Vivelecanada Canada Newswatch
The debate over Quebec’s secular Charter of Values has been a heated one. The proposed Charter would restrict public servants from wearing conspicuous religious items such as burqas and niqabs, which many critics say infringes on the rights and freedoms of religious minorities in Quebec. Quebecers who support the Charter, in turn, have been accused of bigotry, especially by other Canadians, claiming that this is just another example of the racism that is supposedly so prevalent in that province, and the supposed ethnic nationalism of the Parti Quebecois.
In the sharpening contest between the repressive super-rich of the world and protesting populations, Canada's major political parties have lined up. With the super-rich. But ... 'come the revolution ....'
Tax-filing season, everybody’s favourite time of year, is once again upon us in Canada. It’s that time of year that we get to see just how much of our money our provincial and federal governments are taking to spend on seemingly wasteful things that nobody is supposed to care about. It’s also the perfect time of year for the politicians to start talking louder than usual about cutting taxes and eliminating unnecessary spending.
In Part I of this essay, we discussed the origins of Quebec nationalism and how it developed into a desire by Francophone Quebecers to have their province recognized as a distinct society within Canada. In Part II, we saw how Pierre Trudeau sought to counter this as Prime Minister of Canada, how he fought subsequent attempts to recognize Quebec’s distinctiveness, and how the Trudeau Paradox emerged from it. In Part III, we’ll see a possible way around the Trudeau Paradox, as well as the fact that there’s a lot more common ground between Francophone Quebecers and their fellow Canadians than most people realize.
Part I of this essay discussed the origins of Quebec nationalism and the desire of Francophone Quebecers to have their province recognized as a “distinct society” within Canada. This desire was fiercely opposed by Quebec political thinker Pierre Trudeau, who became Prime Minister of Canada in 1968. Trudeau was seen as speaking for Francophone Quebecers, and his critics would claim that he was just the first Prime Minister from Quebec to impose that province’s agenda on the rest of Canada. However, in this part we’ll see that Trudeau’s agenda was quite different from what most Francophone Quebec thinkers were advocating.
The results of the 2012 provincial election in Quebec, which returned the Parti Quebecois to power, only reconfirmed the perceptions many Canadians in other parts of the country had of Quebec. They consider the province spoiled and entitled, still musing about separating from Canada despite having dominated the political agenda for nearly four decades and having received billions of dollars in transfer payments. Separation is seen simply as a way for Quebec to blackmail more power and money from the rest of the country. The province is also seen as intolerant because of language legislation like Bill 101, which many other Canadians believe restricts individual rights and freedom of choice, particularly the rights of its Anglo-Quebec minority. Past Prime Ministers like Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien are seen as having only cared about their own province, blowing off many of the concerns of other parts of Canada. All this, despite the fact that other parts of Canada have made an effort to accommodate Quebec by accepting bilingualism and enrolling their children in French immersion, which is what they thought Francophone Quebecers were looking for.
The attack on Canada Post by its top officers and the Conservative cabinet reveals the larger plan of The Far Right for Canada.
Stephen Leacock is known, by most Canadians, as an important literary humourist (with a gentle Swiftian bite) and political economist. Most do not realize that Leacock wrote some fine books on Canadian history and literary criticism. Many know T.S. Eliot as an incisive and demanding poet, literary critic and dramatist. Both Leacock and Eliot, though, were grounded in a classical High Tory Humanist Anglican way (this is often conveniently ignored by most). It was from such deeper historic places that there was a meeting of minds. Both men had an affinity for the best that had been thought, said and done in the past and the ongoing relevance of such permanent things to the malaise and ethos of their times.
Repeated, organized fraud intended to damage Canada's electoral system has been recorded since 2006. As a national Party-approved-and-organized activity, the fraud appears to be confined to The Conservative Party of Canada. What does that mean?
Politically, 2013 wasn’t much different than previous years. In Toronto, Rob Ford accused his opponents of wanting to keep the “gravy train” going, while his opponents accused him of hypocrisy and failing to live up to his promises. In Ottawa, the Conservative government accused the opposition parties of wanting to drastically raise taxes to pay for their political promises, while the official Opposition accused the Conservatives of slashing essential services and transfers to Canadians. In St. Albert, critics of the city government’s current direction stated that our current level of spending is unsustainable, while people satisfied with the current direction accused the critics of wanting to eliminate many of the services we’ve come to rely on as residents.