Many things are celebrated in our multicultural federation, but this one leaves me cold
I didn’t know and learned only this morning that the Battle of the Plains of Abraham marked the ending of French rule in North America 250 years ago. A 24 hour read-a-thon of documents relating to the history of Québec was held for the public on a prominent part of the Plains which was boycotted by avowed federalists and the Québec government of André Charest.
I lived in Québec, the province and the city, for many years after the return of my birth family from Nazi dominated Europe in July 1940. During that time, I often felt like a cultural outsider. I moved from Québec to Ontarion in 1986 to save income tax and get away from the constant drone of nationalist drivel. It was an easy move across the Ottawa river from one comfortable apartment to another, but worlds away. A good move.
Now I live in BC and I have lived in China for limited periods since as well. But this morning I realize how far from Québec I am and have been and thank myself for that. They are still having tempests in a teapot in Québec and I don’t miss them for a minute. However, this time I agree with the separatist’s. The events that led to the 1970 Manifesto of the FLQ are part of Québec history. I remember that time since I had returned to Canada from a living and working in Algeria for about 18 months days before FLQ militants kidnapped a British diplomat and minister of the Québec government in the Montreal area. I never felt more like a “fish out of water” than I did then while I was re-organizing to live and work in Montréal. Seeing armed soldiers on the streets of the city was an unnerving event for me because my experiences escaping civil war violence in 1936 Spain and the 1940 Nazi invasion of France.
So long live the two nations of Canada, but I am happier living in the English one!
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