Quebec royalty dethroned

Some say sovereignty — a polite word for separatism — for Quebec is dead.

Array

Array

Some say sovereignty — a polite word for separatism — for Quebec is dead.

Some said it was dead even before the recent election was finished.

Sovereignty, in reality, may be dead but the idea will never go away.

I call them neither separatists nor sovereigntists — but rather freemen of the French province — people who think the laws of the land don’t apply to them so they can declare their own country.

The pundits — mostly those in the journalistic field who were quick to fill news columns with obituaries of the Parti Quebecois — are kind of like appeal court judges.

They (we) like to come down out of the hills after the battle to shoot the wounded.

I prefer to say the Republic of Quebec will have to wait.

The electoral blow to pro-sovereignty forces will no doubt ease the fears of federalism-loving Canadians.

It has been opined this may not be permanent, but what form of the Parti Quebecois — a party dedicated to the separation of Quebec from Canada — would even dream of suggesting another referendum?

Although he’s been out of power since his own referendum defeat, I for one will miss king of the sovereigntists, former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau.

Whoops, I meant to say President Parizeau.

Yes he is a fervent sovereigntist who said some nasty things — in French.

“L’argent et le vote ethnique (money and the ethnic vote),” is how he blamed the loss of his 1995 referendum on separation.

The remark earned the “Most racist statement of the Year” designation.

But for all that — and all the years of hearing Parizeau — I still think the guy sounds way better in English than any unilingual Anglophone I know. Too bad his French isn’t so good.

And by his own admission, when asked about the ‘L’argent’ statement he replied (in English), “These are harsh words.”

Apology accepted.

He is right about one thing: “When politics is interesting, people go vote.”

As disturbing as the last real Quebec referendum was to the country, the people of Alberta — and those here in Red Deer — kept the spirit of their Quebec brethren at their sides.

Referendum day brought out the colours of the nation — and Quebec into the streets of Red Deer — even though it nearly brought the country to its knees.

On that day in 1995, innumerable pickup trucks and a lot of other vehicles flew the Canadian and Quebec flags as a sign of our being proud Canadians.

Some of those pickup trucks flew both flags flew side by side. It was our version of redneck federalism.

What were we saying? How about; “Hey Quebecers, you’re part of us, you’re part of Canada.”

Never having been to Quebec, I cannot say how much of our anglo culture has become part of life in Quebec.

But it would appear to be too much, if you believe the claims about loss of identity in Quebec.

We share two languages, and Western Canadians continue to make the effort to learn to speak French.

In more recent times and thanks to Justin Trudeau, that point is again re-emphasized.

“(People) who don’t learn French are lazy,” the sharp-tongued Trudeau was reported to have said before he became Liberal Leader.

Was he quoted accurately?

After a predictable uproar over that remark, Trudeau denied making it, instead explaining he said: “Governments are lazy for not encouraging people to learn (a second language.)”

He’s right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning another language.

Perhaps we’d all understand each other much better. And not so much would be lost in translation.

And the scattered Francophone communities in the country — including in Alberta — would no doubt be the better for it as well.

So let’s not be lazy. We need to share more of our cultures, particularly because it’s clear, once again, that Quebec is not leaving confederation.

Besides, there is no English word for poutine, eh?

David Nagy is an Advocate editor.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some workers are terrified at the prospect of returning to work at Olymel, where hundreds were infected with COVID, says a worker.
Advocate file photo
Second death linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak, Alberta Health confirms

A second death has been linked to the Olymel COVID-19 outbreak, Alberta… Continue reading

A health worker holds up a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP
Health Canada approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

A fallen Western Red cedar tree at Francis/King Regional Park in Saanich, B.C., Thursday, May 26, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Logging delay agreement for B.C. old-growth tree stand helps endangered spotted owls

Deal announced to hold off logging watershed for a year

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

FILE - Cameron Forte (right) and his Fraser Valley Bandits are 2-0 at the Canadian Elite Basketball League Summer Series after being the Saskatchewan Rattlers. (CEBL photo)
CEBL releases 14-game 2021 schedule, hopes to see fans attend games in person

Season will kick off with the Edmonton Stingers and the Fraser Valley Bandits

FILE - Keegan Messing performs during the Men’s Short program at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. If the world figure skating championships do go ahead in a bubble in March in Sweden, there is a good chance Canada won’t be there. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Messing leads Canadian figure skating team at world championships

Messing was the only Canadian to compete on the Grand Prix circuit this season

Nurses episode, titled “Achilles Heel,” was first aired on Global in February 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Global pulls ‘Nurses’ episode after scene with Orthodox Jews deemed anti-Semitic

TORONTO — Global TV says it has pulled an episode of Toronto-set… Continue reading

Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of her two French bulldogs. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Lady Gaga’s dog walker shot, French bulldogs stolen in LA

Dog walker expected to survive injuries

Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano tries to help goaltender David Rittich stop a shot from Ottawa Senators right wing Drake Batherson during first-period NHL action Thursday, February 25, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Most Read