Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Quebec Is Not Kosovo

After Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, some Quebecker separatists ludicrously likened Quebec to Kosovo. Seriously, some Quebecker separatists definitely need a reality check as Eddie Goldenberg wrote it in the Globe and Mail.

If Goldenberg talked about the fact that Kosovo was under the ad interim control of the United Nations (UN), then let's deal with how Quebecker actually lives within Canada.

In comparisons with people from Kosovo, most Quebeckers don't even realize that they live in a paradise that Canada is. The goal of this post is not to say that federalism is the only viable option for Quebec, but rather to stress on the fact that some Quebecker separatists are just so good in the art of demagoguery.

As a matter of fact, unlike Kosovars who were occupied (by force) and terribly humiliated by Serbia, Quebec made the choice to be part of Canada back in 1867. Moreover, in more than one hundred years of history, English Canadians never took away the right of French Quebeckers to be part of this country's economical life in spite of most French Quebeckers' poverty before the 1960s and also the fact that Quebec's economy was mostly controlled by English Quebeckers.

Obviously, after the English conquest of 1763, English merchants who came to Montreal needed the help of the "Canadian" merchants in the fur business. Moreover, even after the English conquest, some "Canadian" merchants became rich. In other words, Quebeckers' situation is not even comparable to that of Albanians living in Kosovo. During the Serbian occupation of Kosovo, it was the Serbians who controlled the regional economy of Kosovo, mind you.

In political life, Quebeckers weren't even kicked out of it by English Canadians, as far as we know. Indeed, are all civil servants (working for the federal or provincial government in Quebec) of Anglo-Saxon heritage? Definitely not. French-speaking civil servants weren't kicked out of political institutions the same way the Serbians did it to Kosovars! Add to this the fact that since 1791, French-speaking people have always had the right to occupy a seat in our legislatures. Therefore, French Quebeckers have always had the right to influence the course of their future within Canada.

In the end, it's hard to see how the situation of French Quebeckers, throughout Canada's history, is comparable to the Kosovars'. After all, throughout Canada's history, French Quebeckers never suffered from ethnic segregation like blacks along with people of Asian and Aboriginal heritage. Moreover, French Quebeckers have been benefiting from all civil rights even before the 1960s despite the fact that Canada's political institutions weren't bilingual as they are nowadays.

After all, if English Canada really did persecute French Quebeckers, than let's wonder why we don't see any tanks from the NATO down in the streets.

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