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Wednesday, 09 April 2014 11:47

Welcome Quebec back into the fold

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Welcome home Quebec. Or if we’re being inclusive and remembering we do have two official languages: Accueiller a la maison.


The rest of Canada took a big collective sigh of relief Tuesday morning — or Monday night if one stayed up late enough — to find out Quebecers had rejected the idea of sovereignty by voting in a new Liberal provincial government.
The Liberals should send a thank you card to Pierre Karl Péladeau, a Bloc Quebecois candidate who did win a seat in government. He’s the media owner who according to a National Post story, raised his fist “awkwardly signifying revolutionary resistance and solidarity with the oppressed” at an event in early March announcing his candidacy. He was put forward as a die-hard sovereignist. Then PQ leader, and premier, Pauline Marois began panning the idea of holding a referendum asking if Quebec residents wanted to separate from Canada.
It became a highly-divisive issue in a province that has both its supporters and detractors.
In 1995, Quebec residents were asked whether the province should separate from the rest of the country and form their own state. That year, 49.42 per cent voted yes and 50.58 per cent voted no.
The Parti Quebecois would wait for years after for the right conditions to hold another referendum when they would gain the majority vote in favour of separation. That time never came. Hopefully now, Quebec residents have sent a strong enough message to the party that the time may never come.
Canadians likely won’t agree on whether or not Quebec should be receiving special benefits from the federal government as compared to other provinces. We can all gripe about our province not receiving the grants it should from the federal coffers or how much we have to pay back to Ottawa only to have it divided up unequally in our eyes. What we can and should be able to agree on is that Canada is a better place to live because Quebec is part of the country.
There is a rich history in the province dating back to the discovery of Canada. When explorer Jacques Cartier, on behalf of the King of France, first set foot on what is now Canadian soil in 1534, it was indeed in Quebec. A colony of France was established and it grew into the present Canada. The battle between the English and French began as the two mother countries fought over the land. This history should be taught and respected. All Canadians should have the chance to see the numerous historic sites in the province and learn more about this rich history and culture.
One also needs to be mindful of the old rule that majority rules. Quebec has the second largest population after Ontario. That’s a lot of people for a federal government to try to appease. We would have cause to be more angry if Quebec had the fewest people in Canada, but received the most benefits.
Let’s be glad Quebec is in Canada and that in a subtle way residents have indicated their intention to remain part of the country. We have the opportunity to explore a rich and varied French heritage that is unique to Canada by travelling only about 2,600 kilometres as opposed to the 7,000 km it would take us to get to France.
Vive le Canada!
Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor