Multiculturalists attack on Quebec

by R. Rodríguez Bencomo

There is a question brewing in the Canadian punditry since the last Federal election saw the implosion of support for the separatist Bloc Québécois in Quebec. There is a great concern in the province- or so it seems- about what is going to be of their unique identity.

Many believe that the movement is towards greater integration within Canada. If that is the case, lets pause.

I am a usual critic of Quebec’s self-entitled nationalism. I have no greater sympathy for Quebec’s plea to reaffirm their singular position among other provinces as I could have for Nova Scotia if she desided that our having the only harbour in the Northern Atlantic that does not freeze in the winter somehow makes us deserving of a privileged position. In that regard, Quebec’s only “merit” is that it was settled by French colonists rather than English – an achievement that puts her no higher than Haiti or any of the former French colonies. Furthermore, francophone nationalist sentiments in Quebec are counter to Canadian national identity, something which Canada, like any nation, requieres in a good measure.

That been said, there is something wrong going on among those who, like Graeme Hamilton on the National Post (see here), seem now all too happy to bash Quebec’s identity -even if they have to contradict and attack the same principles they claim to defend. The Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois, was under attack late last year by people like Mr Hamilton for attempting to reignite the old sentiments of francophone pride in Quebec’s culture. According to press reports she had committed the unforgivable sin of stating the obvious fact that multiculturalism within Quebec was eroding their francophone culture. Welcome to the real world, Quebec. For such sin the High Inquisitors of the Multiculti, like Mr Hamilton, soon moved to crush what used to be the poster child of the Canadian multiculturalism. Clearly, the preservation of the dogma justifies the smearing of previous allies such as Quebec in the minds of people like him.
This unfortunately, is no a battle between a noble hero and a dark villain. It is a battle between something bad (Quebec nationalistic sentiments) and something worse (the multiculturalist claim that it is bigoted to claim own cultural superiority). However, in an ideal world, for those who are neither of the contending parties, there should be only one conclusion. While Quebec nationalism hinders national unity and is counter to Canadian identity, to attempt to restrict Quebecers’ freedom to ascertain their own cultural superiority is even more damaging to Canada as a whole and certainly to Quebec francophones.