It seemed like a big deal at the time this past week, when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to answer a question in English posed by an anglophone at a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Trudeau claimed later — after a media uproar — that: “I will always defend official bilingualism. I believe deeply in it, but I understand the importance of speaking French and defending the French language in Quebec.”
He sort of apologized later, admitting that he probably should have answered the question in English.
But the damage is done: many anglos in Quebec feel slighted. They feel the federal government is not fully representing them, and they point to the fact that even separatist provincial Parti Québécois leaders answer questions in English.
So, you certainly couldn’t blame PQ leader Jean-François Lisée if he raises the issue during the next provincial election campaign, and points out that the anglophone population of Quebec would get better treatment from a PQ government in a separate Quebec than it does now from Trudeau and company in Ottawa.
Just sayin’ . . .
But Canada’s political quarrels all seem like proverbial tempests in teapots compared with what is happening in the United (Divided) States of America these days. I’m wondering if separatist parties will begin to sprout up in that country, and if the U.S. might eventually become 52 separate nations . . . Just kidding. I know that would never be allowed to happen down there.
But I’m thinking that Canada’s bumbling prime minister might seek to capitalize on the current goings-on in the land of confusion to our south, and invite disenchanted Americans to move north — and bring their money and skills with them, but leave their guns behind. Trudeau could make it as easy for Americans to move here as he did for Syrian refugees.
Not that I’m suggesting Americans flee their country rather than stand up and fight against the new Trump/Republican regime. But I’m betting many would just like to get the hell out of there and live in a saner nation where equality is pretty much a given for most folks, and where current civil rights are enshrined to the point that future governments cannot overturn them.
In other words, couples in same-sex marriages can stay together till death or divorce courts do them part, and women have control over their bodies and the unequivocal right to abortion.
Compared to the United States, Canada is the proverbial land of milk and honey — and snow and ice, but you learn to live with the latter. Think hot milk chocolate and cuddly evenings with your honey on stormy nights . . .