Tuesday, November 28, 2006

When a family dispute goes public - it's still a family dispute

So what of the claim, “The Quebecois are a nation”? Historically, England and France warred for hundreds of years to determine if England was a province of France or if France was a province of England. Ironically, royalty of both jurisdictions were related - as were many citizens - and the two kingdoms regularly conducted business. In North American there was some separation between the two groups. But notably, in Upper and Lower Canada many English and French continued to intermingle.

Consequently, many have dual ancestries. My father’s ancestors hailed from English-French Norman ancestors who lived 400 years in England before continuing in British North American for 350 years and becoming United Empire Loyalists. My mother’s ancestry was also Norman, but from Normandy France, before continuing in New France for 350 years – pur-laine Quebecois. Some of us “English” are also “French” because we are in fact one English-French (Norman) clan. The Canadian English-French “We are a nation” debate, from an insider’s perspective, is a family affair. And unfortunately like the wars of the past, we tend to draw others into our family clan conflict.

Nevertheless, everyone should remember that Canada is a place founded on northern courage by all those willing to say *we* are in life *together* for each other through good and bad. We should not be beguiled by the false claims that English-French is a monumental historical Canadian divide. In fact, for many of us French-English is one and the same millennium old family history.

PS: On the point of the legal consequences of, "the Quebecois is a nation", a significant point many have missed - but will not be missed in neither the Quebec National assembly nor in Quebec courts - is that judges can use parliamentary motions to define language and temper interpretation. i.e. any judge can now say that the common meaning of "nation" within Canada does have special meaning and therefore is relevant in law... as both the Canadian constitution and the Quebec national assembly refer to it.

Court challenges can now be made that the plain meaning of "nation within Canada" is that sovereign jurisdictional claims exist within Canada.

Never let it be said that Harper tells the truth; Steve Harper believes in the balkanization of federalism and has no problem with slicing off and Americanizing Canada's parts.

You were warned.

(c) 2006 Victoria BC


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