Volume 92, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 26, 1999


Howe wrong the comparison is

Ways to handle the whole incident

Howe wrong the comparison is

Re: Keep separation alive, Jan. 19

To the Editor:

There are many things about the opinion expressed by Brendan Howe which I totally agree with but his comparison of separation of Quebec to immigrants and his conclusion that the separation debate is good for Canada are completely wrong and misguided.

Yes, Canadians do pride themselves on a multicultural society or should at the least. I think it's great that Canadians allow immigrants from other countries to keep their traditions and cultures. For if they did not, our country would not be as interesting and as diverse as it is now.

His comparison of the cultures of immigrants and that of the French in Quebec is not a good one. First off, Quebecers have been in this country for three centuries. They have had guaranteed rights to religion and language since the Quebec Act was signed in 1774. I don't understand how the plight of separation can be compared to multiculturalism. If Mr. Howe would like to inform me I would be most willing to listen.

His belief that Quebecers are fighting for their cultural freedom is very misinformed. The French in Quebec have voted in their own separatist government, which they have the right to and have proceeded to ensure the rights of the French speaking people in Quebec. That is fine with me.

It's the fact that in the process of furthering their cultural sovereignty they have proceeded to destroy the cultural sovereignty of any non-French speaking people in Quebec. Most of my relatives live in Quebec and they are English speaking. However, if they own a store they must put up a French sign. For example, one of my relatives was fined and forced to change the writing on his farm silo to Dineen & Fils from Dineen & Sons.

The education system is also being changed to force non-French people to learn French. The laws enacted by the Parti Quebecois not only hurt English speaking Quebecers but any new immigrants that come to Quebec. Explain to me again how Quebec cultural sovereignty is good for those people?

Mr. Howe's opinion also totally disregards the impact a strong vocal separatist government has on our economy and our national pride and unity. If you ever watched the news you would realize that whenever we near a referendum or Quebec provincial election, our currency and stock markets become very unstable because of investors' worries about the uncertainty in Quebec. Also, whenever the separatists threaten to leave Canada, it creates much hatred and ignorance between French and English Canadians.

In closing, I think Canadians should keep multiculturalism alive but NOT separation. If Quebec separates it means we have failed to keep multiculturalism and we have lost an important and distinct part of our nation.

Matt Romanada
Economics II

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