|RRQ-not much of a turnout!|
As such, the city and the greater metropolitan region is more entrenched and conservative, representing the last bastion of Conservative party support in the province of Quebec.
The city itself is well-run, particularly safe and immaculately clean. The mayor, Regis Lebeaume is a tireless promoter of the Quebec City brand, locally and internationally and has raised its profile considerably since taking office.
His single-mindedness and bullheadedness pursuing his civic goals (like an NHL franchise) has made him the subject of media attacks, but he shrugs off the criticism like water off a duck's back.
He enjoys a voter approval rating of over 70%, a number that would have any politician preening with pride.
Yesterday's ceremony in front of City Hall honouring the Royal 22nd Regiment (the Vandoos), was a credit to the City and its citizens and no doubt an utter humiliation to the RRQ and its members who valiantly tried to put a damper on the ceremonies, to no avail.
Unlike last year, when the RRQ disrupted Charles and Camilla's visit to Montreal, the protesters were hardly noticeable and had zero impact on the festivities.
The RRQ promised to produce up to 500 protesters, but by Radio-Canada estimates, their numbers topped off at a few dozen.
How times have changed!
The Prince acquitted himself quite well and his speech, delivered exclusively in French, had an endearing effect on the crowd and television commentators who were duly impressed. Many of whom came to see the royal couple out of curiosity, left quite impressed.
|Will and Kate greet friendly crowd in Quebec|
The visit went off so well and the crowd was so friendly that William and Kate undertook a remarkable impromptu 'bain de foule' (walkabout.) Security forces felt so confident of the crowd, that they actually let them wade in, something that would be inconceivable a few years ago.
As for Labeaume he described the event as magnificent. "I saw nothing but smiles!"
For the RRQ and other separatist militants, the success of the Royal visit to Quebec city is another grand humiliation, another reminder that Quebeckers have matured and are no longer susceptible to Chicken Little warnings of assimilation.
No matter how the RRQ spins events in the coming days, for them, it was nothing less than an unmitigated disaster!
And so, things haven't gone particularly well for the sovereigntists since last May's federal election. The downward spiral in support for the sovereignty movement doesn't appear to have touched bottom and in describing separatist fortunes of late, I can perhaps steal a line from the Queen, who once described her family difficulties as an Annus horribilus.
The protesting RRQ adopted the theme first enunciated by Amir Khadir, who declared rather rudely that the Royals were parasites.
I'm not so sure. Maintaining the monarchy costs each Canadian about a $1.50 a year, a pittance compared to the billions and billions of dollars that our government wastes annually.
Considering that Canadians spent about $30 each on the G8 summit in Toronto last year, the Royals are a right bargain. That money could have kept the Royals in cucumber sandwiches for 20 years!
To all the sovereigntist militants who are squealing over the unpopularity of the monarchy in Quebec, the sad reality they face, is that according to the polls the Monarchy enjoys more popularity than sovereignty.
A fine kettle of fish!
Here's some raw video of the day. It will put to lie any claims that the RRQ makes in the next few days that their small protest had any bearing. More importantly, the large, appreciative and cheering crowds attest to the reality that Quebec is not what militants portray it to be.
While we are accustomed to hearing the rantings of the separatists in the press and the media, yesterday is proof that they have a much smaller constituency than we are led to believe.