Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dan Veniez .... Part 1 continuation...

Hello Dan,

So here it is day 2.  I've taken a bit longer to post this .. because I spent some time - digging into my old files and elsewhere ... to be as sure as I can,  that my response is accurate.   Note:  I haven't had time to edit - so once again ask you to bear with me:  
Continuing on your:  This was the reality for most of Canada's first 100 years. The Quiet Revolution started to change that. And assuming Quebec's rightful place within Canada was the motivation for Trudeau, Marchand, and Pelletier's entering federal politics. They made a massive difference. But so too did the movement, started by Lessage, Johnson, and Levesque, to give Quebec and les Quebecois their rightful place in the federation.

Canada is  143 years old.  And the ‘Quiet Revolution’  began in 1960.    Therefore:  This supposed misery and English bosses heaping abuse and misery on the Francophone population  -  from 1867  to 1960  - is absolutely untrue.  Remember – My family moved to Quebec in 1953....  and if you’d like to re-read what I wrote about that period  - that sense of  harmony in Quebec among the English and French – goes back to,  at the  very least  to the early 1800’s.  And  up until the 70’s   - the French and  English in Quebec were still united  as Quebeckers  as one – so much so – that Quebec had become the Richest Province in the country:  I repeat -  with the population living  as ONE.  French and English  with equal status – its people living in harmony – strong and free.

The nightmare to come – reared its ugly head  when the Quiet (quiet my ass) Revolution yahoos – started up. 
To make my point, I’d like to go back to the  1800’s  Quebec  Reality;  The Church’s  iron grip on the francophone population , and its steadfast ‘ultra-nationalism’  position,  a position that insisted, French Canadians   keep  the ‘nation of  Quebec pure’ (also the true meaning of Quebec nationhood)  and  the only way they could  do that was to not ‘sully’ themselves by associating with those filthy Christ killing English. They preached that message longer and harder than they did the New Testament itself!!  The English were the devils that would lead them straight to damnation.  They – the ‘French nation’  belonged on the land –it was the only way they could remain  spiritually pure and close to God and as directed by God.
During that same period, Montreal was starting to thrive with industry  expansion – railroads etc...  A Montreal that was overwhelmingly English at the time – because after all  the ‘Autres” founders of Quebec  did deserve a place to live didn’t they – a place away from the ultra nationalist  Catholic Church that  -under no circumstance  allowed- those English Devils to step foot  in their pure laines ‘Nation of Quebec’.

The Church of course didn’t give a flying leap its ‘people’ were starving  to death – so much so,  that from : 1840  to 1930:    900,000 French Canadians  left Quebec and immigrated to – of all places  - to the United States – where the wages were higher than anywhere in Canada!   One has to assume – they sure didn’t have a problem working  those ugly mistreating  English bosses - now did they?   
Another important piece of history is, that  - in spite of Church threats of damnation.., French Canadians  had moved  to live amongst the English – and it seems they had NO trouble living together.  No trouble at all!  
So much so – that as  early as  1811  another sense of  ‘Nationalism’ had sprung up.. ".... a ‘nationalism’ made up of  English and French speaking citizens  that had solidified into the  ‘Parti Canadian’!   (It’s name was changed to Parti patriote in 1826)   James Stuart became the leader of the Parti Canadien  in the assembly and in 1815 – reformer – Louis-Joseph Papineau was elected Assembly."

Note:  Elected leaders had NOT been the norm  - so this must have been a very big deal,no?   Notwithstanding  French and English Quebeckers   united under one umbrella   even way back then!
Let’s go on:    “The Assembly, while elected, had little power; its decisions could be vetoed by a legislative council and the governor appointed by the British government. Dalhousie and Papineau were soon at odds over the issue of uniting the Canadas. Dalhousie forced an election in 1827 rather than accept Papineau as speaker.
This part is important:  Sympathizers to the reform movement in England had Dalhousie forced from his position and reappointed to India.
Still, the legislative council and the assembly were not able to reach a compromise. By 1834, the assembly had passed the ninety two resolutions, outlining its grievances against the legislative council.
At that point, the Patriote movement  (remember – formerly called the Parti Canadian)  - was supported by an overwhelming majority of the population of all origins.

Later in 1834, the Parti Patriote swept the election with more than three-quarters of the popular vote".
I repeat French and English – together as one.

Re:  Quebec’s rightful place in Canada  and Trudeau:

By the time Trudeau came along – Quebec  already had everything it had asked for  since 1867  when it was recognized as ‘distinct’  with its own laws,  distinct institutions – recognition of the Church’s leadership position in the Province – its own tax system  and more of course...  The rest of the Provinces were denied any and all  special amendments  they too asked for  and to this day I haven’t heard anyone talk about that!

You say: “They made a massive difference. But so too did the movement, started by Lessage, Johnson, and Levesque, to give Quebec and les Quebecois their rightful place in the federation.”

I agree Trudeau made a massive difference – not so much in Quebec that already had  two official languages;  but more so throughout the rest of the country – that because of his influence and their love for him as the Leader Of Canada – the country was declared “Officially Bilingual”.   Mind you that was in spite of the French population of these provinces – were pretty much less than 1%.  And yet Canadians embraced Official Bilingualism with open arms.  
Note:  The French schools in Quebec – still refused to enrol non francophone students.  And because of their eagerness to assimilate even further into the French culture – the English took it upon themselves to create the first,  French immersion schools.

Re: Rene Levesque and his pals making a massive difference – especially since Lesage and Johnson had been feeding from the public trough as Federal Liberals.  I have no idea what their beef with Canada was about...  but I bet you it had very little to do with Canada and everything to do with that 400 year cultural  - hate those English Devils – conditioning  they had been raised with.

Let me tell you what I do know Dan:  In the 1990’s Guy Bertrand  the Other Founder of the Parti Quebecois arrived on his white horse in Montreal – surrounded by the media – proclaiming he had ‘Seen the light”  and was no longer a Separatist  and had become a ‘born again’  super Federalist.   He proclaimed separation as divisive and wrong, wrong  and the people ate it up.  He immediately became a hero for Federalist Quebecers  - English and French.  
The trip to Montreal – was – by the way – only the second time he’d been to the city.  And he made himself busy – meeting with English groups -  community leaders  and more.  One of the groups he met with  - for the first time in his LIFE -  was when he attended  a two day seminar  made up of:  leaders of groups in the Province – including  its multicultural communities.  Guy Bertrand had never spoken met a member of Quebec’s multicultural community either.  I was one of the members that had been invited to speak.
Guy Bertrand spoke and it was pretty much the same speech he’d given  everywhere else.  His English was very, very, limited.  

I spoke shortly after he did.  I was representing the Staying In Canada Movement.   Shortly after that it was time for a 2 hour lunch break  and lo and behold, I found myself sitting right beside Guy Bertrand, and we started to chat.   I asked him, what had driven him to create the Parti Quebecois alongside Rene Levesque and why he was  devoted to separation for so long. 
He replied:  “The first time I visited Montreal I went, with my friend, across from McGill University to a small restaurant and when I asked for a cup of coffee in French the waitress didn’t understand me”. 
I said:  “Jesus,  Guy – for that you started a revolution ?  Had you gone 3 blocks down to Bleury Street,  you wouldn’t have had a problem – because the from Bleury on down - the rest of the city is totally French and hardly any of the waitresses speak English!”

I’ll refrain from going into his announcement that he was going to start a new political party and asked me to join him...... and leave that bullshit for another time.

I’d like you to note:  That it must have been a brain dead – deaf – dumb and blind waitress that served him – because who on earth can’t  understand  Cafe means coffee!

More tomorrow...  it’s late and I’m tired and am getting cranky  :):).

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