EDITORIAL: Separatists in Quebec show their two faces
It was 17 years ago, but for those from the Kamloops region who travelled to Montreal in an effort to keep Canada together, it must seem like yesterday.
It was on the eve of the 1995 sovereignty referendum in Quebec that Montreal filled with federalists from coast-to-coast, hoping to convince uncertain Quebecers to vote “no” to secession.
In the end, Quebec residents voted by the slimmest of margins (50.58 per cent to 49.42 per cent) to remain part of Canada, much to the relief of many.
Today, there is yet another sovereignty call as Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is vowing to undertake a plethora of measures as her separatist party seeks to win a majority in the Sept. 4 election.
But, due obviously to the intensely controversial aspect of many of the PQ’s policies, Marois was forced to amend two of her party’s platform planks immediately after reiterating those policies.
The PQ’s policy calls for a sovereignty referendum to be held if at least 15 per cent of Quebecers demand a vote.
Marois, however, tempered that party policy, claiming the National Assembly (Quebec’s legislature) would have the final say, thus attempting to appease non-separatists or soft separatists who may not wish to vote for the Liberals or the Coalition Avenir Quebec.
Marois also declared that, under a PQ government, anglophones and allophones would be ineligible to run for public office unless they spoke French.
That declaration was quickly amended to apply only to new immigrants.
With such radical, back-to-the-1990s views, which Marois is a Quebecer to trust — the leader who puts forth hardcore separatist policies or the leader who puts forth hardcore separatist policies, samples the response and returns with slightly watered-down hardcore separatist policy?
Here’s hoping our fellow Canadians in Quebec will embrace Jean Charest’s Liberals and Francois Legault’s Coalition, while rejecting the tiresome separatist politics of fear as practised by Marois.