These Quebeckers

If we are to believe the question asked to Yves-Francois Blanchet Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute polling firm, “Quebec has a problem with racism” because his government adopted the State Secularism Act (Bill 21) and introduced Bill 96, which aims to protect the official and common language of Quebec.

We knew that in English Canada, opposition to the law on secularism was fierce. We now understand that a bill that aims to protect and promote the French language in Quebec is perceived as racist and discriminatory. In itself, this is a new development.

At the time, Bill 101, which Stéphane Dion, thirty years after its adoption by the National Assembly, himself described as a “great Canadian law”, had certainly aroused among the English-speaking majority its share of accusations: the epithets liberticide and Nazi had been used. But that this very modest reinforcement of the Charter of the French language proposed by the Legault government is associated with racism is puzzling.

During the debate, the moderator refused to allow Yves-François Blanchet to address the problem of the rights of francophones outside Quebec, which we know are being flouted. The harsh and repeated observations of the Commissioner of Official Languages ​​bear witness to this, as do the long legal battles of Francophones outside Quebec to obtain French schools. Could it be that minority Francophone rights are increasingly seen as a “privilege” by Canadian multiculturalists, French being a white and Western language which, in France, was imposed to the detriment of other languages ​​and dialects? In any event, the rights of the English-Canadian majority to live in its language in Quebec as a minority are much better respected.

On Friday, Shachi Kurl clarified that the leading question of the debate was not of his own. The formulation was approved by a committee formed by the independent consortium responsible for organizing the English-speaking debate. This committee includes production managers, producers and journalists from the four media outlets of the consortium comprising APTN, CBC, CTV and Global. They are not amateurs. They knew what they were doing. Moreover, neither the consortium nor the moderator deigned to apologize.

The head of Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, launched a petition on Friday entitled: Quebec bashing, It will do. But this Quebec bashing is not the work of isolated and ill-informed individuals; it is, as we can see, institutionalized.

We have to believe that this judgment against these “retarded” Quebecers represents the dominant current of thought within the English-Canadian intelligentsia. As our collaborator Konrad Yakabuski wrote in our pages on Saturday, who, as a columnist at Globe and Mail, is well aware of this reality, the question only gave credence to “the widespread idea in English Canada that Quebec would be a less developed province than the others”.

The leader of the Green Party, Annamie Paul, agreed with this by offering the Bloc leader to “educate him”. Perhaps the Torontonian was thinking of a multiculturalist “re-education” like the one imposed on federal civil servants in matters of racism and which should be extended to the entire population of Quebec.

Condescension rivals here a profound ignorance of the Quebec reality. It is as if, in Quebec, no one had thought about the issues of living together and racism. This is to forget that Quebec citizens, historically the most politicized in Canada because they are part of a despised minority, have debated these questions at length, particularly during the consultations conducted by Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor, which resulted in their voluminous report in 2018. Of course, this reflection cannot stop deepening. But it is clear, as the two commissioners pointed out, that the Quebec nation, if it wants to persist, cannot content itself with submitting to this multicultural ideology which has been made a dogma.

Responding to this “attack” on Quebec, Francois Legault took up in part the famous phrase that Robert Bourassa had uttered the day after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord in the National Assembly in 1990. “Whatever we say and whatever we do in Ottawa, Quebec is a nation free to protect its language, its values ​​and its powers, ”said the Prime Minister. But while Bourassa had his own idea for the next step, one can wonder what François Legault’s is, when Canada could answer him, as well as the péquenots they represent, that whatever he does. , whatever he says, we don’t care.

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