Disparate Liberal Debutante

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5/07/2006

What'll Happen to the Habs?

So Canadians have been hard pressed with the recent and ongoing debate at the separation of Quebec. In 1967 General de Gaulle uttered some famous words at a Montreal Expo that sparked some pride in the people, which was sort of crush earlier during a particular Seven Years’ War in 1763. The famous 1967’s quote (“Vive Montreal, vive le Quebec libre, vive le Canada francais, vive la France” incase you don’t know the quote) led to the 1968 formation of PQ party, or what we today call the Bloc. Since then, its goal has been to create a sovereign Quebec in which all Quebeckers could feel at ease and in their place. Now the third largest party in the House of Commons, the Bloc still fights for the sovereignty of Quebec but usually taking a back seat to jobs, health care and poverty, but still the threat of separation is still spewing out of their mouths when winning conditions are at hand.

Some say that right now Quebec’s identity is being “threatened”. Almost all of the apx. 25% of Canadians that speak French live in Quebec. The thought of the loss of culture and language is a high threat as immigrants come into Montreal, and who generally prefer to speak English in their schools. However I suspect that the people making these arguments are the ones who also forget that it is in the Canadian constitution that the protection of language rights and educational rights for francophones still stands in Quebec and always will, along with a couple other provinces. There is a reason why every member of the Government is required to be fully bilingual, and why all business are conducted in both languages.

Some also spout that Quebec is able to be totally economically independent. The government subsidies are supposed to be enough to have businesses relocate to Montreal. Also offering an extremely stable work force in connection with cheap power and a huge social safety net. However, I would say that sovereignty is threatening their economy if anything. Montreal being extremely an extremely French city (trust me on this one, I went there and although it was supposed to be fully bilingual, I had to speak French the entire time) a lot of businesses and jobs get sent to Toronto instead. This takes away English speaking peoples, and scares away immigrants which are desperately needed in Quebec as it has the lowest birth rate in Canada – where the over all birth rate is low already.

In addition to these points, Quebec is looking to bring back that which was taken away from it when Trudeau made a backdoor deal with nine other provinces within his repatriation the constitution in 1982. All Quebec was seeking was the fairness that all other provinces were receiving but instead were left out of this. However those that were in the 9 other provinces with retort with something along the lines of Quebec’s demands being unreasonable, and that everything that was done, was done legally. Also saying the Constitution holds with in it the ability for Quebec to declare legislations without the necessary overrides.

Finally, all the Quebeckers are asking for is respect, and that respect will come when Quebec is able to reach full economic prosperity, which they will not be able to have until their future lies in their hands alone. Economic decisions in Canada are generally made in Toronto or Ottawa, not Montreal. Also the EU-style union is not what Quebec wants, and the devolution of this will not be accepted by the Capital. But the thing with these brings be back to my earlier point of what Quebeckers are *actually* interested in. It does not good for job security, or economic prosperity to be cut off from the English speaking part of the country. Also, I think the big part that stands is that under the constitution, Quebec is protected. Its culture, its language, everything is protected. Plus, I really like having it there.

--Kian

|| Kian, 11:43:00 PM