Friday, June 1, 2012

Partition is Separatists' Last Hope

Quebec 1867- Present
I promised to get into the issue of partition and/or sovereignty and now seems to be as good a time as ever to start.
The student uprising has dominated the media to the point of blocking out all other newsworthy events and if you are like me, it's getting to the point where you don't even want to discuss the subject, it's too maddening.

Ten years ago, if you'd ask me about partition (the dissolution of Quebec into separate states) I would have laughed at the idea and labelled the very thought, foolishly daft.

Today, as events have evolved, it makes perfect sense, absolutely perfect sense.

Of course, partition is a hard concept to get one's head around and on first glance it looks messy and unworkable, but a closer study reveals that it's a pretty good solution to the language and cultural impasse that dogs modern Quebec.

No doubt, sovereigntists hate the idea of partition and foam at the mouth at the very mention of the idea.
They live in a world where the borders of Quebec are inviolate, but a glance at the maps on the right show that such is not the reality of our history.
Quebec's borders have never been written in stone and can change just as easily as in the past.

But partition isn't and shouldn't be a concept that is an anathema to sovereigntists, it is perhaps the only viable option for them to achieve their goal of an independent Quebec.

Today, the sovereigntist's best case scenario, where Anglos conveniently abandon their homes and communities and move to Canada en masse after a successful YES vote, fails to take into account the old Chinese proverb which reminds us to; "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it"

While sovereigntists will bid these federalist emigrants good riddance, the effect of a massive migration would be financially destabilizing and more importantly economically and politically devastating to Montreal.

If Canada decides to play hardball and makes an enticing financial offer to Quebec federalists to abandon Quebec, (like way back when with the United Empire Loyalists,) combined with generous resettlement incentives for Quebec companies, it would be the coup de grace for the city.

The mass exit of Anglos and Ethnics towards greener pastures in Canada begs the critical question; What will remain of Montreal, when the city is depopulated?

Montreal can hardly pay it's bills today, imagine knocking off one-third or half of its budget?
Sovereigntists pretend that they don't need Anglos and that may be true in the Saguenay or Abitibi, but not in Montreal.

If only half of the 51% of people that don't have French as a first language, leave Montreal, the disaster that awaits the city is guaranteed.

That, plus the many businesses and head offices that will follow the refugees down the 401, will lead to half empty skyscrapers, restaurants, malls and too little business for the retail industry.

With homes and commercial property unsellable because of a glut, the city will be set on a course of ruin, with the massive foreclosures of unsellable homes and the shutting of commercial establishments on a scale recently seen in the Untied States' worst hit communities.

Can't happen?.....look at Detroit.

Even if many potential emigrants stay and test the waters of an independent Quebec, the collapsing economy and job market will drive folks to leave after a few short months and that includes many francophones.
Of course during this period of destabilization, who will be blamed for the debacle?
Anglos and Ethnics of course, leading to a snowball effect driving even more out of the province country. 

Not pretty?
There is no other forecast that is more likely and I've debated this with sovereigntists over the years.
I have never heard a reasonable alternative to this doomsday scenario.

The worst of the suggestions offered, was that a confident and independent Quebec would make a generous offer for the anglos to stay, including INCREASED language rights.
.....Really?  Are you kidding me?

The truth is that for Anglos and ethnics the only choice remaining would be to give up their English culture and assimilate or emigrate to Canada.
Readers can do the math.

For a new Quebec government, Montreal would become a financial albatross instead of a shining jewel.
The fragile new country would be plunged into a monumental financial and social crisis at the onset, not a comforting scene.

For sovereigntists, losing Montreal to partition may be unacceptable, but the truth is that one way or the other, they will lose it anyways.

When sovereigntists understand that it is not in their interest, economically or socially to include the island of Montreal in the independence plan, partition becomes a perfect solution.

And when will they realize this?............Not until the next referendum loss.

When that happens, there won't be talk of 'spitting in their hands and starting all over again"  as Mr. Parizeau suggested after the 1995 referendum loss.

Sovereigntists may be dreamers, but are not particularly stupid and waiting another fifteen years, for what would very likely be another referendum loss, won't be an option they'd likely want to entertain.
For dedicated sovereigntists, it would be time to think about the impossible, the partition option, no matter how unpalatable.

It partition happens, it won't be the Anglos and Ethnics that institute it. We are just too disorganized to mount any sort of partition plan on our own.

Partition will happen when the majority of Quebec francophones want it.

Simply put, when sovereigntists realize and accept that partition is their only hope of independence, it will become a viable option.

My partition plan, which I shall set out here before you, is based on Quebec ceding the entire island of Montreal, which will become the eleventh province (then the tenth, after Quebec independence.)

The reason I chose the island of Montreal alone, is because partition is not about destroying Quebec by grabbing as much territory as possible, it's a compromise that leaves Quebec almost intact and with a large metropolitan area (Laval) in central Quebec to replace Montreal.
The island of Montreal has clearly definable borders and enough land mass to provide federalists with a home.

Many of you have talked about a land bridge to Canada, but it is entirely unworkable and too messy.
At any rate the 'land bridge' idea just isn't supported demographically and creating a hodgepodge of off-island areas that are to remain 'Canadian' is just unworkable and undesirable.

Unlike the last two referendums which made losers out of half the population, partition can actually make us all into winners, with each political entity going its separate way à la Czech and  Slovakian Republics, whose 'Velvet Divorce'  is the blueprint for an amicable breakup.
The important element in the  dissolution of Czechoslovakia is that both parties were in favor of the breakup and ready to make the difficult compromises necessary to make it work.

In my partition scenario, neither side will be perfectly happy and get everything it wants, but rather enough to make the deal acceptable to both.

The Island of Montreal is a clear and defined geographical area, with long roots to and attachments to Canada.
Those Quebecers who want to remain in Canada, in a truly bilingual province, can move to Montreal, those that wish to remain in Quebec can move out.
Concentration of anglophones around Montreal Island

To my mind, this is really just about the only Partition plan that makes sense, politically, socially and geographically.

The new 'province' of Montreal would have about two million inhabitants, (fourth largest province in Canada) give or take. I imagine that the population would go up by several hundreds of thousands of people, but that's just a hunch.

Given an amicable breakup and a fair division of the provincial debt, it would be entirely proper for Montreal and Quebec to enter into a borderless relationship where a super free trade zone would exist.
A place where people could live in one country and work in the other and where free movement of goods and services would be guaranteed to citizens of both countries.

Who would be the loser in this scenario?.........Nobody, and that's just about the most perfect solution.

Quebecers could attend the University of Montreal and use the international airport in Dorval. Montrealers would continue to buy electricity from Hydro Quebec and be supplied with other essentials including potable water and farm products, as well as using Quebec roads and highways to travel to Ontario and New Brunswick.
By keeping a completely open and transparent border, the loss of Montreal wouldn't sting Quebecers as much, with  access to the city maintained seamlessly.

Unworkable? Not really.

The border between Quebec and Canada can be maintained at the frontier with Ontario and New Brunswick, as well as airports.
Montrealers would pass quickly through these borders with special identification cards or even their passports, identifying them as Canadian.

Under my scenario, resource rich Quebec would be able to pursue its French destiny in the manner it would see fit, socially, politically and linguistically. With the English language eliminated from the public scene, immigrants would have no choice but to assimilate into francophone society.

Former Quebecers, wishing to pursue the Canadian dream can remain or move to the province of Montreal, where they could build a bilingual and open society within the confines of Canada.

For Canadians from coast to coast, keeping Montreal and letting the rest of Quebec go, would be an eminently supportable solution.

And if it means helping out the new province of Montreal financially for a couple of years, I'm sure Canadians would be good with it.

After all they've been paying for Quebec for years.

Readers, I believe it's time for our very own 'Velvet Divorce,' perhaps we could call it the 'Poutine Divorce"

My solution is elegant and doable, plus nobody comes out a loser.
The alternative is the very painful status quo, an unsatisfying stalemate.

The questioned to be asked to sovereigntist and federalists, is that what we all want, the status quo?
Can't we work a kind divorce as adults?


  1. Parfaitement d'accord avec la partition,de cette façon nous éliminons une bonne quantité d'anglos du Québec :D

    1. The English in quebec are going to be eliminated from Quebec just as easily as the Palestinians are going to be eliminated from Israel: not going to happen. The problem is now all the English have been born and raised in Quebec and consider is their home. People have been known to fight and die for the homes. :)

    2. Laissons cette île-poubelle aux anglos/allos et faisons de Québec notre métropole.

    3. Je refuse de croire que la majorité du peuple Québecois soit aussi intolérant que ces commentaires laissent croire.

  2. Are you really gonna let that comment slide, editor?

    1. Why shouldn't he?

      The real shock isn't that our resident felquiste wants to eliminate English-speakers by gerrymandering the map but that he's actually okay with parting with even a square inch of sacred white, catholic, French-Canadian...errr Québécois soil to what he surely conceives as the evil empire of culturally devoid American-like squareheads surrounding us.

  3. Why not. Is this not how the separatistes feel regarding the anglo minority in Quebec. Is this not what bill 101 intent is about? The seppies would rather the anglos all left Quebec so they could truly be pure laine is all aspects of life. :)

  4. "The important element in the dissolution of Czechoslovakia is that both parties were in favor of the breakup and ready to make the difficult compromises necessary to make it work."

    Les deux partis politiques seulement. Les sondages à l'époque démontraient que la population de chaque côté étaient contre la dissolution, mais ça s'est produit quand même.

    Autre que ça je n'ai rien à reprocher. L'argument tient debout.

    Comment Montréal fera pour se nourrir? Ils n'existeront pas dans le vide...

    1. Une île-cité bilingue à la merci d'une île-province francophone à la merci d'une grosse péninsule anglophone à la remorque d'un mastodonte manifestement surendetté ayant une dépendance malsaine au culte de la délocalisation.

      Décidément, on n'a plus le luxe d'exister dans le vide, et encore moins de célébrer notre nombrilisme comme un droit fondamental acquis. Alors que les indiens et chinois apprennent nos langues pour mieux nous dévorer, on s'obstine de la présence et même la place qu'occupe une langue qui ne nous est pas si étrangère, dans le fond.

      Un débat révolu, quant à moi. À quand le mandarin et l'hindi obligatoire dans toutes les écoles du Canada?

    2. En parlant, j'ai appris l'autre jour que le gouvernement chinois finance des enseignants de Mandarin dans les écoles américaines... lesquelles sont tellement mal financées qu'elles acceptent avec joie un enseignant moins cher.

      Quand la chine finance l'éducation publique du "pays le plus riche du monde"... le monde change.

    3. Yannick,

      In the 1980s Japan was the rising economic power, with their quality manufactured goods (electronics especially) in high demand in North America, there was a fear of a the United States being dominated by Japan. The same kind of talk about China with is mass produced (not necessarily quality) goods flooding North America is being hyped again. On the other hand what is not being focused on is the flood of middle and upper class Chinese fleeing China with whatever means. Not only is their a mass emigration to Canada, Australia, NZ and the United States but also to nearby countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.

      Also manufacturing is already shifting from China to Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh. I have my doubts on Chinas ability to become the economic super power that the hype is pointing towards. Just a slight increase or in tarriffs or an all out tarriff war by the west would significantly slow economic growth of China.

    4. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. It was very enlightening.

      That said I was very careful not to make wild accusations of China as the next superpower. All I commented on is that a "poor" country (China) is subsidizing the public education of the "Richest country in the world" (USA), and that it meant things are changing.

      Maybe for the better, maybe for the worst, but change means uncertainty and that can be disquieting.

  5. I think the Editor is playing games with the readers again. The holes in his arguments for the Partition are larger and more numerous than in a block of swiss cheese. Assumptions are dangerous as in many cases they are totally in err.

  6. From an economic/busienss point of view better to have Quebec separate in total and keep the liability of Montreal in Quebec's court.

    1. In what way is this province's economic engine a "liability"?

  7. For the first time in a really long while, Editor, I think you've really missed the boat on this one. If I were even jokingly inclined toward the idea of partition in the past, the formulation you've provided here has put me off the idea -- and nationalism in general -- entirely.

    One island in the middle of the Saint Lawrence remaining part of Canada while everything around it becomes a separate country? Transparency, land/road/infrastructure-sharing agreements? Invisible borders? What the hell kind of "solution" is that? And more to the point, how's it any different from what we have now? Montreal has long had its own culture distinct from the rest of Quebec, just as Quebec has its own culture, distinct from the rest of Canada. This isn't to say that there aren't crucial overlaps in both cases. Fundamentally, language is the only real thing that distinguishes us from other Canadians. Grafting onto this difference every other possible element of national "otherness" is intellectually dishonest, given the reality.

    No to your pipe dream, I say. It is fraught with lofty nothingness born of an almost naive idealism that vindictive and self-aggrandizing politicians on both sides of the divide just wouldn't be able to negotiate and live up to justly.

    Montreal has much more to gain at the heart of Quebec, with said Quebec remaining an integral part of Canada. I'd rather the current crop of politicos to grow old and die, and then those of my own generation along with them. For better or for worse, and despite the hundred-day separatist free-for-all, the society our children will inherit from us will be vastly different from that of our parents. And with a different society come different hangups. Hopefully by that point, more of us will be enlightened enough to see the foolishness of forced unilingualism and rather than see a common monolithic "enemy" surrounding us, we might finally see a set of rather eclectic neighbors.

    For the same reasons that I oppose an independent Quebec, I wouldn't want to live in an "independent" Montreal built on the supremacy of one world view alone (proof that I can be conciliatory toward separatists if they're willing to bend as much as I am).

    "To live freely as a nation in a land that is ours" isn't the kind of rallying cry that ought to resonate with urbane Westerners with a global outlook in the 21st century. That limited conception of "ownership" isn't my "hope" -- not by a long shot.

    With strong institutions operating healthily in parallel, two language communities can thrive. Language laws or not, we've seen living proof of this model in Montreal for the better part of a century and a half. With a little effort, the people can even frequent both sides' institutions and gain the best of both worlds. If anything, this cross-pollination is what we need more of. My recommendation to you is to spend less time redrawing hypothetical maps and more time thinking how to reprogram the entire population of Quebec to finally accept the bicultural destiny that has so obviously been a part of who and what we are since we began fighting about it.

    Besides, an enclave with such limited real estate? No room to grow while the metro area grows and sprawls around us?

    Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

    1. Apparatchik for Prime Minister!

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    4. I have to agree with Apparatchik that the Editor’s proposal that the clearly definable borders of the island of Montreal serve as the basis for partition isn’t entirely convincing. No mention of what folks in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and points east would think about that idea, nor of the rural residents in largely-anglo areas outside Montreal. It is presupposed that “enticing financial offers” and “generous resettlement incentives” would be in the offing from Canada, but there is no indication from any federal party that this would indeed be the case. On the other hand, Apparatchik’s suggestion to “reprogram the entire population of Quebec”, while perhaps laudable, is nevertheless quite far-fetched.

      For comparative purposes, there have been many other suggestions regarding partition that have historically been suggested. For example, here’s an alternative view of how to partition Quebec based more or less on the results of the 1995 referendum (which comes from this article).

      Alternatively, this article by an economic consulting firm looks at the evolution of the borders of Quebec and discusses at length what territory Quebec should be allowed to keep should it secede from Confederation, looking specifically at Northern Quebec, Labrador, Anglophone enclaves, a transportation corridor and maritime boundaries. They conclude that Quebec should be allowed to keep its existing territory (with some provisos) since otherwise it could trigger more direct confrontation and violence that would poison relations between Quebec and Canada for a long time.

      There is also a Wikipedia article about the Partition of Quebec (perhaps unsurprisingly, there is very minimal discussion of the subject on the French Wikipedia). Basically, there are three basic proposals discussed: (1) Returning to the pre-Confederation borders; (2) Creating a land bridge between NB and ON; and (3) New borders that are based on local preferences. The history of the partition movement since 1976 and arguments against partition are also discussed.

      The article mentions that around the time of the 1980 referendum, the book Partition: The Price of Quebec’s Independence was published. It outlined this scenario: (1) the northern 2/3rds of the province would remain in Canada on the basis that the territory had been assigned (not ceded) to Quebec; (2) Quebec territory south of the St. Lawrence would be kept on the basis of history; and (3) the Pontiac, Lower North Shore and Western Montreal would also be kept on the basis of local population. However, the authors concluded that none of this would ever actually happen since French-Canadians would rather have a large province than a small country.

      In the arguments against partition, there is mention of the Bélanger-Campeau Commission, which claimed that international law guarantees the territorial integrity of Quebec. I seem to recall someone on this blog (perhaps Hugo Shebbeare or Tony Kondaks) explaining why this is not so, but I can’t find it at the moment. If I do, I’ll post it.

      There is also the issue that the 1982 Constitution states that with regard to the changing of interprovincial boundaries, the approval of the House of Commons, the Senate and the legislative assembly of the province(s) is required. However, since Quebec is not a signatory to the Constitution, the application of this provision could be contested.

    5. Excellent and interesting post, Cat.

  8. “P” is for PROVINCE, not for partition!!

    The PROVINCE DE MONTRÉAL Movement represents the will and sentiment of more than a million Montrealers already.

    “P” is for Province and it is about helping our brothers in the RoC to understand that we are not all ethnocentric xenophobe separatists.

    “P” is for Province and it is about helping our brothers in the RoQ understand that Our Country, Canada works!!

    We are not Québécois. Nous Somme Montréalais!

    We denounce the word partition because it is a word designed to segregate. Province is about the will of French Canadians Wanting to remain Canadian along side, and with our English and ethnic Brothers.

    Note that the legal mechanism for the 11th or 12th Canadian Province is in place and it is not treason to ask from Our Country, Canada and from The Governor General permission and affirmation of such.


    1. > We are not Québécois. Nous Somme Montréalais!
      > Province is about the will of French Canadians Wanting to remain Canadian along side, and with our English and ethnic Brothers.

      I fail to see how this idea is any less a pitch for snake oil than the separatists telling me that with independence I'll have "more control" over Quebec resources that don't (and won't ever) actually belong to me.

      Repeal 101, force English schools to churn out kids that can speak French without an accent, and force French schools to pop out kids that speak flawless English. Surely the most taxed jurisdiction on the continent could embark on this "project for a generation".

    2. Apparatchik,

      It scares separatists and helps them see that separation breeds more separation!

    3. Reductio ad absurdum. Quite literally.

      How far does it make sense to keep splitting things up into national entities on the basis of "sameness" or "otherness"?

      Contrary to what some on both sides of the divide might think, the issue here hasn't got to do with making Montreal into an "English-only" city, even post-hypothetical-partition. Rather the challenge is in this case no different than it ever was, namely, balancing the viability and relative influence of both language groups while making both groups realize that they (1) can't afford to be selfish and (2) don't have the luxury to be insensitive bigots about the other's needs.

    4. The 11th province is not about English. It is about getting the separatists’ hate out of our face!
      The majority of us who will form the Eleventh or Twelfth Canadian Province are French.

      In the same manner as Separatists have been using an UNJUST set of rules to justify their vengeful ways, so are we now using JUST laws to prove to OurCountrymen in the RoC that we do not share in their hate for our English Brothers.

      We are not Separatist Québécois.
      Nous sommes Montréalais!!

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    6. I don't know, GensDenis, two wrongs don't make a right.

      Bilingual federalists are embarrassingly inept at the communication war that needs to take place. This is a two-front war that requires disabusing fierce unilingual "Quebecois" and "Canadians" of the notion that the solution consists of turning the knob entirely one way or the other.

      We all achieve more when we moderate our views. Promoting minority rights/presence doesn't need to come at the expense of or threat to any majority. A candle doesn't burn any less bright because it is used to light another candle; too many politically-oriented operatives (understandably) lose sight of this.

  9. I can't imagine any person (i.e. anyone classifiable as "Les Autre") choosing to live in Quebec after separation, particularly within a partitioned zone of Quebec. Can you imagine what kind of horror your life would be like each day? It would be like a Jew choosing to live in Germany in 1939.

    Quebec even now, as an official part of Canada, is not an enticing or welcoming place to live. It's rapidly even becoming a not-so-safe place to live in the present, what with the constant riots and collapsing infrastructure. If Quebec separates one day, and I hope it does, there will be nothing left to salvage of this place. Violence and riots over tuition or hockey games can easily morph into violence against Les Autres.

    1. > It would be like a Jew choosing to live in Germany in 1939.
      While I find the comparison to pre-Holocaust a tad extreme, I do believe that by their own admission, separatists claims' whereby they wouldn't want to be non-de-souche in an independent Quebec speaks volumes about the many failures of the Quebec nationalist enterprise.

      Much more so than the maladjusted Westmount Rhodesians who think it's acceptable to live in Quebec and not be able to have a profound conversation in French, methinks.

    2. "maladjusted Westmount Rhodesians"? Seriously? Your attitude on this is no different than the myopic seppies. I think they're missing out by not being "able to have a profound conversation in French", but if that's their choice, why should it bother you, or more importantly, be any of your business? Go ahead, live your life any way you want and let the others live theirs the way they want, whether it's being unilingually english, french, or any other language. If they can't get by, they'll change. If they can and they're happy, good for them. The biggest problem with humans in any part of the world is that we're not content to live our lives, we feel we have a right to tell others how to live theirs in areas where it's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.

    3. I don't fundamentally disagree with living and letting live.

      I happen to believe the real reason for this conflict enduring as long as it has is due to the relative ignorance the two communities genuinely have of one another.

      How else can I explain that the vast majority of culturally/linguistically "mixed" young people I know (whether it be due to upbringing (as in my case), or proximity, or genuine desire/curiosity) consider the language war to be a non-issue whereas the more insulated (on both sides!) cling to their embattled narrative?

      As a liberal, I suppose it's my duty to defend one's freedom to choose.
      As a liberal and a Liberal, I also remind you that it's not my job to encourage and much less promote deliberate ignorance.

    4. "I happen to believe the real reason for this conflict enduring as long as it has is due to the relative ignorance the two communities genuinely have of one another."

      Si la connection ne s'est jamais produite après 400 ans d'histoire commune,elle ne se réalisera jamais.

    5. C'est sûr qu'avec l'attitude de mauvais gagnants et de mauvais perdants qui règne si bien chez nous, aucune réelle connexion ne pourra se faire.

      Quand l'on considère que pendant le gros de ces 400 ans on a assisté à une mauvaise foi manifeste de la part de certains éléments des deux camps (très souvent une lutte de pouvoir), le fait de se connaitre et de vouloir le faire sans rancune et avec l'esprit ouvert prend tout son importance.

      Prends donc une grande respiration kiki et puise ton inspiration dans ma façon de voir les choses. Ça ne fera pas de toi plus Canadian que Canadien. Et tu ne perdras pas non plus ta fleur de lys en t'essayant.

    6. 400 years of dog-fucking versus 250 years of development...Jeez, I wonder which on of these two has made a better accomplishment so far!

  10. 'How far does it make sense to keep splitting things up into national entities on the basis of "sameness" or "otherness"?'

    I think you misread the desire for an independent Montreal province. It's not a separation based on ethnicity, but one driven by a desire to reclaim our citizenship and the privileges that come with it. I agree with you that the Editor's plan of the island alone is unworkable as hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Canadian Francophones and Ethnics would flood the bridges the day after. It would have to be the corridor to accommodate the influx of ethnic and anglophone communities from Laval, the South Shore and as far away as Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships.

    'While I find the comparison to pre-Holocaust a tad extreme'

    Most of us in Quebec, ethnics and anglos, maintain this position. At this point, I'm not so sure. I keep going back to the case of mad bomber Real and the fact that he served no prison term for attempting to bomb an English establishment (that caters to Francophone students!). This did not happen in the 60s or the 70s. It was recent enough and exposes an establishment, from the police force and the legal system, to the political structure, that functions on the ideas and practices that brought the nationalists to power through coercion and violence.
    If Montreal does separate, Anglos and ethnics anywhere else in Quebec would be worse than the second class citizens they are today. As economic conditions deteriorate in an independent Quebec, so will their fortunes. If synagogues find swastikas on their walls now, by then it will be open season on the 'others'.

    1. Thank you for that. As I posted to Apparatchik, I repeat:

      The 11th province is not about English. It is about getting the separatists’ hate out of our face!
      The majority of us who will form the Eleventh or Twelfth Canadian Province are French.

      In the same manner as Separatists have been using an UNJUST set of rules to justify their vengeful ways, so are we now using JUST laws to prove to OurCountrymen in the RoC that we do not share in the separatists’ hate for our English Brothers.

      We are not Separatist Québécois.
      Nous sommes Montréalais!!



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  12. There are several serious issues with partition which you seem to ignore.

    First, on the issue of northern Quebec, considering the sizable investment Quebec put into infrastructures (hydro dams, mines, electric lines, etc), there's no way Quebec would ever accept to just let it go. As for the natives in those regions they're already bound by treaties with Quebec's government concerning those matters (and since those contracts were made between the nations and Quebec directly, there's no reason to think those contracts would be annulled by separation). Meaning that they'd probably be better off with Quebec due to the nature of those contracts (free electricity, no taxes, etc).

    Now, concerning Montreal, it is true that most people who live in Montreal speak English. That doesn't change the fact that most people who work in Montreal don't. There's a reason why the bridges are clogged with traffic all the time: there's over a million people commuting from and to Montreal. Montreal's economy represents a sizable portion of Quebec's economy. Never mind all the money invested in its infrastructures (though, honestly, those still need a lot of work). This alone makes partition not only unlikely but unworkable. And this relationship goes both ways, most of the economic activities in Montreal require contact with the rest of the province, not just with workers but with customers and suppliers.

    As for the famed mass exodus of every English speaker after separation, I doubt it'll be as bad as 1995: a lot of things have changed in 25 years. Land value in the rest of Canada has skyrocketed to insane degrees in most major city (just look at Vancouver). I don't doubt that a few well off people might still opt to try to sell their houses and move (say some rich family in Westmount) but most people won't be able to afford it. Unless they're willing to trade a house for a very small condo.

    And, despite the annoyances related to being English in Quebec (which this blogs never fails to point out), English Quebeckers still boast the highest standards of living in Canada. They have better schools, better access to higher education, better healthcare and higher pay (not only compared to other Quebeckers but to all Canadians, after adjusting the salary to the cost of living). Simply put, you won't find better elsewhere. And even if you do, just about everyone you know will not, meaning that the only people who will leave are people without a deep attachment to Quebec, people who are likely to leave anyway. Many can't find a good job here (because they're not bilingual or because they can just get better elsewher: there's a reason why half the medical graduates from McGill choose to leave).

    Now, if there's a region that might decide to partition from Quebec, it could be the Kahawake reserve. Historically relations between Quebec and the Mohawks have never been particularly good and , as far as I know, there are no crucial economic interests in that sector. But that assumes Canada will be willing to keep them, from the way Harper has been treating natives lately, I'm not sure it would. Finally, speaking of Harper, Canada isn't what it used to be. While Quebec remains a strongly left leaning society, Canada is moving away from that ideal. More prisons, more sentences, less social security, Harper is basically trying to make it the U.S. with public healthcare. We might end up losing fearful Anglos for an influx of left leaning Canadians.

    1. It's not about english or partition. The 11th Province will happen while Quebecis part of our country! Quebec won't separate afterwards either.
      This is about Canadian Unity, not money or race. You watch how when the separatists stop sabotaging Canada for a while, Quebec gets back on it's feet.

    2. About the Mohawks. Parizeau himself condidered the possibility of partionning thier territory :

      (I like his little laugh at 1:31...)

    3. J'adore l'humour de ce grand homme politique.

    4. Really? It seems to me that his hallmark will be that of a buffoon.

  13. you would have to patrition all of southern Quebec for this to work. The greater Montreal area ( including Laval and south shore) and this new province would start at the Ontario border and just before Three rivers.

    Speppies would have to move north of Blainville in order to live in their little garbage can.
    Anyhow, this is a pipe dream. It will not happen in our life time. The only thing we can do is stop being a bunch of push overs, get to the streets and demand the gov't to start treating us like equals. This seperatist students do it for 300$ ( Speeratists's because in my opinion their cause has nothing to do with tuition)

    1. I agree, Anonymous. Many students are waving fleur de lis flags and the like, which in my opinion makes absolutely no sense, considering they are trying to prove they are against the provincial government. Also, it appears that it is overwhelmingly francophone students protesting, from what I have seen. There is a good chance that there is some sort of separatost undertone to the whole thing.

    2. Je vous signale que le drapeau de Charest et son équipe est le "maple leaf"

    3. TRuchémar,

      The fleurdelisé is not the flag of the Québec governement, it is the flag of the state of Québec. Governments change, the state stays. This flag is also the flag of the people, and in the view of many, the people is above the government.

    4. I neither entirely agree nor disagree with Truchémar and Michel.

      However, I'd be interested to see a competent and serious study seeking to determine what correlation, if any, exists between pro-independence views and the makeup of our nightly/daily/weekend protest crowds.

      It's just a hunch, but the plain sight collusion of trade unions and student unions and other opposition groups of various stripes leads me to seriously wonder whether this isn't just an opposition/separatist-friendly free-for-all.

    5. Heard that unions in the RoC sent financial support to the protesting “students” and I was compelled to send the following to some newsrooms:

      Are you really falling for this crap? This is not a labor protest! It is fueled and created by the Partied Québécois Separatists to fester support for the hijacking of one of our provinces away from our country!! If it were not the case, how do you suppose that after more than 100 days of protests you have not seen anyone dare to hold a flag of our country CANADA?

      Canadian Union of Public Employees, The staff union at McMaster University, and other overzealous “labor activist’ we dare you to go to any of those rallies with a Canadian Flag and see how unwelcoming those racists separatists are. And SHAME on you for distorting the spirit of what unions were meant to be by sleeping with the Separatist Taliban that is hell-bent on destroying Our Home And Native Land!

    6. Michel Patrice said: "The fleurdelisé is not the flag of the Québec governement, it is the flag of the state of Québec." Did I miss something? When did Quebec become part of the U.S.? I always thought transfer payments were an inter-provincial flow of funds, not a foreign aid payment. If that's the case, we should cut them off because there are a lot of countries who need our aid more than the U.S.

    7. "you have not seen anyone dare to hold a flag of our country CANADA?"

      Vous ne trouvez pas qu'il y a déjà assez de blessés comme ça?

    8. Êtes-vous si intolérant que le drapeau du pays dont vous faites encore partie vous pousse à la violence?

  14. "In what way is this province's economic engine a "liability"?"

    I will qualify that with the following. Montreal, has a great deal of issues right now concerning infrastructure that is rapidly deteriorating and must be repaired. In the event of partition as the editor suggests, Montreal would become more of a liability to the ROC for a number of reasons. Many people and larger businesses (more affluent people who could make this happen) would elect to leave Montreal thus diminishing the tax base. Fewer taxes would mean more money from the ROC to keep Montreal viable. Real estate values woul fall forcing bankruptcy proceedings, unemployment would rise and Montreal would become an economic uncertainty.

    This will no doubt happen in both the case of separation or the case of separation with partition.

    In essence, Montreal would become an expensive liability in the event or partition of the Island. For the ROC, the least costly approach would be for Montreal and its problem remain as part of Quebec.

    Montreal is truly the economic engine of Quebec but that engine is no longer firing on all cylinders and is in drastic need of an expensive tune-up.

    I doubt that separation will ever happen by the way..If it does, however, Canada would be fare better to divorce itself completely of Quebec, Montreal included. Governments can generally not utilize "tax losses" to any advantage as it is self deprecating.

    1. The exact opposite of what you say will happen because the separatist will not be able to sabotage our country ad nauseum!!

  15. Mouvement étudiant: les casseroles dans les rues de Londres

    1. New-York aussi le 30 Mai

    2. 150 supporting Quebec in London...... how is this even worth mentioning?

    3. LOL... there are bigger crowds than this every single weekend at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.

    4. Un anglais qui appuie le Québec est déjà un exploit en soit,alors 150...

    5. Quel nonsens... les anglophones (et d'ailleurs, c'est qui ça selon toi, un "anglais"?) font partie intégrale du Québec depuis des siècles. Ton opinion myopique fait honte au Québec.

  16. Le Québec cryogénisé? Oui!

    Directeur général pour le Québec de la Fondation David Suzuki

  17. Leonard Cohen - Solidarity Forever (The Union Makes Us Strong)

  18. I don't think this is workable. And it's a lot of daydreaming for happy all around solutions. Here are a few things that need to be brought up if Quebec separates.

    1- What makes you think that Canada will still be a bilingual country. Why should Canada accept a bilingual Montreal & New Brunswick provinces? Why should the federal government offer francophone jobs? Canada will become a English country if Quebec leaves.

    2 - Why should people in one country (Quebec) be allowed to freely enter another country (Canada) to work in it's province (Montreal)? What, in order to be allowed to destabilize it and then to later have it demand it joins up with a separated Quebec? Or to demand french language rights in another country.

    3 - Even if Quebec separates tomorrow, the problems of referendums in Quebec will not end in Quebec. Because then, we'll have referendums to rejoin Canada when ever things start going bad. With the same party lines trying to cater to the same mercurial Quebecois mentality. This place is messed up. The problem with Quebec is not Canada. The problem is with the Quebecois who are split over the future of Quebec.

    Personally, I think a clean cut between the two would be best. And Canada will need to take back some lands that where given to the province of Quebec over the years. The best would be the very low populated lands in the north. The Native Americans get to stay. Those with no loyalty to Canada are thrown out.

    It's not nice. But, if you're going to get rid of the problem, then you better get rid of the problem all the way. No soft heart, nor nostolgic sympathies. Out, and don't every come back. Francophone schools and language rights in New Brunswick and Ontario will have to go as well. You want to live in french, you'll have to move to Quebec..

    Sorry to be so black and white about the issue. But. I've lived all my life in Montreal, and there is no hope. I have lived the Quebec governments intolerance towards it's minorities, and experinced it's master plan to eliminate it's Anglophones. That plan is coming around to it's end result very soon. When the schools are shutdown due to not allowing enrollment to English schools. Then the future of the community is finished.And this remaining community will die out. If they're lucky maybe the last remaining Anglophone can take down the last remaining English sign on the retirement homes message board.

    1. "Francophone schools and language rights in New Brunswick and Ontario will have to go as well. You want to live in french, you'll have to move to Quebec.."

      You want to take away our schools in a province that is 30% francophone? Out if sheer spite?

      I assume you're ok with an independant Quebec that removes all english schools and hospitals as well, right?

    2. Quebec Inc. has been waging a war of attrition on Anglo institutions for decades. The institutions that still stand (whether they struggle, survive, of flourish) do so not thanks to Quebec Inc, but in spite of it. And I'm not an Anglo, English is not my native tongue, nor do I feel any loyalty to the Anglos. In fact I hardly know any on close friendship basis. I'm speaking from a purely justice-oriented point of view.

      I am in favor of some measure of reciprocity. Apply the same tactics to FR institutions in the RoC. We could start with raiding a FR senior residence in ON and slap it with a ban on posting in French on bulletin boards. Show QC Inc. that what goes around comes around.

      More seriously, I think that when a top (conservative, not liberal, ndp, or god forbid bloquiste) minister announces more promotion of FR in the RoC on the same day that the QC (liberal, not PQiste) govt raids a senior residence in west island, then we have a problem. Especially when this kind of asymmetry and amorality of these raids are not an exception, but a standard in this country. In my opinion, Canada is not a legitimate state with QC in it, and it will never be for as long as it functions the way it does. Because of this, I as a citizen don't take this country seriously, and towards the province that's the root of all this I'm openly hostile.

    3. So how do we turn things around for you to take it seriously?

    4. I can't understand the intellectual laziness you're demonstrating with the comments above. The solution is to separate the separatists from the French CANADIANS of Quebec. In do in that, we will find how those seps are but an extremist minority who will have to learn to live and coexist with the rest of us.

    5. You would draw a line seperating the majority of Quebeckers from Montreal because of the actions of what you consider to be an extremist minority. There's a contradiction in there.

      How will the seps have to live and coexist with the rest if you evict yourself from the province? I don't get it.

  19. "They have better schools, better access to higher education, better healthcare and higher pay (not only compared to other Quebeckers but to all Canadians, after adjusting the salary to the cost of living). Simply put, you won't find better elsewhere"

    If you live here, I want your dealers number! Most of us are being filtered into the Francophone school system which boasts one of the highest drop out rates. That hardly qualifies as a great education. If the cost of living is lower here, it's because of the conditions in the province. When the next PQ government rolls in, you will notice a big drop in real estate value in Quebec. It's not the social politics of the Quebecois, but the volatility of a province that allows for a militia to be training in the Laurentians for a showdown with their neighbours. And when you say standards of living, does the charter of rights and freedoms factor into it for you? You can have no real standard of living if the privileges and respect that are naturally bestowed on all citizens are denied to you by a larger group that imposes this condition under threat and coercion.

    'considering the sizable investment Quebec put into infrastructures (hydro dams, mines, electric lines, etc), there's no way Quebec would ever accept to just let it go.'

    The same can be said of Canadian investment in the rest of the province. Quebec didn't make this money for investment appear out of nowhere. The taxpayers payed for it all. Considering that Montreal is the economic heart of the province, perhaps we should ask them to pay us back when we leave?

    'That doesn't change the fact that most people who work in Montreal don't. There's a reason why the bridges are clogged with traffic all the time: there's over a million people commuting from and to Montreal.'

    True, and many of those who do travel the morning commute are members of the ethnic communities in Laval and the South Shore. It would be an economically damaging effect to those having to sell their now worthless home o move to Montreal, but no less than the repeated downturns they've had to face and will continue to face with the status quo. When 101 came into existence thousands lost their jobs as companies bailed from the province. The '95 referendum saw their hard earned homes plummet in value with duplexes selling for 170k in some cases. When the next one comes it'll be the same and worse. Interest rates are slowly on the rise and house debt is bigger than its ever been. The next referendum will bring a housing crisis to Quebec very similar to the one in the US.

    "despite the annoyances related to being English in Quebec"

    Having a vote that doesn't count is not an annoyance, it's a fucking travesty. It's what bloody revolutions and wars are made of. It's an essential fucking freedom and right. The fact that you don't see this or understand it for what it is, is super unbelievably disturbing. How can you pretend to make any judgement whatsoever when you are willing to overlook the most basic and most necessary of conditions for a political system to be called a democracy? And if it doesn't meet the conditions of democracy (as Quebec clearly doesn't for every single anglophone and ethnic), how can you defend this esablishment as a good place to live?

  20. "from the way Harper has been treating natives lately"

    The First Nations are treated like shit here as well. If they weren't independent of 101 and the rest of your bullshit, you'd have an armed rebellion on your hands that would make the Oka crisis look like a walk in the park. Bringing in the SQ to plow down their land for a golf course the ubermensch can play in is not exactly a sign of respect for the First Nations. If Montreal does separate, I suspect the First Nations will follow. If they don't, once Quebec starts to feel the pinch without a Montreal to support them, they'll go after Native money. That will be ugly.

    'As for the famed mass exodus of every English speaker after separation, I doubt it'll be as bad as 1995: a lot of things have changed in 25 years.'

    The exodus began long before '95. It started with the bombings in English neighbourhoods and has continued since then.That's close to half a century of people leaving their homes and loved ones behind for greener pastures where they are equals to their neighbours, where they have a vote that counts, and can live free of fear. Nothing at all has changed since then. In fact, its gotten worse. The notwithstanding clause eliminated the last bit of hope for English and Ethnic Canadians to reclaim their privileges as equal citizens in an equal society. There is no option but separation from the province of Quebec unless Francophones decide to end their complicity in the criminal acts of this province and repeal Bill 101.

    An independent Montreal province will flourish almost immediately. It's the rest of Quebec you should worry about.

  21. I've only read about half the blog as I'm seeing this for the first time at work on a short break.
    EDITOR: AHA! You read Tony Kondak's exposé on line! I'll have lots more to write on this when I have more time after work. Unless a separated Quebec deploys an evil government against those that are not of their ilk, the worst thing I see happening is the partition of Montreal and possibly that peninsula containing the Veaudreuil and Soulange electoral districts westward to the Ontario border. If the new government is more benevolent (maybe?), I don't think as many as you think would leave, but that unknown is what is scary.

    1. Mr. Sauga's conclusion to these commentsSaturday, June 2, 2012 at 3:18:00 PM EDT

      I looked at the comments last night and again this morning. Like one comment above, this issue is as holey as Swiss cheese, and there are so many unknowns.

      That being said, there is no doubt Quebec will undergo a long period of instability, at least ten years like the case with the former USSR. That's economic, political and social instability and it will be ugly. Parasite's talk of keeping the Canadian dollar was a nonstarter because it'll barely last a month; besides, why would a country seeking its independence want a currency where monetary policy is fixed by a foreign power?

      By its own numbers, the Ministry of Finance in Quebec concluded they are the sixth most indebted jurisdiction in the world. Greece has 18 horseshoes up its ass because I figured by now they'd be thrown off the Euro. Anything going into Greece now is good money chasing bad. The Germans have rebuilt themselves solid since WWII while Greece goes in circles like a rudderless boat. I wondered when their $12 billion Olympic deficit was going to come back to bite them in the ass. It took Quebec 30 years to pay down the billion dollar Olympics, so all things being equal, Greece would need 360 years!

      With Quebec in horrible debt, what would they do without the over $8 billion in equalization payments, and billions more in other programs from the rest of us? Their taxes would for sure increase to meet the federal taxes missing, and then what to do to fill the void of those generous federal goodies that would no longer exist? The simplified answer is one of three things: (1) Increase taxes; (2) Cut government services and programs; (3) A combination of the first two.

      That's the SIMPLIFIED solution. This doesn't take into account non-quantitative issues like the inevitable social unrest including, but not limited to, the economic deprivation from lost jobs, government services and benefits like welfare, cuts in education and health services, finding scapegoats for all the economic deprivation and other woes, divestment from the private sector (and the lost taxes), the value of land and buildings, increased decay of the already fragile infrastructure, mass emigration due to the fear of the unknown, let alone the other social unrest to follow, so in general, loss of personal well-being.

      Partition is not a certainty, but a very distinct possibility and how it would manifest is anyone's guess. Most people don't think it through mostly because they either don't want to or don't believe Quebec will separate, or even just don't want to think about it. There would be mass panic if Quebec were separate because of everybody having a different knee-jerk reaction. The varying number of comments of what different people want to believe shows the colossal chaos that will ensue if there is separation.

    2. You guys are forgeting that The Montreal Province is going to happen with Quebec still in Canada!

  22. Interesting idea, I've been ranting about this for years to my family and friends. Glad to see I'm not a lone crazy. Couple of points I'd like to make tho:

    1)Being landlocked in Quebec is not acceptable. Need land bridge to Ontario and USA.

    2)Canada unlikely to remain bilingual post secession.

    3)Canada will eventually fuse with USA; so will Quebec, after their secession. It's a question of time; North America is moving towards greater integration.

    4)Might as well join the USA now. Should adopt US Federal Reserve Notes as official currency. Should seek US Territory status, and then Statehood. US Constitution will protect Francophone's and Anglophone's rights.

    Secession might never happen, but we need to be ready for it. First step is to achieve political union in the Greater Montreal region. Won't happen unless Montreal becomes officially bilingual; which wont happen unless we hold the balance of power in the National Assembly. We need a new party, for patriotic montrealers - franco, anglo or allos. That is step 1: bilingualism for Mtl and political union (the Island initially, then Laval and the land bridge).

    Realistically, some version of Bill 101 will be needed to get enough Francos on board to make this happen. Compromises will have to be made. Ideally, there should be no English/French schools; they should all be bilingual.

  23. DrunkGuyReneLevesqueKilledFriday, June 1, 2012 at 1:05:00 PM EDT

    Francophones are already fleeing the Island en masse (see Blainville, Mirabel, Candiac, St Hubert...). White flight is alive and well in Quebec. A few years ago, I had a Quebecois co-worker that sold his house in Laval and packed up and moved to St Eustache because an Arab family bought the house next door. Montreal is a different animal than the rest of Quebec. It has more in common with Toronto than with Quebec City by far. Time to part ways. Canada is a country moving forward. Quebec is still looking in the rear view mirror.

    1. Apparatchik,

      Dans les É-U les blancs, avantagés sur le plan économique, ont depuis des décénnies abandonné les centre-villes et déménagé en banlieu. Les noirs et autres minorités visibles sont donc restées avec les centre-villes dilapidés, miteux, et insécures.

      C'est causé par le racisme des "blancs" envers tout ce qui n'est pas comme eux. Comme tu peux voir, depuis que ce ne sont plus les francos qui sont désavantagés à Montréal, ils participent avec joie au phénomène.

    2. lmfao!!! ay Yannick! tas tu penser que c'est peut etre a cause que les separatistes de montreal perde leurs jobs?? si tu doit aller plus loin dans l'nord ces a cause que t'as plus asser d'argent pour y vivre au centre ville! Les Francos et Autres s'entendes tres bien en ville! on est ben heureux que vous aller en campagne! continuer as courrir!

  24. "I assume you're ok with an independant Quebec that removes all english schools and hospitals as well, right?"

    That is exactly what they will do anyways, once they (indpendent Quebec separatist government) are no longer restrained by the OLA, Supreme Court and Ottawa in general. In reality, this was what bill 101 was all about. Makes no difference what we do with bilingual services in the ROC which I am sure will soon disappear, shortly after any separation. The ROC will be so pissed off by this time that they will have a distaste for anything French.

    1. Anonymous writes:

      That is exactly what they will do anyways, once they (indpendent Quebec separatist government) are no longer restrained by the OLA, Supreme Court and Ottawa in general.

      The OLA is a federal law for federal intstitutions. Is has no effect on schools or, I believe, hospitals (except where things like veterans are concerned).

      The Supreme Court? Ha! Whenever they could, they have bent over backwards in trying to accommodate the language supremacists and racists.

      "Ottawa in general"? Pray tell, can you provide me with any instance in which the federal government has done anything for Quebec anglos in the areas of schools or hospitals?

    2. paraphrase Ronald Reagan:

      The federal government isn't the IS the problem!

    3. Good point Kondaks. but of course the feds did democratically reject the Meech Lake Acoord and Charlottowne Acoord, didnt they (thanks to dissenting opinions). Of course the feds have always given in to the Siren Song of Separation from Quebec. I doubt this is the case anymore. Your book Canada must end should really be named Canada should end their relationship with Quebec. The supreme court have many times challenged 101 and other disciminatory language laws in Quebec, much to the Chagrin on the language zealots and separatists.

    4. Anonymous:

      You are right about the failure of Meech and Charlottetown "helping" the anglos; but it wasn't the Feds who "democratically" rejected Meech and Charlottetown. All of the parties in the House of Commons at the time, if memory serves, fully supported both Meech and Charlottetown. It was the provincial legislatures of Manitoba and Newfoundandland that did Meech in and the Canadian people through their rejection of the Charlottetown Accord in a country-wide referendum.

      Of course, Quebec has no one to blame but themselves for Meech's failure as it is widely agreed by virtually everyone that it was the passage of Bill 178 in December 1988 that did it in. And, of course, there was a wee bit of help from Trudeau in the defeat of both Meech and Charlottetown.

      It was in the aftermath of Bill 178 and the rejection of Meech that Lucien Bouchard started the Bloc Quebecois and rallied the province to bring about the '95 referendum. Yet, interestingly, Bouchard admitted later that Bill 178 was unacceptable because it suspended fundamental human rights. Too bad he didn't feel that way at the time Bill 178 was would have saved Quebec and Canada a heep of trouble.

      And, yes, naming my book "Canada should end their relationship with Quebec" would have been equally appropriate.

    5. Again, we should not be part of Quebec OR Canada, but should become a US Territory.

    6. You dare say on the bicentennial of OurMapleLeaf that we should become part of the USA? Perhaps a lesson on what Country really means would do you some good!!

    7. As an American, I really think it would be a bad idea to take in Montreal Island or any of the other Canadian provinces. It's in the U.S.'s best interest to have a safe, prosperous, and politically stable neighbor to our north. We already have a "land bridge to Alaska" and it's simply maintaining good relations with Canada.

      However, for those who are interested, there is a web site advocated the peaceful annexation of Canada by the United States. Ironically, the web site was set up by a Quebecker.

    8. Why do you think it's a bad idea to fully integrate North America?

    9. Perhaps we want to keep our individuality from the Americans? With a population 10 times as big as ours, they would naturaly entirely dominate whatever union we would enter. It would be David and Goliath.

      I would be much more avenable to a European Union type of accomodation where the signatary states all retain their sovereignty. Even then... the US would have to clean up their act. I woudn't want to take part in a second Iraq-style fiasco.

    10. Are you kidding? I hope we discover huge untapped oil reserves in Quebec. I will personally write to the US marines asking for an intervention in Quebec. CNN can fill in the the cause which will probably be as factual as anything else coming out of Quebec anyway. Just look at it as karma.

    11. I don't see why each Province couldn't join the Union as a State. I mean, Texas and Maine both have their own "individuality"... I'm not sure I understand. Why should we have an extra-layer of government (and inefficiency) like in Europe?

    12. @Anonymous 3 June 2012 9:29 PM

      I'll answer this question more in detail, but it's similar to Mr. Sauga's reasons for opposing the partition of Quebec!!-it would open a very ugly can of worms.

    13. Anonymous wrote on Sunday, June 3, 2012 9:29:00 PM EDT:

      "Why do you think it's a bad idea to fully integrate North America?"

      First, let's keep in mind what was written in another thread on this board.

      JP wrote on Monday, June 4, 2012 12:04:00 PM EDT:

      "I always wonder why separatists have not already sought the partition of at least the West Island and offered it to Ontario with perhaps a little adjoining land and perhaps Gatineau so that when they have an independence referendum they would have many less anglos and allophones voting for Quebec to stay in Canada."

      In reply, Mr. Sauga wrote on Monday, June 4, 2012 12:57:00 PM EDT:

      "Please re-read what you just wrote: '...perhaps a little adjoining and perhaps Gatineau...may need to include...should be doable...perhaps with another deal...'

      All those perhapses, shoulds, maybes along with woulds, coulds, ifs and buts go to show that there are as many hypotheses as there are people, and like snowflakes and finger prints, no two are alike. Too many unknowns and variables will make this a very ugly can of worms."

      It would be an even uglier can of worms if the U.S. were to try to annex any of Canada's provinces without the consent of the Canadian government.

    14. "I don't see why each Province couldn't join the Union as a State. I mean, Texas and Maine both have their own "individuality"... I'm not sure I understand. Why should we have an extra-layer of government (and inefficiency) like in Europe?"

      Because to apply for US statehood, Canadian provinces would have to give up their own constitution and bill of rights. They also would be losing a large amount of their influence at the federal level.

      For instance, what would happen to our national health care? It's intergrated at the national level. Would provinces just seperate theirs and keep it going on their own? Would there be a "Canadian provinces only" health care system? Because I doubt Canadians would accept switching their system for the American one.

  25. PLQ - Courage et Conviction ???

  26. @anon 4:48

    I have to admit the video was funny. Though it was so utopian. Who is going to pay for everything the creators of this video think should be untouched.

  27. Aucune idée mais il faudrait revoir la façon de faire les choses.

  28. Well that was amusing to read, but it doesn't seem to tie in very well with your previous articles. Editor, after multiple posts about the severe case of Entitleitis this province suffers from, you really expect the separatists to compromise and make concessions? If anything, I'd expect additional demands from a sovereign Quebec.

    Unrelated, but:
    "Commerce et affaires en français à Montréal
    Il y a du travail à faire, estime l'OQLF"

    "L'affichage de marques de commerce sans générique ou sans slogan en français constitue la principale infraction, commise par 63% des entreprises fautives."

    "Sans générique ou sans slogan en français" So is the french descriptor mandatory, or not?

    1. "So is the french descriptor mandatory, or not?

      In the 35 years of Bill 101, the OQLF has NEVER prosecuted anyone for lack of a French descriptor, NOR has any company ever (to my knowledge) ever received a demand letter ordering the company to add a descriptor.

      See Monday's Post......

    2. @Editor:

      My criticism of your partition spiel notwithstanding, I think you need to watch Davide Gentile's (Radio-Canada) report on this topic....

      ... and contact him directly with your dispute surrounding the frequently-repeated claim whereby a French-language "descriptor" *must* appear. This isn't the first time he's covered the language issue and it isn't the first time he's gotten it wrong, either.

      It would put paid to a lot of the hard work that you and your collaborators have done here in the last while, and it would likely raise the needed awareness among mainstream franchophone media on this fabricated conflict.

      Do it. Do it now.

    3. +1!!

      So erasing any trace of English from public life in Quebec is considered “progress” by this reporter… Public respect for Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Notwithstanding clause”) has significantly diminished as a result of Quebec’s use of it on December 21, 1989, to override the freedom of expression and equality rights in Quebec. René Lévesque refused to agree to the “Kitchen Accord” deal but then the Quebec government promptly turned around and used it to abrogate minority rights. And today, the same bunch is complaining about Bill 78 doing the same to the freedom of expression? The hypocrisy is simply galling.

    4. @ Apparatchik
      I've politely written nine emails in the past week to various reporters and even the OQLF itself, pointing certain facts.

      The latest is the newspaper from St. Laurent which published a libelous photo pretending that the company featured did not respect Bill 101, when in fact every part of the sign was legal, including a French descriptor.
      (See the last French versus English post.)
      Quebec has long since entered a fantasy world reminiscent of the "Emperors New Clothes" where every one is afraid to confront the truth.

      There is a certain malaise hovering over Quebec media, wherein criticizing the OQLF or language militants on the facts is not politically correct.

      More on Monday.......

    5. I'm certainly looking forward to your next post... most interested if any of them will even deign to reply.

    6. I certainly hope that at least 2 of the 9 emails went to TVA and Radio-Canada. Keep us posted whether you get any response or not.

      This presumptive and facile reporting needs to go the way of the dodo.

    7. Please tell me that at least 2 of those 9 emails went to TVA and Radio-Canada.

      Also, please keep us posted on whether or not you receive any response.

    8. Wow... I kept getting server errors as I posted that last comment so I figured they didn't go through. Feel free to remove one of them.

  29. Nationalist trolling comments are curiously absent from this discussion. Major Provost must have called in an immediate training session to face the threat of a Montreal separation from the province...

    How is it that these thugs are not in jail yet?

  30. "Nationalist trolling comments are curiously absent from this discussion"

    Totalement inintéressants...Que du vent : 9 Donuts dans la rue contre la loi 101 et vous voulez prendre notre métropole?La MPQ semble plus active,non?

  31. Affichage en français: l'OQLF cible les commerces récalcitrants

    Surprenant qu'en 2012 il y est encore des commerçants qui ne connaissent pas les lois.Je crois que les contraventions seront plus salées.

  32. The map in the post is interesting. How do you read the scale?

    The red areas are 31% to 72%, 89 tracts, 37,2% of the population. Does it mean that 37,2% of the population is anglophone in red areas? (with a variation between 31% and 72% in the 89 tracts?)

    Anglophones are the majority in the west of the island. It is farfetched to assume that the large francophone population would be willing to separate the whole Montreal island from Québec.

    This map showing which group is the majority in each area :

  33. Discussing Québec's independence, I am often told that I should give up pipe dreams and concentrate on "les vraies affaires" and forget about those useless language issues.

    Looking at you discussing the creation of a island of Canada politicaly and economicaly integrated into Québec to protect your language while Montréal is supposedly crumbling, I am biting my tongue not to tell you the same things...

    1. What I think is needed here is not a truce or a moratorium, but a societal moving on. A tournant générationnel, on both sides if you will.

  34. Who knew? The ITHQ has become very popular thanks to its “Royal Menu” following William and Kate’s visit last summer.

  35. This whole notion of partition is predicated entirely upon the idea of the separation of Quebec. The only reason to even contemplate partition is as a direct result of Quebec separatism/sovereignty and that the root cause of Quebec separatism/sovereignty is the insecurity that some francophones feel for the continued existence of francophone culture in North America. These people generally point to Louisiana or Manitoba as examples of the awful assimilation that could be caused to francos in Quebec were it not for their “vigilance”.

    Never mind that such a response is extremely ironic/hypocritical given that nationalists not only accept but actively encourage assimilation to franco culture for everybody else… and that naturally, this is deemed to be “integration” when done by francos but “assimilation” when done by anglos.

    In any event, this raises the question (NB: not “begs the question”… one of my pet peeves) whether the situation in Quebec is actually comparable to that which existed in Louisiana and Manitoba in the days of yore. Methinks not. In which case, franco insecurity is misplaced. Discuss.

    1. Of course it's intellectually dishonest to compare us to Louisiana and Manitoba, and that's why they keep doing it. Case in point: at no time do these same people weep for the thousands of descendents of English, Scottish, and Irish settlers in this province who are "fully assimilated" and barely speak anything other than French. This isn't any more or less worthy of attention than the French-Canadians outside Quebec who today speak nothing other than English.

      Yes, there is a threat of assimilation, but being a minority doesn't "guarantee" that assimilation. Strong institutions are the best (and only, I think) way to guarantee survival.

      The most upsetting thing, in my view, is that rather than cultivate a truly dualistic and bilingual example of what Canada should be, the foaming-at-the-mouth separatists keep picking at Montreal like a scab. It's an unhealthy tick that does nothing but perpetuate strife and prevents us from healing and emerging stronger.

    2. I doubt French would survive more than a couple of generations in North America without some watered down version of 101.

      Montreal wouldn't be Montreal without its almost unilingual anglos and almost unilingual francos, and the allos in between. You can't expect the whole population to be bilingual... I don't think it's possible. You really think it is?

  36. Little did I know that some of our fellow Quebecois brethren (as of 2009) considered Concordia University’s perfectly legal advertisements to be an English wart upon our fair city. Charming, isn't it?!

    Not only that but NDOA was even referenced… and glory be! Louis Préfontaine (12 octobre 2009 à 13:47) stated his desire to leave Montreal were it not “Québécois” enough to his liking!!! Hallelujah!!!

    1. There goes the neighborhood! ;-)

  37. Comment on cultive l'insécurité linguistique.

    Take a wild guess whether or not the very first comment mentioned Judaism or not…

  38. "The ITHQ has become very popular"

    Moins que Tim Hortons tout de même.

  39. Nonsense in my opinion. Two wrongs do not make a right. Our (Anglophones) should use our energy organizing a political party then extort minority Francophone Quebec governments to loosen law 101.

    1. Agreed. That would help the economy of Quebec which would be a benefit to all citizens of this province.

    2. Second that. Could even be an Anglo/Allo/Franco party. My first move would be to relax the immigration provisions in 101, and allow US citizens to send their children to anglo schools. I think aiming for 15-20% of the provincial population is reasonable.

    3. Do you mean United States citizens or "us citizens" Sorry, I'm a bit confused. I think there has been a little bit of progress (although still not enough)in loosening laws in bill 101. For example, now you can display non-French languages at your shop, and you can send your kids to English schools if you went to an English school anywhere in Canada. However, the changes made have largely been due to the ruling of some of the laws as foederally illegal. Since there is no Alliance Quebec any more, we really need a new lobby group to speak on our behalf so we can make more changes. I think it is discriminatory to immigrants to not allow them to send their children to certain schools. These people pay the same taxes for the schools that we do, so why prevent their kids from attending? I think you are very right about the schools issue, changes need to be made. If they are made slowly, then so be it, but there must be some more changes.

    4. Would the adding of the Mother Tongue provision, not satisfy you Truchrémar? That would bring in up to par with the laws in the ROC.

    5. "For example, now you can display non-French languages at your shop"

      This amendment came in 1993, after the ruling of the UN that excluding other languages from public domain violates international law.

      QC buckled under UN pressure to allow non-French signage in half size, it didn't do it out of generosity.

      A funny anecdote told by lawyer Brent Tyler. He represented a group of Chinatown store owners who were told to take down Chinese signage and replace it with French. Tyler says the meeting with government stooges lasted 5 minutes. All he did was say: do you want the Montreal Chinatown to be the only Chinatown in the world where Chinese is not predominant? That argument was so slick that it sunk in even with the hacks representing the government. Pursuant to this meeting, Chinatown was given an exemption from the QC sign law. Sort of like Bombardier's "dispensation" granted recently.

    6. "For example, now you can display non-French languages at your shop"

      Something else strikes me about this sentence. It's as if the guy is saying: see, we're not that bad. We're allowing you your language in public signage.

      Except that this should be a normality, not a gesture of benevolence. The more relevant question is: why didn't you allow it before, why are you allowing it only in half size now, and why do you think that allowing it is such a graciousness on your part?

  40. I meant citizens of the United States. 101 is "discriminatory" to everyone, Francos and Allos and Anglos; there's no question about that. A moderate limitation of personal liberty seems to be the price to pay to avoid civil strife. Ideally, we would have great schools, where pupils could learn both language equally well. Might happen one day. Until then, you need to be able to inject "new blood" in the anglo community. I doubt it will come from the ROC, or a significant increase in the birth rate. Now, I have quite a bit of family in the US, and although we think the economy is tanking in Canada, we shouldn't underestimate how bad it is in some States. We have a situation where capital and goods can (relatively) freely cross the border, but workers can't. One significant impediment to US citizens moving to Montreal/Quebec is this language law. I think everyone would benefit from an increase in US immigration to the Province and the City. Now, I don't want to give the impression I believe ALL language laws are unconstitutional or evil. I'm pretty sure we're going to see similar laws pop up in the States bordering Mexico pretty soon. Even saw a news reports about a city in BC wanting to implement a similar law (commercial signs there are almost exclusively in Mandarin/Cantonese).

    1. Anomynous wrote Monday, June 4, 2012 7:51:00 AM EDT:

      "A moderate limitation of personal liberty seems to be the price to pay to avoid civil strife."

      Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1759:

      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    2. I see no contradiction. Being able to advertise without including the majority language is not an essential liberty.

    3. I'm not a troll.

      #Cunningham: I find it disingenuous to quote Franklin in this context. Now, unless you are a hardcore libertarian, you will recognize there are numerous instances when our individual liberties are limited by the State for "the greater good". Now, I'm libertarian-leaning, and I'm always very skeptical of this kind of argument. There are, however, cases where the costs of absolute freedom outweigh those of a limited limiting of freedom. The situation in this province is... err... special, and although many aspects of the language law are distasteful, I think its overall impact has been positive. We still need to change it, dramatically. But trying to completely turn the clock on 101 would be ill-advised...

  41. nice article but both French and English will be gone in 50 years. Asians are taking over. They're buying all business and homes and they're here to stay. I don't care cause I won't be around to see it. Out!

    1. Unless the Chinese are willing to replace their system of writing their language in Chinese characters or hanzi and replace it with a true alphabet, Mandarin will not replace English as the international lingua franca. If English is to be surplanted, it's more likely to be by Spanish or Arabic.

  42. I always wonder why separatists have not already sought the partition of at least the West Island and offered it to Ontario with perhaps a little adjoining land and perhaps Gatineau so that when they have an independence referendum they would have many less anglos and allophones voting for Quebec to stay in Canada. The PQ may not therefore have to play games such as having a very confusing question or vote rigging at the poll stations as happened at the last referendum. As the editor states, partition could be a win-win scenario for Canada and Quebec. However, the area to be partitioned may need to include the Ottawa river valley through to the Pontiac region, perhaps the west part of the South Shore, and certainly the north - though a deal to allow the dams to remain in ownership of Hydro Quebec should be doable, perhaps with another deal to allow Churchill Falls power to be transmitted over Quebec directly by Newfoundland and Labrador to the US or perhaps Ontario.

    1. Please re-read what you just wrote: "...perhaps a little adjoining and perhaps Gatineau...may need to include...should be doable...perhaps with another deal..."

      All those perhapses, shoulds, maybes along with woulds, coulds, ifs and buts go to show that there are as many hypotheses as there are people, and like snowflakes and finger prints, no two are alike. Too many unknowns and variables will make this a very ugly can of worms.

    2. That is why the 11th Province or 12th Province (Toronto is doing this too, but not because of racism) will happen while Quebec is still in Canada and then the Separatists will still lose their next referen-dumb! The Seps are a minority that have fooled us into thinking they are all the Francophones of our Quebec Province.
      Too bad we let them ridicule our French and English heritage and too bad we let them play Russian roulette with OurCountry for so long.

    3. Partition to create a new West Quebec/Montreal province is a challengng notion, particularly for francophones who wish to remain part of Quebec as defined since Confederation., At some point the rubber has to hit the road - where is the partition line drawn. The editor proposes simply the island of Montreal for the reasons clearly outlined - perhaps based on the Singapore/Malaysia model.

      However, there may be additonal issues to consider when proposing partition boundary, as follows:
      - is there a need for a landbridge between Ontario and a West Quebec/Montreal province?
      - Gatineau - which is really an integral part of the National Capital, economically may need to be part of a West Quebec type province - and perhaps other parts of the north shore of the Ottawa River;
      - The first nation reserves to the SW of Montreal may want to be part of a West Quebec type province,
      - what happens with the off-island suburbs which are economically tied to the City of Montreal? If the partition was simply one to create a new West Quebec/Montreal province, this ought to be no more an issue than it currently is for Gatineau to be across the river from Ottawa. However, if Quebec were to separate, this would be messy.

      First steps though is to create a political party to create a new West Quebec/Montreal province, to clearly define aims, and to have a flag or symbol for such a province, which may simply be the city coat of arms. (a red square is probably innappropriate)

  43. BTW about the maps the Editor posted---"Nova Scotia" is Latin, not English so why does it have to be translated into French?

  44. Editor, in the maps of Quebec that accompanied your blog, why was "Nova Scotia" translated into French? "Nova Scotia" is Latin, not English.

    1. Be that as it may, we francophones refer to it as "Nouvelle-Écosse". The other province names were translated as well.

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