What a difference a day makes.
Less than 24 hours after defending the decision to bar anglophone groups from the St. Jean Baptiste celebration L'Autre St-Jean, l'association culterelle louise-Hebert" the funding organisation closely allied with Mario Beaulieu and the St. Jean Baptisite Society, has caved.
The English acts are will perform.
The almost universal condemnation from Quebeckers af all political ilks left organisers with little choice. For radicals, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
When Pierre Curzi (a PQ stalwart) signaled that the organisers needed to back peddle, it was clear that there'd be no support anywhere for the exclusion.
Doing it's best to weasel out of responsibility for it's decision, the l'association culterelle louise-Hebert contradicted it's own spokesman Mathieu Bouthillier, who said that the groups English performance was the problem. Today, in a contradictory statement itself, they first said that the decision had never been approved by the executive council and then went on to say that the decision was made for security reasons (after some threats from it's sister organization, the radical SSJB) and not because the acts sang in English. Ha! Ha!
Facing his first major setback since assuming the reins of the SSJB, Mario Beaulieu remained understandably silent today.
The incident represents a major humiliation for radical French language zealots and it neatly squares the defeat federalist side suffered by the cancellation of the Plains of Abraham re-enactment.