Bill 21: Will the rest of Canada ever learn to respect Québec?

In Canada, everyone seems to want to challenge Bill 21 on state secularism. They all forget that this bill is made by Québec, meant for Québec, and voted for in a majority government in Québec ONLY (whether we like this bill or not… this is not the issue).

Bambi has several posts on Bill 21. If you wish, you can search her blog, and easily find them all. Basically, it is a bill that is mild compared to practices in Europe. With this bill, luckily, no one will lose his or her job (contrary to what is portrayed in the media).

For example, let’s start with Canadian cities like Toronto, Halifax, and Charlottetown ( Why would the taxes of residents of these places have to be unwisely used to challenge a bill that does not affect their own lives? Does this make any sense to you? It surely does not to Bambi.

Luckily, some Torontonians are now challenging this political absurdity (

After stories about the cities mentioned above, we hear that apparently respectable federal or municipal politicians are now vocal about Bill 21. Bambi will name Mr. Patrick Brown, Mr. Jean-Charest, Ms. Leslyn Lewis, and even Mr. Pierre Poillièvre (

Isn’t it sad to see federal politicians trying to gain voters’ support in the rest of Canada by using Québec’s Bill 21? Didn’t they think about the support that they will lack from Québec? Why do they seem to forget about Québec’s different cultural approach to secularism despite their obsession with “multiculturalism” (the other approach)?

Of course, in addition to the above, there are also a few organizations that seem to be highly allergic to Bill 21, even if they do not operate in Québec. Some are social (e.g., with politically correct names). Others seem more religious (i.e., Islamic). Of note, almost all of these organizations receive federal funding.

Last but not least, we have English-speaking mainstream Canadian media (also dependent on federal funding), at times apparently hostile to Québec, who keep indulging in attacking Bill 21.

To all the above, Bambi will ask the following question in French: “De quoi je me mêle”? In other terms why are you interfering with Québec’s affairs, again and again?

Finally, to conclude this post on a much lighter musical note, here is the Respect song for kids in English. It is Bambi’s hope that it can perhaps inspire everyone to learn to respect Québeckers’ choices…

6 thoughts on “Bill 21: Will the rest of Canada ever learn to respect Québec?”

  1. Quebec is in my opinion rightfully concerned about their collective national (people’s) interests, any difference they have is so often shrugged off as meaningless. Quebec is far more than just an administrative unit, it is a people, a nation with its own interests and values and our government, as slave to internationalist interests refuses to acknowledge that fact. This is something all too common, the definitions of nation, state and country being malleable in the modern day despite them all being distinct.

    1. Many thanks Bloo for sharing your very interesting opinion. Always a pleasure for Bambi to know you are reading her blog. Thanks for your contributions!

    2. Don’t you find it ironic that we currently have a Prime Minister from Quebec who has been busy spear-heading internationalist interests?

      1. Bambi does find it both ironic and somehow sad, of course not just for Québec (in this irony), but for every unique corner of Canada (its regions, its rural areas, or cities in different provinces, etc). With all due respect to the Mr. Trudeau’s good intentions (wanting to play a meaningful role worldwide; thanks for all the efforts), what Bambi finds tragic is how he does not seem to spend not even a small part of his globally-oriented energy on unifying or uniting us.

  2. Bambi, not enough people understand that secularism is crucial for any healthy and stable civic society to have a chance. Humans are tribalistic by nature, thus the need for the existence of protocols that strive to maintain impartiallity, as much as practically possible, within institutions that serve the public, in order to minimize the risk of conflict amongst citizens with different affiliations. The spirit behind is to emphasize our commonalities, not differences.
    I agree with your position that Bill 21 is made by Québec and meant for Québec, and I shake my head at all the grand-standing and virtue-signalling from without. However, I’ll try to play devil’s advocate on the subject of respect. Respect goes both ways. Historic and on-going favoritism towards Québec, at the expense of the rest of Canada, by Federal governments and Québecois Prime Ministers, had sown nothing but distrust and poisoned any feeling of reciprocal respect. Admittedly, the subject is a complex one and will take much wisdom, empathy, honesty and good faith to tackle. Let’s hope for the best.
    How about starting with the ability to understand and communicate? It always puzzles me that as an officially bilingual country, the provincial education systems do not make both English and French mandatory subjects from K to 12 so that all Canadians achieve a functional command of both languages. It doesn’t even happen here in NB!

    1. Bambi appreciates and even loves all your comment, James (yes, including the devil part in it– she means the devil’s advocate :)). She and you are on the same page for all your very interesting and well-expressed points. For the last part on languages, when Bambi arrived to Canada, she imagined that every single citizen would be bilingual. This imagination did not match the reality obviously (not even in NB, as you wrote). Perhaps languages are not of interest to all, after all, and that is OK? Maybe not everyone is skilled in learning them? However, maybe an exposure to them in early years, as you wrote, would have helped in nurturing the love of these two beautiful languages. Could it be? Bambi knows that she studied Arabic and French at the same time at age 3 when entering school in her home country (English came much later). Others studied English and Arabic (in some schools where French comes much later). This has been precious for adjustment to studies and to life abroad. OK, Bambi will end her reply by thanking you again for enriching her blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *