Neither the Liberals nor the ADQ serve needs of anglophones. Voters are looking for another option to defend minority rights, Canadian values
Gazette opinion-page readers recently received two partisan pitches for support of the mainline Liberal and ADQ parties by Quebec’s anglo community.
While Liberal Party adviser John Parisella was clear and successful at exposing the shortcomings of Mario Dumont’s ADQ for the anglophones in his article (“Anglos should be wary of throwing in with the ADQ,” Nov. 30), his cant on behalf of the Liberal Party fell far short of being convincing.
Indeed, it is the Liberal Party of Robert Bourassa and Jean Charest that has performed shabbily in respect to the minority, allophone and anglo voters who have loyally voted Liberal and waited in vain for recognition and restoration of their abrogated rights.
Worse, it was mostly the Quebec Liberals who restricted minority rights and refused to modify any of the draconian laws passed by the Parti Québécois.
Meanwhile, Quebec minorities and anglos continue to be marginalized and suffer the erosion of their full civil rights.
When will Quebec’s minorities cease seeking salvation from false saviours and get past the empty promises of political leaders so steeped in nationalist rhetoric that they are unable to deliver positive results for minority Quebecers?
In the west end of Montreal, dissatisfaction levels match those of 1989. Voters yearn for an alternative to the Liberals. The Equality Party exists no longer, but AffiliationQuebec is alive and active, as it awaits official political party status from the Directeur general des élections du Québec.
There is no reason to believe that a new team of several AffiliationQuebec members elected to the National Assembly would perform anywhere as poorly for anglophones, allophones and loyal Canadians as have the silent and absent Liberal members of the National Assembly.
The Charest Liberals continue to claim that the rights of the anglophone and other minorities have been respected when clearly rights have been abrogated.
The nationalist agenda is clear and consistent. It systemically controls the arrival of new immigrants, choosing French speakers by preference, and forcing virtually all new arrivals to Quebec into the French education system where they will embark on an inferior program of English education as a second language.
In the meantime, subtle pressures are constantly applied to the English communities and their structures, which have already seen 600,000-plus émigrés, their future progeny and potential taxpayers, leave the province. And it’s probably not over yet, notwithstanding the latest census figures.
The essential question remains: Should anglophones and allophones not enjoy their full rights of Canadian citizenship in Quebec, living peacefully and productively beside their Québécois neighbours?
Unless dramatic action is taken to promote Canadian pride and equal rights in all the land, it will only be a matter of time before the eventual “winning conditions” for the separation of Quebec will be there.
Are Quebec’s minorities and anglos so tired, fearful or disinterested, that they are willing to settle for the unravelling of their basic civil rights? Were the ugly testimonies before the Bouchard-Taylor circus not a warning of dangers to come? Do we not hear the shrill threats of the Mouvement Montréal français?
AffiliationQuebec is a growing, grassroots political vehicle to refocus the agenda, and to reclaim our lost rights. The political party route was chosen because it is the only way that obligates media to cover and to report our concerns and viewpoints that reflect the needs of our cultural communities, and to employ the powerful tools of the National Assembly to the benefit of our communities.
Election of Affiliation Quebec members to the Quebec legislature will bring both legitimacy and visibility, if the inherent advantages of election success are carefully exercised.
But for this to happen will require a concerted and concentrated effort by thousands who are committed to individual rights and liberties. We all need to choose the manner in which we will live our lives. Only we, through our involvement, can make the theoretical protections of the Charter of Rights real. Only we can prove it, indeed, applies to all Quebecers. But that will require effective political leadership, and engaged grassroots support.
The Quebec Liberals have ably and amply demonstrated they absolutely do not represent minority interests at all. But they will certainly take their votes, as will the ADQ.
Of course, you can always vote for the Greens, but how will that bring about the restoration of rights? How will that improve interpersonal relations in Quebec? Our real choices for better representation are really not that wide.