There'll be no repeat of last year's fiasco where English artists were invited, dis-invited and then reinstated to perform at a local Fête Nationale celebration in a Montreal district.
To wild applause, the Comité de la Fête nationale de Montréal through it's spokesman Guy A. Lepage, proudly announced that the celebration in Maisonneuve park will be a French only affair.
"We have a panoply of artists this year, which I think, is very representative of the Quebec we know..." Guy A. LepageMaybe Mr. Lepage doesn't know Quebec as well as he thinks. He ignores the fact that 20% of the population of Quebec is English or ethnic. Most of them live Montreal, pushing the percentage even higher in the city where this "French" only show will be held.
Perhaps if he tries hard enough, Mr. Lepage can pretend that we don't exist, thus allowing him and his coterie of French language supremacists a one day fantasy where they can pretend that Quebec is a nation of White Catholic Francophones and where Anglos and Ethnics exist at the pleasure of the majority.
Mr Lepage is representative of the French language nationalists that have hijacked the annual Quebec 'national holiday' in an attempt to turn it into a jingoistic expression of separatist and French language chauvinism. Each year the government pays the Anglo-bashing St. Jean Baptiste Society to organize festivities across the entire province.
It seems that the government can sell, booze, electricity, organize hospitals and schools, but is incapable of organizing the annual event without calling on this unabashedly anti-English/ anti-Ethnic organization of language thugs.
It is unconscionable that a separatist organization be given the mandate to organize the province-wide celebration in the name of all Quebeckers and is being paid by a federalist government.
The sad part of it all, is that SSJB and the Guy A. Lepages of Quebec are not representative of mainstream Francophone society, who are much more tolerant and open to sharing the annual holiday with Quebeckers of all stripes.
Survey after survey will indicate that Quebeckers want all citizens to participate and that a smattering of English and ethnic music is not only fair, but desirable, making the celebration more inclusive.
Last year's organizers of a Montreal neighbourhood celebration in Rosemont, appropriately called "l'Autre St. Jean' (meaning- alternative) invited two English groups, Lake of Stew and Bloodshot Bill, to perform amid controversy. They are repeating their principled stand this year, by announcing that their show will include at least one English group, 'United Steel Workers of Montreal'.
An organiser for "L'Autre Saint-Jean" Jules Hébert, defended the festival's position by asking the rhetorical question as to whether Anglos are Quebeckers as well.
Apparently not, according to the likes of Louis Préfontaine, a member Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and infamous anti-Anglo blogger who was apoplectic over the decision to allow an English artist to perform;
"It sickens me deeply. The traitors who organize this insulting shit needs to be taught a good lesson"
Other French language supremacists suggest a boycott of the event's sponsors. Link
Me, I stick to my position that I outlined last year- June 24th is a good time to be out of town......