When I was young, I was a bigot. I thought that French Canadians were unreasonable in their demands to be recognized as a unique society within the federation of Canada, and as such I didn’t want to learn French in school or have anything to do with Quebecois culture. How wrong I was.
I travelled to Montreal with members of the Cascade staff last weekend in order to attend the Canadian University Press conference. We were able to explore the city in our free time during the trip, and it did not dissapoint.
Montreal is a beautiful city with amazing food and very interesting nightlife but more importantly it is part of Canada. While sometimes I felt like I was in Europe and it almost felt weird to be paying for things with Canadian money, I was immensely proud of the fact that I was in still in Canada. It may well have not been the case.
The last Quebec referendum – in which the province voted on whether or not to secede from Canada – was narrowly defeated by a margin of 49.42% “Yes” to 50.58% “No”.
Quebec adds a unique aspect to Canadian culture which sets us apart from America. The fact that we are able to succeed as as a bilingual, bicultural nation makes us stronger, not weaker, in that we have been able to overcome our differences through dialogue and not armed confrontation.
While the world becomes more homogenous, English-oriented Quebec still clings to its language and culture, and I think that that is a good thing. Losing the diversity that Quebec adds to Canada would make the nation as a whole immeasurably more bland and , unfortunately, more similar to America.
Finally, my arguments for wanting to keep Quebec in Canada are as follows: GSP, goaltenders for the national hockey team, Montreal smoked-meat sandwiches, and Poutine. Vive Quebec.