the Charter or bilingualism; both were imposed against their oft- and loudly-expressed will. And Quebecers weren’t the ones who turned Meech Lake and Charlottetown into failures; if anything, Meech Lake was derailed by widespread anti-Quebec bigotry, while Charlottetown’s main opponents weren’t nationalists but die-hard federalists.

While I’m happy to see the editorial denounced by others in the ROC, I’m not sure I agree with Radwanski’s contention that the biggest problem with the Post‘s editorial is that it’s “asking the federal government to reignite the sovereignty movement.” You can take the sovereignists out of the picture entirely and it’s still a despicable idea to encourage a government to drum up a backlash against its own citizens.

[Image: André-Philippe Côté, Le Soleil]


The Post to Quebec: Love Canada or else

  1. “Enough of the decades of appeasement; it’s time for Ottawa to adopt a tough-love attitude toward Quebec.”

    Spot on. I thought the editorial was fantastic, no surprise there though. It was like they were reading my mind. I don’t care about the re-enactment, if Quebecers decide to forfeit a considerable amount of tourism dollars in order to cut off their nose to spite their face than so be it, but I agree with the rest of it. I am tired of all the whinging that comes from Quebec when they are the most favoured province within Canada.

    • It was like they were reading my mind….

      Must. Resist. Cheap. Shot.

      • Why stop now? It’s what you mostly do here, as far as I can tell.

        • You’d be surprised how many of your fatuous comments I ignore outright.

  2. Wow. Collective punishment eh? If treating Quebec as the equivalent of any other province is collective punishment, what does that make the treatment of all lesser provinces up till now?

    • Wow! Let’s all tell AB what it must do with the oil-sands. That’ll put those hicks in their place.

  3. To make sure their point comes across clearly, I presume Saturday’s editorial will be entitled: “Screw Quebec. Screw them, screw them, screw them.” And decorate it with another op-ed about the decline of political discourse in Canada, just for balance.

    If the Post’s EdBoard wants to stir things up with over-the-top rhetoric, that is their prerogative. However, they should use factually correct statements to do so. It’s bad, sloppy work.

  4. I especially like how you bring up the idea that this is a disproportionate response. Try to think of it as a tipping point instead.

    Imagine a married couple where one member (lets say the husband) takes advantage of and manipulates the wife for years and years. When he isn’t happy with the relationship he might contemplate divorce, but never actually goes through with it. Nobody is surprised when one day, the husband comes home and finds the wife has left. Well, the husband is probably surprised…he has gotten his way for years and years, and thought he would be able to keep doing this indefinitely…

    • Some tpping pt. If we’re ever going to let them go, or ask them to leave, shouldn’t it be over something worth getting upset over?

    • mecheng, are you talking about Quebec or Alberta or Newfounland? I’m confused.

  5. I’ll dance on CanWest’s grave.

  6. Yawn. Does anyone take the NP editoral board seriouly? That is apart from jwl. They must have let that moron Gunter lead on this one.
    The NP board is like having to put up with yr senile old gramps in the attic. He makes a bit of a mess occasionally, swears too much and can’t seem to get over the last war. The old darling niffs a bit too, but what can you do, he’s family after all.

    • Get off my lawn !

      • No. You get off my…reply..thingie!

  7. Well, I don;t agree with everything in the editorial, but it is surely time to tell some of these jackasses in Quebec what is what. One of things that I liked most about Dion was his assertive and reasonable challenges to all the nonsense coming out of the sovereignty movement.

    If arguing the point about these issues is ‘raising the stakes’, then we have reached a very ebb.

  8. I hate agreeing with the National Post. Ugh…

    What exactly is so outrageous about their suggestions? The Francophonie thing seems petty but other than that it’s just taking away all the nonsense Quebec has extorted out of the ocountry over the last two (or twenty) years.

    • Depending on your point of view , it started about the week after the Plains of Abraham. ;-)

      • What’s wrong with the Québec Act? I never thought protection against assimilation seemed so unreasonable…

        • Canada is made up of many cultural backgrounds and could noted no ever legislated the protection of Celtic traditions and language which has sadly disappeared except remote communities and families. quebec was given choice of religion, school and day to day governing. Yet after being given more rights as individuals and as a group two things have happened. They are being marginalized by immigration of other cultures even though some are french; and two they still believe they deserve more. I’d give up PEI’s status as province in trade to never to hear about the Quebec question ever again. They’re culture and values are in the same light as any other set.

  9. If the event hadn’t been canceled or delayed would anyone have noticed? Really, given the treatment of Canadians towards history most of could have on never realizing the event had taken place (the re-enactment; hopefully education still teaches the battle). The event could have been let go due to lack of interest but not no longer. Now we have interest and vehemently decry that we won’t be able to miss this historical re-enactment!

  10. I do take issue with Mr Gohier’s remarks on Meech and Charlottetown [ i get the 2 mixed up now ] You say Meech was derailed largely by ROC bigotry. Provide specific examples please, and not just a couple of loons chanting Q sucks either. The way i remember Meech it was pretty much the end result of one man’s hubris and an attempt to back-room Canadians – well there was that guy with the feather who stood up for his principles – not one of the bigots i presume. If i recall Q rejected Meech too, not just ROC.
    Charlottetown i don’t recall so well, cept for the big guy calling Brian out – that was sweet. What was it again: a sniveller…just about right, that time anyway.
    However it sickens me to see NP board wrapping itself in the flag whenever it’s convenient.

  11. *bashes head on desk*

  12. Personally I think the NP is closer to what most of the ROC thinks rather than Radwanksi. However for some reason noone in the media is daring enough to commision a poll to settle who is right. I think most of the major media are afraid of what they might find out…. The ROC don’t much like Quebec. And would not mind so much if they left.
    If there are those in Quebec who actually want to be contributers to one Canada and reject separatists outright, they sure are quiet.

    • “If there are those in Quebec who actually want to be contributers to one Canada and reject separatists outright, they sure are quiet.”

      Daryl, is that so? Then please explain how it is that the vast majority of Quebecers oppose the sovereignity movement?

      • I don’t speak French, I get my opinions based on English media. Most do oppose separation if you look at polls or election result percentages. However a large percentage of these people may not want separation but they want more and more from Canadians. The ROC cares what Quebec thinks and tries to put up with the damands, do they care what the ROC thinks of them?Do they understand that calling them separatists is not meant to be derogatory?
        If there are say 60% of Quebecers who want to remain a part of Canada. Why do we not hear from them as defenders of Canada. Do they rally? With the Canadian flag? Are there Quebecers who think Canada is pretty fair to Quebec. Do they speak up?

        • If there are say 60% of Quebecers who want to remain a part of Canada. Why do we not hear from them as defenders of Canada.

          Because *you* don’t follow the French-language media. But since you follow the English media, you have read Lysianne Gagnon in The Globe, Chantal Hebert in The Star and have been exposed to francophone commenters that appear on Politics with Don Newman and elsewhere on the CBC to understand that the situation is rather complex.

          If you don’t know that by now, then I suspect you’re an unconscious citizen.

          • Isn’t the solution best to just ignore the dissenters until the fall on deaf ears then or do we insist on free speech forced upon all listeners.

          • Oh yes Quebec politics is complex. Unlike the ROC politics?

          • Oh yes Quebec politics is complex. Unlike the ROC politics?

            The intersection of French- and English-Canada is complicated and the issues aren’t just political.

            That’s just a fact and it’s been like that since forever.

        • Daryl,

          Name me one other province in Canada that formaly voted (twice in QC’ s case) to remain in Canada.

          I know Newfoundland voted to join Canada , after voting not to, but I can’t think of any other, can you ?

          What do you want, a big parade, a show of flags, what? What visible sign are you looking for that other provinces do?

  13. they are legends in their own minds;
    NP speak for yourself. don’t include me in your punishment of La Francophonie. if you can do it to them you’ll likely want to do it to me or others–province, minority or vulnerable group in this country.

    NP, or NYP? another monkey cartoon in script this time?

  14. “However a large percentage of these people may not want separation but they want more and more from Canadians.”

    Says who? Your “english speaking papers?”

    From where I’m sitting, just about every province in this federation comes hat in hand to the table.

    “If there are say 60% of Quebecers who want to remain a part of Canada. Why do we not hear from them as defenders of Canada. Do they rally? With the Canadian flag? Are there Quebecers who think Canada is pretty fair to Quebec. Do they speak up?”

    Daryl, you are grossly uninformed. Stop reading the nonsense from the National Post. They do speak up. Hell, they are a large part of the reason why Harper won his first mandate. Just because the “english speaking” media gives a lot of ink to the sovereignists (the vocal minority) does not mean that they represent Quebec as a whole.

    Give your head a shake, will ya?

    • “Hell, they are a large part of the reason why Harper won his first mandate.”

      So your saying they voted CPC because they love Canada first and formost.
      I thought it was his promise to fix the fiscal imbalance, and give them a seat at UNESCO. At least that is in part what Chantel Hebert told me from the torstar and her book french kiss.

      I never said they represent Quebec as a whole. But if Quebecers don’t have any further demands from Canada and reject separation than they better speak up louder. Me thinks the ROC is growing more impatient with Quebec. If you believe otherwise, I think you need to give your head a shake as well.

  15. Daryl, just because YOU are uninformed and seem to be treating Quebec like it’s some foreign country oversea certainly does not mean that the ROC feels the same way.

    Get a clue.

    • I didn’t to suggest all of ROC would agree with me. But perhaps you are right and I am off base in , and I am wrong.
      The only way to settle it would be a large poll on what the ROC thinks about Quebec.

  16. May I suggest that there two kinds of separatists, those that what to take Quebec out of Canada and those that want to push Quebec out. Is the NP board of editors part of the latter?

  17. I cannot find work Quebec (Montreal) is my home however if I had somewhere else I would go

  18. Please stop referring to only two parties, Quebeckers and ROC. Anybody living in the province knows that we are in majority federalists, pro-bilingualism and want to build a greater Canada.

    The problem is that we have a minority mix mash of nationalists, anarchists, socialists and communists who have strong tendencies for extremism, acting before thinking, exploiting emotion rather than logic in problem solving – as a means to form personal political opinions and above all, expressing such thoughts and opinions in creative, loud and far-reaching ways… that make the majority of Quebec and obviously Canada, shrug.

    The problem is that while most of these nationalists are out banging their pots and pans in the street, protesting, urinating on buildings of the Canadian Forces in the streets of Montreal, the majority is hard at work in the buildings above and around, to proudly pay federal and provincial deductible and sales tax.

    The sad part is that ROC has in the majority an image of Quebec that is what you see only in the media – what us Quebec federalists, the majority in Quebec, see – those barely unemployed, hardly educated, extremist nationalists causing unrest and unbalance in our beloved home province.

    If anyone from ROC will take my advice, please hear this: Don’t label Quebeckers as Quebeckers; take the time to segment us. Because as far as we’re concerned, that majority of Quebeckers share the values of ROC. These minorities continue to exist and thrive only because we’ve allowed them to act like bratty children for too long, and what’s worse is that the “Quebec” that so many from ROC seem to share hate towards – only inspires this conflict further.

    Sure, Quebec takes a lot of money from Ottawa – too much in fact. However, if you consider the contributions that this province has made to this country, fiscally and in terms of innovation across all industries and fields, you’ll quickly realize that Ottawa needs Quebec to continue to thrive. The province needs only some RATIONAL parenting from a RATIONAL ROC/Ottawa. We provide 20% of the total GDP… and while we’re low ranking for GDP per capita, remember that we haven’t even really exploited our natural resources yet (to come 2020-2100).

    Let’s work together as the true ROC (including majority federalist Quebec) and defeat the minority tyranny through education and empowerment if possible, or at the very least suppression.

    With glowing hearts, we see the rise, the true North strong and free. We stand on guard for thee.

  19. 5 year old article that, clearly, the Federal Government should have taken as the golden rule. Look at the mess we’re in now.

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