September 25, 2006

Dion and Rae a Danger to National Unity says former Quebec Lieutenant

(I had caught this article in La Presse and wanted to translate it and pass it along sooner, but alas, a bad break-up and postal voting has bogged me down. Some editorial stuff, Garneau was Turner's Quebec Lieutenant and Minister of Finance under Bourassa beforehand...enjoy)

No to the Hard Line: Insensibility of Dion and Rae Toward Reasonable Aspirations of Quebec Places Canadian Unity in Danger.

La Presse, Raymond Garneau2006.09.21

I attentively read the interview Stephane Dion had with La Presse last week. In reading his thoughts, I was reminded of the presentation Pierre Trudeau made to the Senate Committee against the Meech Lake Accord.

In sum, Mr. Dion, a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party, tells Quebecers: things are going well: there is nothing to change in the constitutional accord of 1982; Quebecers must understand. I will sum up what I took away from the La Presse interview: NO to Quebec as a civic nation; NO it is not necessary for Quebec to sign the constitution of 1982; NO there is no fiscal imbalance or financing problem in the federation.

Mr. Dion and his new friend Bob Rae pretend that all is going well thank you very much; that we should not discuss the constitution because it’s too complicated: that there is no problem at all.

If this is the case, how come a poll published in recent days shows the Liberal Party still in third place in Quebec behind the Bloc and the Tories. Those who have campaigned for the Liberals in Quebec recently will tell you how difficult it is for them to convince Quebecers to vote for the Liberal Party. The insensitivity incarnated by constitutional hardliners like Mr. Dion and his friend Mr. Rae renders the task next to impossible for federal Liberals In Quebec. This insensibility of the hardliners toward the reasonable aspirations of Quebec will lead the LPC to its ruin in Quebec and will place Canadian Unity in danger. This hard line was nearly fatal in the 1995 referendum.


When I was the Liberal MP for Laval des Rapides in Ottawa, from 1984 to 1988, I had stated that the Liberal Party of Canada had to support the Meech Lake Accord and under the leadership of John Turner, we had done that.

However, my battles within the Liberal caucus in favor of Meech (note: Garneau was Turner’s Quebec Lieutenant) created many problems for me with the hardliners of Pierre Trudeau…which was retaken by Jean Chretien. And now, the torch has been assumed by Mr Dion and his new friend Bob Rae.Bob seems to have picked up on Dion’s idea, during the Leadership Debate in Vancouver, when he said that he was too tired to re-open the constitutional debate on Quebec’s place within the Canada of tomorrow. It was too complicated. Would Rae rather, like editorialist Andre Pratte writes, negotiate secession of Quebec from the rest of Canada than finding a constitutional compromise acceptable to Quebec in the Canada of tomorrow? Certainly, it will be a long process which will take years, but that is no reason to abandon the cause only to benefit those who want to destroy our country. The Pequistes have lost two referendums and they have still not abandoned their cause which is already 40 years old. We must have heads as strong as theirs and continue to find the winning conditions for a Canada best adapted to the 21st century.

The choice is now very clear. The federal Liberals in Quebec have a clear choice to make. Maintain the hard constitutional line incarnated by Stephane Dion and his new friend Bob Rae or opt for the candidate of renewal who believes that the Liberal Party of Canada has to change attitude towards Quebec and prove that we understand and are open to Quebec. This candidate is Michael Ignatieff. This is why I have chosen to support Michael Ignatieff’s candidacy as future leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and I ask all other federal Liberals in Quebec to do the same.

The author was a member of the Quebec National Assembly from 1970 to 1976 and served as Minister of Finance under Robert Bourassa. He also served as a federal Member of Parliament for the Laval-des-Rapides riding from 1984 to 1988. Mr. Garneau is now retired from Industrial Alliance Insurance where he served from 1988 to 2005

12 Commentaires:

Blogger grit heart a dit...

Garneau has a vested interest in bashing Rae and Dion. He has spent the summer raising money for Michael Ignatieff.

What is becoming apparent is that Liberals across the country, and in particular in Quebec, are embracing Bob Rae and to a lessor extent, Stephane Dion.

This will not be the first time that Raymond Garneau has miscalculated.

9/25/2006 12:31 p.m.  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...

sad to say, ignatieff's campaign doesnt look so good...

i predict future referendum

9/25/2006 12:53 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

The biggest mistake Daniel Johnson made in 1995 was refusing to use Brian Mulroney in the campaign.

It was the Liberal hardline or nothing...the vote was too close for my comfort.

9/25/2006 1:15 p.m.  
Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

An investigation has been launched into signing up members for Iggy in Toronto. The same things that Volpe has been accused of.

What the heck is wrong with out Party when a person who was an NDPer until about 3 seconds ago is the "frontrunner"???

Geez, if Rae or Iggy wins, we are SOOOOOO screwed as a Party, especially in the long run.

9/25/2006 1:17 p.m.  
Blogger Hammering Jow a dit...

Dion a danger to national unity?@??@@?

Now I have heard it all.

Ignatieff campaign should step away from these comments that are insulting to every liberal. After all Dion has done (and Rae to a lesser extent) this is abhorent.

9/25/2006 2:15 p.m.  
Blogger Davenport Liberal a dit...

And re-opening the consititution is not a bigger threat to national unity.

Dion has done more to protect the federation.

Iggy hasnt lived here, He has no foundation to speak onthe subject.

9/25/2006 9:19 p.m.  
Blogger Scarberian a dit...

I wish Garneau would go back and read the work of Maurice Pinard; public opinion in Quebec was not inflammed by the adoption of the Constitution Act of 1982. It was only after Meech failed that Quebeckers, after being told year after year by both the federal and provincial governments, that a majority of Quebecker felt that 1982 was a bad deal for them.

Garneau offers nada in terms of a solution. He does not even recognize the difficulty of the situation under debate. No other party is going to want to re-open the Constitution without their interests being taken into account. To say that the Constitution could be re-opened for just this one's a pipe dream.

9/26/2006 1:42 a.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

Yeah, I'm sorry, but calling Dion a danger to national unity is a crock of shit. Stéphane Dion knows more about the nature of the Canadian federation from an administrative perspective than any other sitting member of the Liberal caucus.

9/26/2006 1:24 p.m.  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...

we should impeach antonio

9/26/2006 1:39 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

im not disagreeing with you andrew

I posted the article verbatim

Dion is apparently responding and his campaign is sending me the text this afternoon.

I do plan on becoming a journalist eventually...I do have to learn how to report

9/26/2006 2:15 p.m.  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/26/2006 3:09 p.m.  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/26/2006 3:10 p.m.  

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