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Volume 90, Issue 64

Friday, January 17, 1997

double talk


Plains of Abraham still bloody

Re: French or English? Duh, Je ne sais pas mon ami, Jan. 14

To the Editor:

First, I would ask that anyone who takes the time and effort to publicly call my father a discriminating bigot, and myself a hypocrite, would please refrain from calling me "Bud." Secondly, I would also ask that Mr. Comeau learn a little about history as well as contemporary politics before making false statements.

The Parti Quebecois, according to its official literature, is not simply using the threat of separation in an attempt to gain recognition as Mr. Comeau stated. In case it has escaped Mr. Comeau's attention, I will remind him of the recent referendum in Quebec, whose question asked nothing concerning recognition, but rather questioned the province's desire to become a separate country, hence the term nationalism.

With respect to Mr. Comeau's historically false statement that the British simply "allowed" the French to remain in Canada in 1867, it becomes obvious that Mr. Comeau is not well-educated in Canadian history. Canada East (Now Quebec) existed long before 1867. The British had left the French colonials to live in a vast part of the country that was rich with resources. They had not only allowed them to stay, but they also did not interfere in their way of life in many ways. For example, the French civil code was maintained in French Canada and is still the basis for the unique civil law in Quebec today. Religious freedom for the predominantly Catholic francophones was guaranteed. In 1858, French Canada was not dragged into Confederation at gunpoint. It was proposed by two individuals: Sir John A. MacDonald and Georges-Etienne Cartier. These leaders of both the English majority and the French minority adamantly fought for Confederation which was finally achieved in 1867 with the BNA Act.

My complaint aimed at Mr. Mayott said nothing about education, nor did it say that learning many languages was bad (I myself am fluent in more than three). Also, because my father's business happens to attract a predominantly anglophone clientele, this in no way makes him discriminatory. He does have French customers, who get the same service as his English ones.

Where is Mr. Comeau's refutation of the facts that I cited in my earlier argument concerning Canadian government? Where is his proof that life is so unfair to Quebec when our legal history is littered with things like Quebec's immigration powers, the veto and the notwithstanding clause?

Finally, I would like to say to Mr. Comeau that I hope this lesson in history has been instructive for you. Perhaps before you wave words like ‘hypocrite' and ‘discrimination' around you should add words like ‘facts' and ‘history' to your vocabulary.

Jonathan Ruby
Political Science II

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