, 05.20.2021 12:33 PM

My latest: Operation Humiliation is in full effect

Humiliation, compensation, extortion, capitulation.

That’s kind of how Canada’s relationship with Quebec goes, sometimes. It has four steps, usually.

One, a separatist or crypto-separatist Quebec government falsely insists that Quebec has been “humiliated” in some way. Language, culture, religious symbols, whatever.

Two, they demand compensation — be it financial or constitutional. Never mind that the French language is stronger than it has ever been. Never mind that Quebec’s economy has been outpacing many other provinces for years.

Three, if facing resistance, the nation-wreckers move to the extortion phase. They issue the constitutional or fiscal equivalent of a ransom note. Do what we want, or Confederation is going to get a shiv between the ribs.

And then — unless the government is led by Jean Chretien (proudly, my former boss) or Pierre Trudeau (improbably, Justin Trudeau’s father) — Canada capitulates. It gives in to the phony humiliations, and the extortion. It folds like a cheap suit.

Being a millionaire, Justin Trudeau doesn’t wear cheap suits. But he sure knows how to fold like one. When the choice is discretion or valour, Justin will always choose the former. He will always look for the coward’s way out.

Thus, the latest installment in the ritual humiliation/compensation/extortion/capitulation rinse cycle. Quebec’s crypto-separatist government wants to change the Constitution to recognize Quebec as “a nation,” and crush the piddling anglophone minority in Quebec. Justin Trudeau’s response?

Bien sur! Allez-y!

“Of course! Go ahead!” That’s what we heard this week from the Trudeau Party — because it sure as hell isn’t the party of Chretien or Trudeau Senior, anymore. Said the timid stripling who claims to be prime minister for all of Canada: “We agree with the Quebec government that more must be done to protect the French language.”

In French only, natch.

As my Sun colleague Brian Lilley reported, Trudeau was responding to questions about Bill 96, a 100-page legislative götterdämmerung cooked up by the regime of Quebec Premier Francois Legault. Legault demanded that Canada’s national government stay out of the way. And Trudeau this week agreed.

Full disclosure: Me and my family are Quebec refugees, kind of. The 1951 Convention on refugees defines refugees as “someone who is unable or unwilling” to return to their place of origin because they fear being discriminated against “for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”

We’re all English-speaking Irish Catholics, and all of us, on both sides, were born in Montreal. And all of us — save and except one aunt and two cousins, who courageously refuse to be driven out — have left since the commencement of hostilities in the mid-’70s. When the anglophone minority started being actively discriminated against. For being anglophone.

We’re part of the English-speaking diaspora, now. My branch of the family landed in Calgary and became Albertans. Because Alberta doesn’t care where you come from. (And neither did Chretien, which is why I quit the law to work for him.)

How, you might ask, did all this happen? What changed?

It wasn’t Quebec’s government. With the exception of the blessed Jean Charest era, Quebec’s government has always embraced the strategy of humiliation, compensation, extortion and capitulation. It works for them.

What’s changed is this: Canada is led by a weak and easily intimidated Justin Trudeau, one who presides over a minority government during a pandemic. What better time to extort? Who better to threaten?

Humiliation, compensation, extortion, capitulation: It’s back.

And Canada, as we know it, is going to be even less of a country as a result.

— Warren Kinsella was special assistant to Jean Chretien

29 Comments

  1. irreversable road map to freedom says:

    Surrendering on every issue is perhaps the most important ingredient in the Justin electoral formula. Joe and Jane front porch don’t intuitively like to stand up for stuff. Taking a stand means calculating the consequences / risk…. and most Canadians prefer to just be left alone. Sad but true. So they keep voting for this imbecile because they prefer a government that doesn’t even try.

  2. WestGuy says:

    Harper proved that a party can get a majority government without Quebec. Unfortunately that’s a lesson that has been forgotten by the current batch but at some point someone is going to run on an anti-Quebec platform, hard, and get a sizeable result doing it.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      West Guy,

      Any political oaf who does that can kiss the federation goodbye. We’ll walk so fast it’ll make their heads spin. That’s called stark reality and keeping it real.

      • Douglas W says:

        Harper got a majority because Ignatieff took a header and Layton caught lightening in a bottle.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Douglas,

          Jack was well on his way to becoming PM until that ever so helpful cop leaked FillipinoGateTM to the conservative media. No surprise there. Typical cop mentality.

          • irreversible road map to freedom says:

            Have to disagree on that one… Harper had regained and solidified his lead a week or so before that leak.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            IRMTF,

            Point taken. Thanks. But let’s say it finished off any prospect of winning for the NDP.

  3. Washington Irving says:

    As an old conservative, I paid my dues in the trenches fighting the Cretien Liberals for votes. And the one thing I learned from those years was to respect the old fox.

    Yesterday, while discussing the demographic decline of the pure laine, their ultimate capitulation by mid century, I was struggling to explain that time to my 21st century son. He could not comprehend how we let the situation get so out of control. I told him I don’t know the answer to that, but I know how we reestablished the rule of law in this nation, a man name Prime Minister Jean Cretien did it. He passed the clarify act, he reunited a hopelessly broken country, and he will never get the true credit he deserves.

    • Ken Newman says:

      Washington Irving- I have news for you , this country is hopelessly broken, and does not work. I think you are delusional to think that it was ever united. The West is abused in this country, and why we do not leave is a mystery to me. The East has NEVER represented western Canada’s interests in the past, don’t represent them today, will not represent them in the future. This country is clown show, run by a clown who knows nothing

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      WI,

      Anyone who thinks this country is united knows absolutely nothing about western, Alberta, Ontario or Quebec politics.

    • Doug says:

      Stephen Harper more or less inspired the Clarity Act with Bill C-341.

      Chretien awarded no-deliverables reqeuired contracts to Quebec ad agencies as a national unity strategy, which had exactly the opposite outcome of its alleged intent.

      The only real accomplishment of the Chretien government was the 1995 austerity budget.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Doug,

        Yeah, the Chrétien-Martin download on the provinces did wonders for Canadian unity. Not. LOL.

  4. Joseph says:

    So what you are implying is that the sock monkey is doing this because he is spineless and not because he wanted to all along?
    I do however agree with the bit about Quebec appeasement.
    Next thing you know the federal government will be coming up with some cockamamie idea to give out Canada flags and sponsor ad companies in Quebec to make signs or something.

  5. Gilbert says:

    Undet Jean Chretien, Quebec nearly separated. The main reason, of course, was the popularity of Lucien Bouchard.

    Stephen Harper was a strong leader. Quebec behaved while he was in power. Justin Trudeau is weak, and Quebec knows it.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Gilbert,

      Quebec does not behave. Nor does Alberta and thank God for that. We aren’t spineless, like so much of this country.

    • Doug says:

      Harper was a highly subversive and effective leader as he shattered several Canadian myths:
      -federal spending can be reduced to record lows without breaking anything
      -less regional favoritism actually quells regional discontent
      -the path to victory need not include Quebec

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Doug,

        IF you can get The West and Ontario voting as a block, sure, you don’t need our votes. But that’s a big IF. Kenney no doubt would say no surprise there.

  6. Ted says:

    Pierre Trudeau the came out loud and full throttle against Meech Lake back in the 80’s. That was the catalyst. Once he weighed in, the tides changed.

    I don’t know if Jean Chrétien wants to let us know what he thinks about all of this, but I’m hoping and praying he does.

  7. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Much ado about nothing. The same constitution that shafted Quebec with the failure of both Meech and Charlottetown will of course do it again. Isn’t this a proposed 7 provinces/50% population type of amendment? If so, it’s not only going nowhere, it’s ALREADY DOA.

    Boring window dressing since almost everyone in Quebec already considers Quebec as a defacto nation, including your truly. A tempest in a tea pot. Nothing more. English Canada really needs to give their heads a collective shake…Legault will get no mileage out of such a piddling proposal. Even Harper must be laughing at its insignificance.

  8. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Scot,

    Didn’t you get the memo? Who was it who recognized les Québécois as a nation? Some guy called Harper. Kind of hard for O’Toole, or any other CPC leader, not to sing from that playbook.

  9. Phil in London says:

    Glad the community here has noted the risks to unity not by Quebec separatism but because of western alienation and really non Quebec alienation. Many Canadians don’t feel the central government loves them as much as they love Quebec. Maybe the federation is doomed. I hope not but responsible leadership is no where to be found.

    JT has made a very wise decision in regards to electoral success in Quebec. It’s not very wise for the rest of us but we’ll all vote for him again because, we’ll shit I have no clue why but we will.

    • Phil,

      The Trudeau Liberals are about ten points ahead of the BQ in Quebec. They desperately need those seats as part of the majority math. Hence Trudeau all smiles and saying Yes, Mr. Legault, knowing full well that no constitutional amendment is even remotely possible. How typically Justin of him.

  10. Montrealaise says:

    The demographic decline of the pure laine is due to their low birth rate, which is comparable to other Western societies. Pure laine Quebecers achieved a demographic majority because they had large families. Unless the current Quebec government can find some way to convince them to have 10 or 12 children again, that demographic decline is going to continue.

  11. Walter says:

    I don’t think Canada had ever been as united as we were 6 years ago under Stephen Harper. It is amazing how quickly everything has fallen apart. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the disaster that Trudeau would become, although it proves the saying that there is never a good time to vote for an idiot to lead you.

    1990’s Quebec referendum.
    1980’s Quebec referendum and snub of Constitution.
    1970’s FLQ.
    1960’s Silent Revolution.
    1950’s Richard Riots.
    1940’s Conscription crisis.
    1930’s Creeping federalism during depression.
    1910’s Conscription crisis.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Walter,

      What people don’t get is that in the 2000s, Quebec started to take on a North America outlook and perspective. Today’s upcoming generation are already citizens of the world. Individuals now realize that the sky is the limit, even in French. That realization is the key to building support for sovereignty. Legault knows that. So after the upcoming Trudeau constitutional fiasco, English Canada will have played right into Legault’s hands. THAT’s when support for sovereignty will begin its next significant ascent in the polls. The breakout, if you will.

      • Walter says:

        I don’t disagree. But none of this would be possible without an incompetent PM – which was mostly provided by English speakers of Laurentian Canada

  12. Tod Cowen says:

    I have an unpopular, contrarian view from the Lower 48.

    Call Quebec’s bluff. Let ’em go if they want to go, but protect minority language rights in the rest of Canada. Negotiate a decent free-trade agreement, which shouldn’t be hard. Put an end to this stuff, and get on with the 21st century. Canada is well placed to thrive.

    It’s not like Quebec wants to be the 51st state. No chance of that.

    Yes, I’m a stupid American, but why not?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Tod,

      Logical suggestion but Ontario will solely call the tune once Quebec is out and that eventually means Alberta immitating Quebec and walking out. So, one hell of a risky precedent to set if we go first.

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