January 2, 2006

December 23, 2005 More chatter of separation By BRAEDEN CALEY

After a long, busy year in politics, Christmas is finally here. While I am sure this will be a welcome break for many of us, I hope it will also be a time for reflection on all this country provides and affords us, and unfortunately, just how fragile Canada has become. In the week since the televised English leaders' debate, it seems the issue of Canadian unity has seized centre stage in the fast and uproarious way it often does. Support for separation from Canada seems to be on the rise in Quebec and we can no longer ignore its presence. Many Canadians thought seeing Gilles Duceppe in the English debate was a waste of time, because they could not vote for his party even if they wanted to. But in reality, his presence was probably more of a wakeup call. Quebec separatism is back, and without strong leadership from a determined federal government, Canada will be a country that is never truly able to move forward. This situation is not sustainable for our country and the values it represents. We claim to stand for multiculturalism and respect diversity, but an entire province rejecting our ability to fully accept and embrace their role and who they are would clearly be a major black eye to Canada's international reputation, not to mention our collective prosperity, and most importantly, our national identity. So where and who is the "white knight" of federalism to inspire Canadians and especially Quebecers that ours is indeed a nation to be celebrated, treasured, and loved? Well, Prime Minister Martin demonstrated in Friday's debate that he was clearly up to the task. Directly challenging Duceppe, Martin earned his Prime Ministerial paycheque with an intense and passionate defense of Canada. Meanwhile, instead of trying to build a stronger Canada, Stephen Harper has proposed to weaken and divide us, allowing Quebec to attend UNESCO meetings for instance, a right usually reserved for independent countries and small dependent colonies. It is not clear which of these two options is Harper's vision for Quebec, but it is clear that a Conservative-Separatist tag-team government would have disastrous consequences for the Canada we know, love, and want to make stronger. So as you sip eggnog with your family and friends this holiday season, take a moment to reflect on the country that provides and protects the freedoms to think and believe what we want, celebrate whichever holidays we want, and vote for whomever we want. And remember the importance of a government and a Prime Minister willing to stand up to separatists and defend our national values across Canada and around the world. E-mail Braeden at braeden.caley@24hrs.ca "Quebec separatism is back, and without strong leadership ... Canada will be a country that is never truly able to move forward. - Caley

11 Commentaires:

Blogger Christopher Young a dit...

Quebec sitting at the UNESCO is going to hurt Canada ? How come ?

It is almost a symbolic gesture, with little effects, and believe me, it would have an effect, as recognizing Quebec as a nation. But if you prefer to sit down, scream for a stronger Canada and scream Separatist! at every single Quebecker who ask for something different that you offer (*cough*Benoit Pelletier*cough*), then go on, fellow federalists. It's an excellent way to lose the next referendum.

1/02/2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Quebec cannot sit at UNESCO unless it is independent. It's in the Charter of UNESCO. Quebec will have to express itself within the Canadian system, something it has done successfully for the past 139 years.

1/02/2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger Raphael a dit...

Bon...

Je viens de me réveiller du temps des fêtes, je bois tranquille mon café et je lis ÇA. Je suis perplexe... si le texte est sarcastique (Paul Martin a bien rempli son rôle de chevalier blanc du Canada, bla bla bla...) il me semble que vous tirer dans vos rangs jeunes libéraux. :) Par contre, si le texte est sérieux, il n'a pas vraiment sa place sur ce blog, non ? Commencerait-on à sentir la panique ?

1/02/2006 3:29 PM  
Anonymous a a dit...

First of all, Quebecers DO NOT sip eggnog. English Canadians do, but we don't.

Second, Christo is on to something. Further intolerance of Quebec's distinct identity and culture is precisely what will drive Quebec towards independence.

I don't know, if as a Liberal it's in your genes to constantly demand stronger federal powers, go ahead: you visibly know what you gotta do. I'll have warned you, though, so when the "oui" side gets 56% in the polls, don't come crying to me that Quebecers don't feel like they're a part of Canada anymore.

1/02/2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

raphael, my question to you is Why can't Quebec be distinct within Canada? Is there a positive argument for why they cannot express themselves within the federation?

1/02/2006 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I'm tired of the Liberals in Quebec...I'm leaving the gang very disappointed!...In my riding Vaudreuil-Soulanges, I found out information that are of public domain about my liberal candidate Marc Garneau. The Bloc didn't digged up information...the information was widely available on the internet, it's public domain. Why on earth would Martin nominate another controversial star like Garneau?
---
It all started with his ambition to become an astronaut...costing the Canadian taxpayers a minimal 250,000$ yearly since 1984! (check it out on Radio-Canada archives!) What a waste on an investment when you look at it from this side of the fence$ Garneau is a drop out of the space program. Why should we spent another dollar in all these programs...for opportunist et elitist people like Marc Garneau?
--
25 avril 1986 La Presse wrote:
Les propos du capitaine [Marc] Garneau [lors de la tenue des Etats généraux sur la qualité de l'éducation]
Girard, Laurier
--
I found out other things about abuse of intellectual property at the Space Agency. (the Gazette, April 2005) Funds mismanaged and reported by the Auditor General in 2002 (the Gazette, June 2004)...
--
Why was he discarted as the next Governor General?? Anyone has a clue?

1/02/2006 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Haig a dit...

Just out of curiousity, I was wondering if any of the above writers who support Quebec's "right" to sit in international circles would be able to answer a question for me.

"How can a constitution be devised to give Quebec greater pwoers than other provinces, without reducing Quebec's pwoer in Ottawa? How can citizens of other provinces be made to accept the fact that they would have less power over Quebec at the federal level than Quebec would have over them? How, for example, can Quebec assume powers in foreign affairs, which other provinces do not have, without accepting a reduction of its influence in the field of foreign affairs through the federal government?"
-P.E.T.

The question is nearly forty years old, and never to my knowledge satisfactorilly answered.

If Quebec sought a real seat at UNESCO or other international bodies, would its leadership be content for the Federal government to act solely in favour of the ROC and to disregard Quebec's interests in its negotiations? If not, how is the double-standard to be resolved?

1/03/2006 1:02 PM  
Blogger Christopher Young a dit...

Nice question M. Haig. In fact, it is a pretty good one, I never thought of it.

To answer the later, I think that yes, if Quebec have a seat at some international meetings, Canada should not take Quebec in consideration. So, instead of achieving some kind of compromise between Quebec and ROC interests, where everyone is unhappy, Canada could talk only for ROC. This thing is already on in the Francophonie, I think.

But then again, I don't have a clear opinion on whether Quebec should sit at UNESCO or not; I just brang (bring at past ?) the point that if the province have a seat, that wouldn't hurt Canada.

1/03/2006 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Listen this liberal party is plagued with one scadal after another. Just look who is in charge , these guys can't tell the difference between right and wrong. You have to change the people in charge but you also have to change the system . The first thing the conservatives will do is pass the ferderal accountabilty act, its a real plan to clean up government. IT'S TIME WE STAND UP FOR CANADA

1/03/2006 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Haig a dit...

The point, I think, is not that Quebec's having a seat would hurt Canada, per say, but rather that it is one step further towards the creation of a taboo against federal interference in Quebec's foreign affairs.

The operative dilemma is much the same one that slowly began to affect the powers of reservation and disallowance after Confederation. While the federal government still had legal right to disallow provincial legislation under the terms of the constitution, the very thought of such action slowly became taboo, to the point where the powers came to be seen as anachronistic, nonetheless for their continued legal standing. One can see the same concept operative in the modern taboo on use of the notwithstanding clause.

In foreign policy, there remains a danger that the continuing normalization of Quebec's one-off foreign policy seats will lead to a taboo against federal encroachment on something that is clearly within its jurisdiction.

Indeed, Mr. Christo, your comments themselves seem to indicate that your desire for Quebec to be granted the right to "a seat at the table" is less based on the inutility of UNESCO than on a belief that Quebec's separate nationhood demands that it govern its own foreign affairs.

In short: Quebec's assertion of sovereignty becomes a danger to Canada when the precedents set (and sought) tend to legitimize actions (Quebec setting foreign policy re: trade, tariffs, etc.) that are both explicitly unconstitutional and wholly one-sided in their advantage.

The onus to prove one's case is not on those who assert the existing prerogative of the federal government; rather, it lies with those who would seek to "shift the constitutional goal-posts" of acceptable policy. Innocuity of institutions is insufficient as justification.

Cheers.

1/03/2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger Adam a dit...

Seriously, who cares about UNESCO? Or any of those related groups?

Let the PEI Secretary of State for the Equality of Two-Spirited People go to the meetings, for all I (and 99.9% of other Canadians) care.

As for "strong leadership" needed to fight seperatism. I agree. Pierre Trudeau - whatever his many, many, many dire faults - was at least a strong and decisive leader in that regard. Does anyone think the same of M. Martin?

1/04/2006 1:07 PM  

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