Quebecers: a “grand peuple”?

The PQ and its supporters believe that Bill 101 and the proposed Bill 14 are crucial to protecting Quebec’s culture. They have said on numerous occasions how proud they are of it. Are they also proud that their French language policies and enforcement are making Quebec a laughing stock in the global community?

How many times have we heard the PQ claim that Quebecers are a “grand peuple”? Does making an anonymous complaint about the word “pasta” on an Italian restaurant’s menu – and having a government organization act on that complaint – sound like the actions of a “grand peuple”? Is banning the word “ristorante” from outdoor signs because their “grand peuple” can’t figure out that it’s a restaurant something that they are proud of too? It is ironic and hypocritical to claim that the way to protect their culture is by attacking another culture. Many cultures can exist harmoniously in a single space and it happens all over the world. It just doesn’t happen here because our current government sees multiculturalism as a negative, not a positive, and they have said so clearly. Is this the attitude of a “grand peuple”?

If the pure-laine Quebecois were truly a “grand peuple”, they would open their arms wide and embrace the world rather than shelter their people from it, teach other languages rather than prevent their citizens from becoming worldly, and give themselves the opportunity to leave Quebec and export their talent rather than creating policies designed solely to maintain the French population in this province. A true “grand peuple” does not feel the need to legislate respect of its culture and language; it simply behaves in a manner that commands respect.

If the PQ treated Quebecers like the “grand peuple” they claim they are, then we would have a province we could all be proud of. If that should ever happen, I will be proud to call myself a Quebecer. I was born in Quebec, I live in Quebec, but I am not a Quebecer. I refuse to associate myself with what has been, for many years, a very “petit peuple”.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Il faut que ca change.


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