The new Parti Québécois leader, André Boisclair, is already starting with the rhetoric. He says Québec will not be bound by the federal ground rules for separation. He said, “It belongs to Quebecers to decide their future, and it’s for them to decide what kind of country and what kind of relations they want to have with the rest of Canada.” He’s talking like they’re already on their way out the door. A sovereignty referendum seems just a formality to him. Every few years this pops up and it’s getting really old. If the time comes that Quebecers vote yes, I’m not so sure it’ll be such a bad thing.
The only thing that could possibly upset me is if Canada doesn’t view Québec as a separate country. The last time there was a referendum, some campaigners for the yes side were telling voters they’d keep their Canadian passport and money … they’d get to keep the advantages and suffer none of the disadvantages.
What I’d suggest is the day after a yes vote, customs officers be posted at all the crossing points between Canada and Québec and the border be treated like any other. Hey, if you want to move out of the house, you can’t come back to get your laundry done for you when you feel like it. If you’re going to leave, be ready to make a go of it yourself. I’m certain there will be trade deals and such, but if you think there will be an open border, forget it. That is, of course, after certain parts of Québec separate and rejoin Canada … because this will also happen.
Think carefully. A yes vote means more than just a change of flags.