Volume 92, Issue 62
Tuesday, January 19, 1999
Keep separation alive
Canadians pride themselves on the fact they live in a multicultural country, a nation whose people originate from all points on the planet. And the single best part about the thriving multiculturalism in Canada is the variety of backgrounds, ideals and languages different groups possess.
When we hear someone speaking a different language we welcome it and try and help them as much as we can so they will feel at home in our nation. That's why many prefer making Canada their new home as opposed to our neighbours south of the border because when someone arrives in Canada to take up permanent residence, we don't attempt to teach them how to be Canadian and integrate into our society.
Instead, we introduce our nation to them and then encourage them to keep their culture, beliefs and practices.
Yet when it comes to our French relatives in Quebec, we get up in arms over the fact they desire to keep their culture and practices. Throughout history, separatists in Quebec have been seen as the rock in the Canadian shoe. They are seen as the great threat which could lead to our nation's unravelling.
Even though the Quebec provincial, or as some might wish to say national, election has come and gone and the separatist Parti Quebecois have been given the thumbs up for another term the issue of separatism is not on the backburner and never should be. If it becomes yesterday's news, then Canada becomes a weekly, low budget newspaper in terms of diversity.
The fact remains that separatism is as big and as integral a part of Canada as hockey and quality beer. Without chants of "Vive la Quebec libre" Canada would not be as diverse and would not be one of the best countries in the world to live in.
Many fear the worst, but separatism does not bring with it as strong a threat to national unity as many would attest. It brings a segment of the population which, without talk of separating to preserve their language and culture, would lose the reason they desire sovereignty.
Quebec doesn't need to separate to preserve its language, it needs to keep sovereignty in the minds of its residents, both French and English. The best thing Canada can have is people fighting to preserve their differences.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999