Quebec values charter: two notable quotations - Macleans.ca
 

Quebec values charter: two notable quotations


 

This week, I wrote about the Quebec values charter. You can read it here. The piece focuses on the schism between Montreal and the rest of Quebec, and how the city is frequently the province’s bogeyman when it comes to language, identity and politics.

I asked former Premier Bernard Landry about the wisdom of Parti Québécois strategy of courting the off-island pur laine vote. Given how our electoral system essentially makes rural votes more valuable than their urban equivalent, I noted how this may well benefit the PQ in the next election. However, it would arguably hurt the party in the event of another referendum, which by definition are of the one-person, one-vote variety. His answer was, well, astounding. He said the PQ doesn’t need Montreal to win a referendum; all that needs to happen, as Jacques Parizeau himself once said, was for old-stock Quebecers to vote even more separation.

“Montreal is important and winning with diversity is fantastic. But winning is winning, and that’s great too,” said the former premier.

Hmm.

Here’s a take from a fellow named Will Prosper. Will is a former RCMP police officer, community organizer, documentarian, political candidate and, like Landry, a sovereignist. His take is decidedly different:

“With this charter, the Péquiste government only accentuates the perception among immigrants that if Quebec ever attains its independence, there will be two types of citizens: Marois’s ‘Nous’, and the others who may have different colour skin, differently shaped eyes, or who wear a headscarf, a kippah or a turban. We need to find a way to open the off-island regions to Montreal’s reality and reverse the perception that the city is a debaucherous hell hole filled with immigrant barbarians who attend public stonings on Saturday nights.”

Interesting times in Quebec, as always. Again, you can read the whole piece here.


 
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Quebec values charter: two notable quotations

  1. Quebec, like other provinces, has it’s sophisticated cities with cosmopolitan views…..and a countryside mostly full of habitants in boots.

    Urban/rural split…same as elsewhere.

    Works against separatism actually…a small-town attitude does not a nation make.

    It just makes an even smaller town.

  2. I have two points on this “charter”:

    1. Quebec lost over 30,000 jobs last month and this “charter” will only accelerate the job loss. Not to mention, Quebec already carries the highest per person debt ($21,000) in Canada. Really who wants to do business or take a job in an environment that doesn’t promote equality? Though I’m an atheist and I don’t wear “conspicuous religious symbols” however what this debate tells me is that today “others” are facing the music but down the line it will be my turn.

    2. Identity politics has all but fractured India to the point where most things are decided on ethnic lines and Lee Kuan Yu rightly pointed out that such things in a democracy eventually leads to sabotage of national interests as everyone is busy looking for their self-interest. I couldn’t be more thankful that such non-sense isn’t part of political landscape in Canada. Quebec will have to learn the hard way.

    • Yes indeedy, there’s freedom of religion and freedom from religion…..and it’s something Quebec should have left alone.

  3. A tempest in a tea pot – nothing more and nothing less – all made much larger by a media with an agenda

  4. I am a 3rd generation Sino-Quebecois all born in Montreal . I went to school in Brossard. I have experienced racism in La Belle Province first-hand. Even though perfectly bilingual I have been called un “maudit voleur de job” , ” un chintok” and the list goes on.
    The problem is not the Parti Quebecois. It is within the Quebecois values that you find engrained racism. If you are not a visible minority and your name is not Tremblay or Leduc or Thibodeau you will get the following sweet polite question with a distinctly maple-syrop flavour: C’est quoi votre nationalité ? Then you see fireworks !
    This happens when they realize that you have a certain amount of education and know-how. Otherwise they will leave you alone if you drive a taxi or work as a bus-boy.
    When I realized that, I moved out of Quebec. This was my best decision. It did leave a bad taste in my mouth though ! Nowhere else in Canada will anyone look into your grandma’s chromozome make-up like in La Belle Province. Small town Quebec is especially notorious for that. I am very happy to live in Canada, where there are people of many backgrounds and multiculturalism is an embraced value of our culture (psst : with multi-culturalism kids are smarter too ! Keep that as a secret though ! ). The only message I will relay to mes amis in Quebec if Quebec decides to separate is : Adieu mes anciens compatriotes !

    Signed as : Je me souviens