Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Memory Loss in Quebec

An interesting op-ed in La Presse about what the columnist describes as a sudden shift in attitude amongst Quebec separatists reflecting the idea that Canada is a foreign entity and even Quebecers who work for the federal government in Quebec ought to be viewed as hostile.

In reference to the cancellation of the re-enactment of the battle of the Plains of Abraham the article has a fascinating quote from Pauline Marois, leader of the separatist PQ: "Nous refusons qu'une autre nation vienne ici, au coeur même de notre capitale nationale, nous dire quel sens donner à cet événement et de quelle manière le commémorer." Loosely translated: 'We reject that another nation come here, to the very heart of out national capital, and tell us what meaning we should accord to this event and how we should remember it.'

The re-enactment of the battle and planned, solemn memorial for the soldiers of both armies was deemed to be provocative. A celebration of the victory of the English would likely also be provocative. Ms. Marois does not want to be told how to commemorate history because it seems, she would rather not remember it at all. It seems she has already forgotten the part about Quebec being declared a nation within Canada. No "other" nation is telling her anything.

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