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 . . .
Photo credit: thor_mark via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Jillian, disenchanted Americans don’t need an invitation to move to Canada – as long as legitimate immigrants and refugees already here can’t get their relatives here, due to our weird immigration practices now enhanced by a lottery system for ‘family class’.
Well, I think Trudeau and company could pass legislation making it easy for American political refugees to move here. But I know he won’t do it, because he wouldn’t want to piss off Trump.
Of course he could, If he did, I don’t care if he did ‘piss off Trump’ to use your phrase. If he did do it, it would annoy, to say the least, a large number of new Canadians who are potential future Liberal voters (or more likely one of the other parties).
As long as both countries continue to use a dysfunctional electoral system such as FPTP, we will get leaders (Trudeau, Harper, Trump) elected by a minority of the electorate who assume a majority of the power (which used to be called a dictatorship).
@calgarymark And then there is this the thorny problem of the numbers of the electorate that actually Vote. So, you are one of those that would make not Voting illegal? Like Putin?
What happened to Beverly Hills!?! Sorry, just had too %P
Nothing will change there.
Wanna make a bet! Walls eventually get breached! Even if you have guns! %@
gth007 (Are you licensed to kill? 😉 ) No I don’t want to make voting compulsory like Australia; we would end up with too many spoiled ballots. If we had a functional voting system, where every vote counted toward electing a person or a party, we would have a democratically representative House of Commons. The people who wanted to vote could, and probably would, vote for their preferred candidate(s). Experience in democratic countries shows turnout to be about 10% higher than in (e.g.) Canada/UK/Australia (using plurality/majority or FPTP systems).and even more than in the USA.
If those of us who have wanted to move to Canada were finally given a reason which immigration officials deemed acceptable, due to the recent events in the U.S., then maybe something positive would come out of Trump’s election, after all.
As far as the uproar over Trudeau’s english usage at the forum in Sherbrooke, I heard a roundtable of journalists going on and on bashing the PM about the matter. Then, at the end of their 10-15 min. discussion, all of them seemed to agree that this was really much-ad-about-nothing. I would warn the Canadian Press about indulging in such over-coverage of rather trivial matters, (even though I thought Trudeau showed poor judgement at that forum, too.) Remember the incessant coverage of the Clinton e-mails, which has now left much of the U.S. Press with a sense of guilt for their focus on this non-story while neglecting more serious matters around Trump’s business and background. Canada needs to keep their eye on the ball, before they find that the game is over and they’ve allowed some zealot, (or, dragon-shark hybrid,) to zoom in under the radar.