Premier Francois Legault reminds of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield

“That’s the story of my life.  No respect.  I don’t get no respect”

It sure sounds that way as the CAQ leader is now demanding more respect from Canada.

We’ve been down this road so many times before, most recently with the failed Meech Lake Constitutional Accord, the failed Charlottetown Accord, and the Quebec Liberal’s  Allaire report with its silly wish list for 22 new powers for Quebec.

Canada is probably the most decentralized federation in the world.

In other words, the provinces have a lot of powers : powers that  affect people in the daily lives.

Power Hungry

Quebec now says it needs even more powers in its gradualist approach to nation-state status.

This is separation by baby steps.  What the PQ used to called “etapism” and I believe Francois Legault is an old fashioned “etapiste”.  He said this week:

“I think it’s important in order to protect our nation that the Quebec government representing the nation that we get more power , over immigration, language, secularization, of the state.  I think we have to be coherent.”

And the list goes on.  He wants a single income tax system managed by Quebec.  He wants a commitment from all federal leaders not to challenge Bill 21, the secularism law,  he wants a values and language test for new immigrants, and that old chestnut that has been around for years,he wants Bill 101 applied to all businesses that are constitutionally under federal jurisdiction.

In other words, broadcasters, banks, airports, telecommunication companies, railways and so on.

Legault says he just wants a real partnership with the rest of the country based on mutual respect.

Hmmm please.   Don’t pee on my leg and tell me its raining.

So do you believe me now when I tell you Quebecers, or to be more precise , 41% of Quebecers, elected a PQ light government?

The CAQists just want to keep stripping away at the federal government until there is nothing left except those juicy equalization payments; payments which now Legault says he would like to keep.   He once say he wanted Quebec to be able live without them.    He has seen the cash and he likes what he sees.

The Answer is No

My guess is that Legault knows he might be just talking in the wind.  Quebec just doesn’t have the sway it once had in Canadian political life.  A growing number of Canadians just don’t care.   Legault may talk tough but that once popular strategy of holding a knife at Canada’s throat just won’t work anymore.    Quebec will get the respect it deserves as a fully functioning and cooperative member of the federation.  

That is respect Mr Legault.

Its demands for more powers is getting old.

An old joke.

Rodney Dangerfield might agree.

As he once said.   I get no respect.  The way my luck is going, if a was a politician, I would be honest.

And So It Begins

One of the most despicable laws in recent Canadian history is claiming its victims.  Almost daily we hear stories of young brains leaving Quebec because of the provincial legislation aimed directly at religious minorities.

In Montreal this week, 3 teachers were told to remove their scarves.   The 3 complied. Their decisions must have been painful.

In the National Post this week, Andrew Coyne writes  about how the lack of federal leadership on Bill 21 is our national shame.

“So shame does not come easily to us as a nation.   We have so hollowed out our national conscience over the years that we think nothing now of selling out a persecuted minority, rather to take a stand in their defence….The federal leaders have capitulated to majority opinion in Quebec.”

So when Francois Legault asks for a pledge, as he did this week, from all the party leaders, not to challenge Bill 21, he knows what the answer will be.

The Sound of Silence.

Hello Darkness My Old Friend.

Is “Sorry” Enough?

Will Canadians forgive Justin Trudeau?

Many now feel betrayed by the man they thought they knew.

His actions were racist.   There can be no real debate on that. Although it baffles me that many in Quebec still don’t see the harm.  But wearing blackface is offensive and hurtful in any language. And Trudeau  can’t remember how many times he did it.   We know he has a penchant for dressing up.  But this goes much deeper.

What is uncertain is whether the Prime Minister’s past idiotic behaviour will cost him what has become a very tight election.

This controversy, like most things, will have Canadians split right down the middle.

What is certain is  that, forgiveness aside, neither we, nor the world, will ever look at him in quite the same way  again.