Quebec and France are poised to make a major announcement acknowledging that they are harmonizing their educational systems to the point where French and Quebecois student curricula will be mutually acceptable and interchangeable between their two “nations”.
On the surface, this seems to be no big deal in terms of how it will impact upon the Rest of Canada. But it is a big deal. A VERY BIG DEAL!
Quebec has spent generations doing whatever it could to distance itself from the fabric of Canada. At every turn, Quebec has focused upon what separates Canada from Quebec, rather than what the two have in common.
And this didn’t happen without strong and influential complicity from Ottawa itself. Every Canadian Prime Minister, from the time of Lester B Pearson, has bent over backwards to accommodate Quebec’s distinctiveness, to the detriment of Canada.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau went so far as to set in motion the gears that would make Canada look more like Quebec (Official Languages Act), while at the same time, guaranteeing that Quebec would maintain the absolute power to make itself look less like Canada by not disallowing Quebec’s racist language law (Bill 101).
Because of Quebec, Canada’s flag is the Maple Leaf, even though Maple trees are virtually non-existent west of Ontario.
Canada’s so-called universal healthcare system is not universal at all, since Quebec does not participate in it. In fact, the official name for Canada's socialized healthcare is the Canada/Quebec Healthcare Act.
The Canada Pension Plan is also a misnomer since Quebec has its own Pension plan. The official name for how Canadians invest a portion of their income for government retirement benefits is defined as The Canada/Quebec Pension Plan.
The North American Free Trade Agreement bears Quebec’s signature. Therefore, if Quebec ever does decide to leave Canada, their participation in the NAFTA is guaranteed.
And on and on it goes.
Quebec has been pushing itself as far away from the rest of Canada as it can, without going the final distance. And the only reason Quebec hasn’t totally cut its ties with Canada is money.
Canada is a fabulous cash cow Quebec wants to hold onto in perpetuity. How can anyone blame them?
Since a free ride for Quebec is their reason for staying, what’s our reason for wanting to hold onto Quebec?
Like many Canadians, I’ve had more than enough with Quebec. But this coming educational deal with France is way over the top.
Imagine Ontario making a separate sweetheart deal with England vis a vis education between the two “nations”, to the exclusion of the rest of Canada.
Imagine Ontario getting nation-to-nation status with the entire English-speaking world with the exclusion of Quebec, as Quebec has with the Francophonie, to the exclusion of “Anglo” provinces.
Quebec, to their absolute credit, has invented a means by which they continue to separate themselves as completely as possible from the social fabric of Canada, while at the same time, they still enjoy a disproportionate volume of political sway nationally and internationally while Canada pays the bills.
To get away with this; it takes real political talent on the part of Quebec, and absolute stupidity on the part of Canada. Both of which are in abundant supply.
The Quebec/Canada relationship is similar to a married couple, where the wife cheats. The husband knows that his wife is a flirt, but he cares so much for her, and can’t imagine how his life would be without her, that he is willing to put up with a little philandering.
But the lack of regard for her husband becomes so intense, that she doesn’t even bother to make any attempt to cover-up her trysts, until finally, the husband can no longer take it and wants out.
This is where we are heading, and have been heading since 1960. And it’s time that we finally get there.
We don’t need to be financing Quebec, and giving Quebec a predominant say in how our “household” is run, while Quebec sleeps around like a cheap floozy.
We don’t need a sleep around partner who contributes nothing and detracts from everything. It’s more than time to say “bonjor Quebec, merci pour la visite”.