In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Category: Québec Page 1 of 3

Crank up the reality distortion field!

There’s an election coming in Québec, and that means the Parti Québécois takes leave of their senses even more than usual, and that’s saying something!

This time around, PQ leader Pauline Marois thinks that she can dictate Canadian border policy after Québec separates from Canada! What a trick. While discussing her party’s tourism policy, a reporter asked her if an independent Québec would be more attractive to tourists, and she replied that in addition to Québec continuing to welcome Canadian tourists,

We could continue to go see the Rockies in the West … or go to Prince Edward Island and [the rest of Canada] could continue to come visit us. There will be no borders and no tolls.

Later in the day, she was called on to clarify what she meant…meaning to explain her nonsense. According to the CBC, she elaborated,

She said travel between Quebec and the rest of Canada would operate like the European Union, where members of individual countries can cross borders without showing a passport.

“People would be able to travel freely through Quebec, and Quebecers would continue to be able to visit the Maritimes and British Columbia. That’s all I was trying to say this morning,” Marois said.

Pauline, if you take Québec out of Canada, you have to understand that you won’t be able to continue to threaten Canada to get your way. Once you’re gone, you can do whatever you want within your new country, but your influence will stop at the border. And make no mistake, there will be a border. Whether your people will need a passport or whether they’ll have to pay a toll when they cross this border is our decision, not yours.

If you want to take your people out of Canada so you can make your own decisions, have the decency to acknowledge that making decisions also involves accepting the consequences, whether good or bad. Unfortunately for everyone, you’re following the typical separatist strategy of promoting the positives, and incorrectly claiming that there are no negative aspects. Those with half a brain will know you’re lying, and the rest will come for you with torches in hand, once Québec separates. Is that what you want?

We don’t care what’s on your head…

Check out this ad placed by a Toronto hospital in a McGill University student newspaper:

Doctors in this country are in short supply. I think it’s so clever of Lakeridge Health to take advantage of the Québec government’s ineptitude and recruit in this manner.

I was watching the CBC News and they quoted a Québec politician’s reaction to this ad as being “back off!” I’m just sorry that I didn’t catch the politician’s name because he or she is a dumbass. If you’re going to play politics that will have the blindingly obvious effect of alienating a sizeable number of your people, you deserve to lose the best and brightest among them. Whether they leave on their own or they’re poached, you’ve clearly told them that you don’t value their contributions to your society.

What do you expect will happen when you attempt to enact legislation that will shit on them?


If there’s one person I don’t like right now, it’s Pauline Marois. She’s the Parti Québécois premier of Québec and her government has released details of the proposed charter of Québec values. The charter’s main goal is to ban all religious garb and symbols for those government employees working with the public. And why would the PQ government propose such draconian legislation? In the name of equality, of course! Yes, everyone can have their reasonable right of expression equally curtailed for no good reason.

Pauline Marois

Look, if you know me or have been reading for any length of time, you know I’m not religious. I’m about as far from religious as one can get, but this legislation is ridiculous and it offends me. The good Catholic separatists seem to consider having to have to hide their crosses a fair price to not have to see hijabs, kippas, and turbans. It’s simple intolerance, and the government is encouraging it. Further, should the legislation become law, it will be the subject of a challenge against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Québec legislation will surely fail.

I believe Marois and her government fully expect this outcome, and are ready to use it to stoke the separatist flame. After all, she’s just trying to make everything equal and fair, and Canada is sticking its nose in and telling them what to do. It’s clearly time to put a stop to Canada’s meddling once and for all! The only question is whether the tepid support for separation will heat up. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can get upset at the details of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it’s been around since 1982. Should the charter of Québec values get smacked down, the more thoughtful Québecers might wonder why Marois sought to enact legislation that flies in the face of the Canadian Charter, the contents of which she surely must know. The separatists won’t bother being thoughtful, however.

Frankly, the plan is more than a little contrived in design and terribly ham-fisted in execution. I have no doubt that the existing separatists will fall into line nicely, but will Marois recruit any new followers? I doubt it. I’d like to think most Québecers aren’t so easily duped.

Photo from the Premier of Québec’s official web site, ©2013 Gouvernement du Québec

The cake and the eating

In March, Québec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand proposed a $25 deductible for anyone who visits a doctor. The reaction was loud and unambiguous. The CBC reports that 72% of Quebecers oppose the idea, according to a Léger Marketing poll published in Le Devoir.

The poll results also show that 62% expect the federal government to step in and block the proposal from being implemented. What I want to know is why so many people think the federal government will get involved with an issue that is under provincial jurisdiction.

As bewildering as the thought is, that wasn’t the most surprising part of the article. I’m going to quote this next part so you don’t think I’m exaggerating:

In an [sic] seemingly uncharacteristic move, Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe is also demanding the intervention of the federal government.

“There’s 10,000 civil servants in the health department in Ottawa, and they’re not managing a single aspect [of the health care system], not a single one,” Duceppe said. “Those people should be a lot more useful within the Quebec health system.”

In response, I can’t help but address the Bloc Québécois leader, directly.

Mr. Duceppe,

Health-care is a provincial responsibility, as you damned-well know. If you want an additional 10,000 people working in the Québec health-care system, your province will have to hire them. It might be hard for you to imagine, but Health Canada employees already have jobs to do. ‘Being useful’ in the Québec health-care system is not among their many important tasks.

Oh, and what happened with your plan to separate from the rest of Canada? You don’t want us, and you don’t need us, but now you want the federal government to fix your problem and send its staff to work for your province? On your recent cross-Canada sovereignty tour, you said:

The best thing is to have two sovereign countries collaborating in a large economic body, and even political body, just like the countries did in Europe.

I would suggest that you be very careful. If you leave, you leave. Whether it’s the best thing or not, if we discuss an economic collaboration, we may decide that we’re not interested. As for a political collaboration, why would you want such a thing when you’re so intent on getting the hell away from Canada? If you want to make a go of it, quit hedging your bets.

And how are you going to make it as a country if you can’t deal with provincial problems without crying to the federal government for help?

Your pal,


Make no mistake, I like the people of Québec just fine. I have a very different feeling about the Bloc Québécois and the hard-core separatists.

Postscript: The $25 deductible is dead. It seems that the public outcry was large enough that the government backed down.

The very same minister who proposed the deductible later said, “It is out of the question to ask people to pay $25 to see a doctor.” One has to wonder why he proposed it if it’s out of the question.

On an amusing tangent, Provincial Health Minister Yves Bolduc effectively schooled reporters on the evasive use of the passive voice by saying, “The health-care deductible that was planned cannot take the form that was expected.” Yeesh!

Bloc in the wilderness

According to the CBC article, “Duceppe’s ‘resistance’ comments draw fire,”

Speaking to a large crowd of Bloc supporters Saturday, Duceppe described Quebec sovereignty as a “resistance” movement — a term associated with those who fought to free Europe from Nazi domination.

“For the moment, we are resisters. But yesterday’s resisters will be tomorrow’s winners. Long live a sovereign Quebec!” he told supporters, who were gathered for a weekend meeting marking the party’s 20 years of existence.

Now let me step back a moment, primarily for the benefit of the readers outside of Canada. Gilles Duceppe is the leader of the Bloc Québécois party in Canada. According to the Wikipedia entry about the party,

The Bloc Québécois (BQ) is a federal political party in Canada devoted to both the protection of Quebec’s interests on a federal level as well as the promotion of its sovereignty. As such, it campaigns only within the province during elections.

You read that right. Not only are they a federal party that represents only one province, but they ultimately want to remove Québec from Canada, entirely.

There’s no doubt that being a strictly regional party has its advantages. If you live in Québec and you want someone looking out for you, a vote for the Bloc is a vote for someone who has only your province in mind, without the added complication of compromise with voters in other provinces. But the Bloc will certainly never form the government as they don’t even bother fielding candidates outside of Québec. Why would they? The extra incentive for voters in Québec means excluding voters in every other province and territory. But that is not an issue because they want to take Québec out of confederation.

As a side-note, I went directly to the source, the Bloc Québécois web page to get a summary of the party’s goals. I wasn’t entirely surprised to find it entirely in French with no translation, so I went with the party’s Wikipedia entry over a machine translation of the site.

Duceppe didn’t say which resisters he meant when he likened today’s Québecers to “yesterday’s resisters.” He certainly can’t mean any of the resistance in Europe during WWII. That’s the first thing that will pop into people’s minds, but he didn’t say it. Still, people will be surprised. After some thought, it’s only surprising because it seems such a poor comparison. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon cut to the heart of it when he said,

There is no economic repression in Canada and there is no political repression in Canada — nothing of the sort

So what are Québecers resisting? More tax money enters the province than leaves it. No other provinces have anything like Québec’s language laws. Duceppe stands as the leader of an official opposition party…a party whose goal is to take his province out of Confederation. I would suggest that many from other countries would be astonished at the freedom Canadians enjoy.

If it’s a simple matter of the party’s wanting Québec to leave Canada, I understand the situation even less. There have been two separation referendums, in 1980 and 1995. Both failed so most Québecers do not share his party’s goal of separation. If anything, the separatists are resisting the will of the majority of Québecers. It seems that the will of the people is fine until the vote doesn’t go their way.

In Duceppe’s situation, what do you do? Sit tight or try to whip up a controversy. He seems to have decided on the latter. I question whether such a transparent ploy will serve his goal now that he is in the spotlight. My guess is most Québecers will see through his gambit, think he’s a nut, or see him moving toward the fringe. None of these conclusions will do him, or the Bloc, any good.

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