Some Quebecers are feeling hard done by.
You couldn’t call it a terminal condition because that implies there could be an end one day.
Around the world, in dusty history books and in newspapers that have yet to yellow, there are stories of wars won and lost, and what became of the unlucky losers.
In most cases – think Troy, Armenia or Bosnia – the losing side wasn’t left unhappy because it’s tough to be miffed when you’ve been hunted down and exterminated.
A report funded by separatist money was released this week in Quebec that suggests residents of that province have many reasons to be unhappy with a life lived under the Canadian Constitution. The report concludes that Quebecers have been facing “a soft ethnocide”: some kind of slow death caused by the actions of the rest of Canada.
Canadians have been accused of being overly polite and now it turns out we even exterminate people with tact and courtesy.
When England’s army won on the Plains of Abraham in 1759, the people of Quebec were not rounded up and shot. They were allowed to keep their laws, their language and their predominant religion, all long before a Geneva Convention provided a suggested set of rules for running a war.
That’s not “hard done by” unless a comfy chair and a footstool are considered integral parts of life under the British monarchy. In that case then, yes, Canada messed up. Fetchez une chaise longue.
Has anyone else out there ever wondered what would have become of the British troops outside the walls of old Quebec if they had failed? We can only speculate but it’s hard to believe they might have been presented with an armistice that allowed them to continue living nearby, under their own rules.
The Estates-General on Quebec Sovereignty report was funded by groups that want an independent Quebec, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a term such as ethnocide would be bandied about. It’s a word as loaded as Wolfe’s cannons. In case your curiosity now has the better of you, Oxford Dictionaries defines ethnocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of the culture of an ethnic group.”
About 1,200 people across Quebec shared opinions with the report’s authors. It’s not clear if they spoke with anyone suffering from ethnocitis, or whatever this horrific disease causes.
The authors compiled a list of 92 ways the Canadian system thwarts the development of Quebec. No word on the all the good things that our Constitution provides: religious freedom, peace, order and occasional good government.
Since separatist clap-trap is the gift that keeps on giving, there’s a second part to the Estates-General process. Think of it as the punch line, and it begins in April. Probably April 1.
I don’t want to spoil the ending but it’s a good bet that slow ethnocide – however you want to define it – will be proven. Canada will be asked to make reparations. So get a head start and begin work now. We’re gonna need eight million footstools by summer.