Wednesday, 5 September 2012

"The English are waking up!"

A historic Quebec election that returned the Parti Québécois to power ended in tragedy Tuesday when a gunman killed one person and wounded another, then tried to start a fire at the Montreal venue where PQ Leader Pauline Marois was celebrating her minority mandate.
Police said a suspect entered a vestibule at the back of the Metropolis nightclub and fired shots, wounding two people critically. The suspect then started a fire and ran away on foot.(Globe and Mail)
 An unidentified man wearing a balaclava, shorts and a bathrobe was heard to say in broken French, “The English are waking up, the English are waking up ... It's payback ... Yeah, yeah, that’s enough." as police detained him. Too early for more information (He was armed with a handgun and an assault rifle as well as an incendiary device. Police have identified the shooter as Richard Henry Bain, 62, from La Conception, Quebec who owns a hunting & fishing lodge in Mont Tremblant, PQ. He has a facebook page under this name but the website for the lodge has been taken down.) but this is a dangerous beginning to a separatist government. The new premier of Quebec began her victory speech with "As a nation, we want to take ourselves the decisions that affect us. We want a country. And we'll have it." The Canadian Prime Minister, Steven Harper, has consistently ignored the feelings of Quebec and appointed Anglophone members to traditionally bilingual positions. In Alberta, Quebec is considered to be a cesspool of indulged,spoilt complainers who would be better out of the country and the tar sands wealth have given Albertans a sense of superiority to the hated Easterners. They compare Canada to a cow that eats in the west, gets milked in the center and craps on the maritimers.

The Quebec Liberals deserved to lose with their corrupt, lazy and entitled sense of political power but the PQ is going to indulge its fantasies of an independent Quebec again without dealing with the realities that have come up in previous incarnations of being in power.

1) Quebec is indivisable. Unfortunately the native people of Quebec disagree and they hold vast tracts of the province. If an independent Quebec sends the police, then the natives have treaties with the federal government going back to confederation to stop them.

Native tribal regions of Quebec in red(Wikipedia)

2) Quebec will have successor rights to Canada's international treaties. In the last separatist referendrum, United States made it clear that any treaties with a newly independent Quebec would be negotiated from scratch with Quebec in a much less favourable negotiating position.

Professor Peter Russell has pointed out,"(Aboriginal peoples) are not nations that can be yanked out of Canada against their will by a provincial majority.... With few exceptions (they)wish to enjoy their right to self-government within Canada, not within a sovereign Quebec." International human rights expert Erica-Irene Daes warns that to deny the right of self- determination to indigenous peoples "will leave the most marginalized and excluded of all the world's peoples without a legal, peaceful weapon to press for genuine democracy...." This concern is connected to the fact that if Quebec were to be considered its own autonomous nation-state then it need not honour the treaties and agreements that were formed between Aboriginal peoples and the British and French monarchies and is now maintained by the federal Canadian government. This is a concern for many Aboriginal peoples in Quebec, whose rights, which include among others, the right to protect their Indigenous culture, would be without the legal or constitutional protection which is currently provided for in Canada. Concern for this may stem from what Aboriginal peoples perceive as neo-colonial or eurocentric attitudes which persist in the leadership of contemporary separatist leaders, such as Robert Bourassa, former Premier and self-proclaimed "Conqueror of the North".(Wikipedia)

3) Quebec is sustainable. The province can't feed its population with the local food production nor can it supply the energy it requires for heating or transportation. The balance of payments would soon bankrupt the country. Also a lot of the hydro Quebec electrical generating capacity lies in the tribal regions and the natives would expect compensation which would be a long term financial issue.

4) Quebec residents would keep their Canadian passports. With the Anglo backlash, this is highly unlikely and if they did then they would be responsible for the obligations of all Canadian citizens. I don`t buy Souveraineté-Association or in more defined terms an independent Quebec within a united Canada which some separatists have tried to sell as part of the ``le beau risque."

5) Quebec would have an independent monetary policy. Not a chance. If Quebec adopts a Canadian or American dollar then it gives up any monetary levers and would lack any input into monetary policy of the country whose currency it adopts. It would be in the same situation as Greece with the same consequences.

I was involved in the vote over the Meech Lake Accord of Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, during the last separtist outbreak and I don't want to go through that again.

The failure of the Meech Lake Accord—an abortive attempt to redress the constitutional problems brought on by the adoption of the 1982 amendment without the Quebec government's approval—strengthened the conviction of most sovereigntist politicians and led many federalist ones to place little hope in the prospect of a federal constitutional reform that would satisfy Quebec's purported historical demands (according to proponents of the sovereignty movement). These include a constitutional recognition that Quebecers constitute a distinct society, as well as a larger degree of independence of the province towards federal policy.(Wikipedia)

Quebec is losing its political influence because of most immigrants which represent the majority of Canadian population increase settling in other parts of Canada. Also Quebec which used to have the highest birthrate in the country and bragged about the "revenge of the craddle" now has the lowest birthrate. This has lead to a resurgence of separatism due to fear of the future decline which has been encouraged by the Prime Minister's actions. On the other side, Quebec commentators like Gilles Proulx have a great time unloading on the têtes carrées or block heads as they call Anglos and he will have a field day with this shooting incident involving an Anglo so be prepared for some tough times if you live in Quebec.

Canadian Immigration Infographic
Canadian Immigration Infographic by

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