We’re back where we started — here we go round again

marois 2

Saw a snippet on TV of a comic I didn’t really know who was performing in Montreal. He said, “So, here I am in Quebec, or ‘Practice France’ as I like to call it.”

And in all of this I am reminded of the old Kinks song, “Here we Go Round Again.” Because it seems that the premier of Quebec, one Pauline Marois – you may have heard of her, she’s the one accused of being an ethnic bigot and even things less polite – of the Parti Quebecois (don’t expect accents from me, my computer doesn’t do default accents and I can’t be bothered sticking them in, OK? — has trotted out that tired old hobbyhorse of separatism once again. Quel yawn.

levesqueNo, at one time Canadians in the ‘rest of Canada’ used to buy into this as a threat. They saw old chain-smoking Rene as a kind of ogre, and then there was the one-legged pirate who seemed pretty darn threatening and we all soiled our little knickers rallying to the cause of national unity and doing whatever we could to keep La Belle Province mollified. “Oh, please don’t go. We’ll try harder. Really we will. We’ll stick all our kids in French Immersion schools and we won’t wince too much when we make a call to an Ottawa number and invariably get a Quebec accent on the other end of the line. Do any Anglo-Canadians actually get jobs in a place that is purportedly the capital of Canada?

But this time Mme Marois may be misreading the tone of the situation west of her province, and certainly in the western part of Canada as in, and I am not sure what the French translation would be, but it comes across as: “We should give a shit?”

Well, in truth, I do give a shit – a little bit of a shit. And that is mainly because I have friends, both Anglo and Franco in Quebec, and many French-Canadian friends here – but I, like many others, am a tad weary of being nationally blackmailed by one province. It’s like all the family making concessions for the one kid that causes trouble in the household. This is my household so stop disrupting it, and if you hate it so much, maybe you should leave.

I must say I have not spent any appreciable time in Quebec. But, I did spend a few days in Montreal years ago and I profess it is the classiest and most sophisticated city in the country, with the best looking women too, I might add. Vancouver may be the prettiest city in the land, but Montreal has a truly unique flavor. I loved it.

So, let’s say in terms of vain hope they win their referendum, where are they going to go? France doesn’t want them. The French (who generally hate everybody non-French) regard the folk from Quebec as hicks from the sticks and are as rude to them as they are to everybody else who visits that otherwise beautiful country. Our friend Alain in Grenoble was treated like ‘merde’ when he was there because he came from the city of Quebec (the province’s capital) and they laughed at his accent.

So, if France doesn’t want them, you can be sure the US might be interested in terms of an investment. But the US don’t hold no truck with furrin languages so forget bilingualism if they tuck into bed with them.

Mme Marois attests they want no borders and would keep Canadian currency. Oh yeah, I can imagine the Canadian prime minister who tries to sell that bill of goods to the rest of the country. Ain’t gonna happen. Meanwhile, the Native Innu and Inuit of northern Quebec have no connection with Franco Quebec and have already stated they’d pull out if separation should happen. That’s a pretty big chunk of the province that they inhabit.

At the end of it, Quebec would be a very insignificant blot on the landscape without a great deal of economic potential so the Quebecois would have to accept a diminished standard of living, maybe like Honduras or somesuch but without the nice climate.

All things considered, I’d advise them to stay and just regard this whole issue as a bit of a spat.

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5 responses to “We’re back where we started — here we go round again

  1. As one of those French Immersion teachers, I’m happy that Québec (note the accent! 😉 ) is part of Canada, because that’s why I have my job. However, like you, I’m weary of the constant separatist “threat”. Yeah, maybe they should just get on with it and go already. The rest of Canada would be just fine. We’d miss them, but we’d wish them well.

    That being said, most of the Québecois with whom I’m acquainted don’t particularly want to separate – except for one man I worked with many years ago. He was a proud separatist, and would gladly tell anyone why Canada was so bad for La belle province. One day I asked him why he was teaching here in BC. His response? No teaching jobs in Québec, so he had to leave to get work. My response? Hey, you can’t have it both ways, buddy! A heated discussion ensued.

    So, I’d like Québec to stay within Canada. But that guy can go back any time.

  2. I bet a heated discussion ensued. And I think that is the point. I mean, all things being equal, I’d like them to stay, but if they want to go, then go and stop blackmailing the rest of us.

  3. OK. The Montrealer weighing in here. Most of my friends (and my husband) are all for Quebec independence. Theoretically. In reality though, they (and everyone) are sick of hearing about it. Get us on our feet economically and then we’ll talk. Until then, get the hell over it and lets concentrate on the important stuff: Health care, the economy, etc. etc. etc.

    As for the charter of whatever they’re calling it – I find it funny how all those who are the most vocal about it being a necessity (ban the hijab!! – because that’s what we’re talking about here, not the kippa or the Sikh turban) are those who rarely ever see one. Find a woman wearing the niqab (totally veiled) outside of Montreal and I’ll shoot myself in the foot. You just don’ t have that many immigrants outside of greater Montreal – and yet these are the very people who are screaming against them. Get the hell over yourselves already – don’t worry, no immigrants actually want to go live in your boonies.

    Le Sigh

  4. And I appreciate the input of my for real Montrealer friend whom I referred to obliquely. I guess my feeling is if that is what the people want then that is what they can have as far as most western Canadians are concerned. But, divorces are messy, I’ve been there, and they don’t necessarily solve the issues they were meant to. They totally don’t, in fact. As for the anti-Muslim shit, I refrained from really getting into that. I just see it as xenophobia pure and simple. That you for your input, dear friend.

  5. Reblogged this on John Looks Out On Life and commented:
    I tend to get very heated under the collar every time I hear the words Quebec and Separate in the same 30 seconds. Recently I have had more than one person point out that if I just laugh and realize that it just isn’t going to happen I would have fewer gray hairs fall from my balding spot

    So I will snicker. Pauline Marois is either very deficient in the grasp of reality department, or she knows this is all crap and is just doing it for shits and giggles.
    Eventually she, and all those like her will have a look at the licence plates on their cars “Je me souviens” and they will remember that they lost on the Plains of Abraham.
    The FLQ lost in 1970
    The BQ lost in 2011 (in a really spectacular way)
    Pauline Marois – the people of Quebec are Canadian, just like the rest of us. They like being Canadian, just like the rest of us. If you don’t want to be Canadian, I have a very simple solution – leave. Pack your bags and find somewhere else to live out your happy little delusions – the rest of us are tired of you wasting our time and money

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