First, here is a cartoon to begin this post dedicated to Québec with some humour.
Second, here is a thoughtful article by Mr. Mario Dumont pubished in the Journal de Montréal and entitled «Le cycle des échecs» [this means «The cycle of failures»]. Below, you can find an English translation of his text:
“In initiating the referendum process over forty years ago, René Lévesque had no idea of the cascade of events that would follow. A series of failures in Québec in its desire to assert itself. NO in Québec, NO in Canada, setbacks, disappointments.
First on May 20, 1980, Québeckers said no to the PQ government, which asked for a mandate to negotiate “sovereignty-association”. Lévesque found himself weakened in front of Ottawa.
There was still hope: to convince Québeckers, Pierre E. Trudeau had made a commitment to reform the Canadian Constitution to meet Québec’s expectations. In 1982, Trudeau did reform Canada, but Québec’s interests were no longer on the agenda. Another failure: Québec did not even sign the new repatriated Constitution. It has been imposed on us.
The arrival of Brian Mulroney and the Conservatives rekindles hope. To correct the 1982 affront, he negotiated with the provincial premiers the Meech Lake Accord. Robert Bourassa sees this as an important step for Québec and vigorously defends the Accord.
Except that after the signature, it takes a vote of each of the parliaments of the provinces to ratify the text. The Agreement is torpedoed. Another failure: this promising agreement is buried.
A setback that will raise nationalist momentum in Québec. Bélanger-Campeau Commission on the Future of Québec, Allaire report which makes the PLQ almost sovereigntist. A lot of noise for nothing. It all ends in fishtail with the lame Charlottetown deal. It was submitted to a referendum in 1992. Answer: NO.
Jacques Parizeau took power in 1994 with a clear commitment: a referendum in his first year in office. He kept his word and formed a coalition, which I took part in. By a few percentage points, the majority said no. Another failure.
The aftermath of this referendum will not be happy times for the nationalists in Québec. The federal government has been taking a series of initiatives to put Québec back in its place. In particular, the unilateral law supposedly “on referendum clarity”.
Then came this long liberal reign [Mr. Dumont means the provincial liberals]. Fifteen years. Some might say years without failure. Indeed, when we ask nothing, we avoid the risk of being told NO. I especially interpret the fact that I can no longer ask for anything as the sad result of years of missing all our opportunities.
Glimmer in these years, there was nevertheless the recognition that Québec forms a nation which was initiated by the Harper government.
This is François Legault’s great coup. In the first year of his mandate, he had his secularism law passed. After more than ten years of hesitation and studies on the topic. A strong gesture in terms of identity.
A solid majority supported it and the National Assembly voted for it. The opposite of failure. The end of the cycle. From a nationalism point of view, this is huge”.
End of Mr. Dumont’s text.
Third and finally, every story and every piece of history has more than one perspective…
Sometimes, people change their perspectives with time.
Regardless of the perspective on Québec’s aspiration to assert itself and ensure its sustainable (cultural, economic, political…) prosperity, Bambi would like to offer this beautiful and meaningful song, by Mr. Gilles Vigneault, to La Belle Province. It is in Québec where her beautiful Canadian adventure began, thirty years ago. It is in Québec where she left a large piece of her heart. Yes, she remains grateful, respectful, and… loyal in love.