Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Not-so-happy for Canada Day

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Not-so-happy for Canada Day

Submitted by Farnell Morisset

I don’t want to be a separatist.  Really, I don’t.  But these days, I’m finding my options more and more limited.  And that sucks – a game of nations should never be played on choosing the lesser of two evils.

Outside of our province, I scarcely recognize the Canada I’ve been defending to my separatist friends over the years.  We’ve withdrawn from the Kyoto accord, appointed supreme court judges who do not speak both official languages, taken a less-than-conciliatory position in the Middle East, become among the worst per-capita polluters in the world, we’re building way more prisons than we currently need while reducing health aid to refugees, and are cutting thousands of social support jobs while spending five times more money on a fleet of fighter jets.  The only messages I’ve seen coming from the federal government are in the form of patriotic advertisements that are distastefully arrogant, historically revisionist, or glorifyingly militaristic (or all three) – and they tend to end by reinforcing that they are not messages or initiatives of the Canadian government, but rather the Harper Government™.  This is not the Canada I was raised to live in.

Meanwhile at home, the Québec Liberal government has presided over nearly a decade of corruption and failing infrastructure – for which they get a pass because, let’s face it, the Parti Québecois was not doing any better when it wasn’t flat-out imploding.  But by the next election (whenever that may be) they’ll have been in some degree of control for ten years, a decade over which the costs of basic living (food, housing, electricity, gasoline, and taxes) have dramatically outpaced than the average Québecois’ earnings.  Meanwhile, major Québec corporations like Alcan have been sold off to foreign interests, keep their massive government subsidies, make billions in profits, and somehow don’t pay a single cent in taxes.  This trend seems planned to continue.  What’s really pushing me over the edge, though, is how this government seems comfortable reducing our fundamental rights and liberties for simply speaking up.  The only pseudo-Federalist alternative seems happy to sit there and just offer slight variations on the same theme.  This is not the Québec I was raised to live in.

This is not to say there aren’t severe problems with the Separatists either.  Even the most mainstream separatist parties have policies that are openly hostile to non-Francophones, especially those who have some pride in the Anglophone heritage.  They certainly aren’t ones to shy away from historical revisionism, arrogant patriotism, or violent militancy either.  But somehow, I can’t imagine them making the average Québecois poorer while subsidising foreign businesses (well, except maybe the richest Québecois), restricting peaceful assembly, or cutting healthcare workers to buy bombs.  And while it’s not the country I was raised to live in, it’s looking more and more like a country I could live with.


About the author:

Born and raised in Québec City, Farnell Morisset attended English school throughout his primary, secondary, and CEGEP studies, before ultimately choosing to stay in Québec City and study civil engineering at Laval University.

While at Laval, he served as president of the civil engineering student association. It was there that he discovered his affinity for writing and commentary, preparing a weekly column in the student newspaper dealing with the issues he, as president of the association, felt were important and relevant.

Farnell is passionate about discussing (amongst other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québecois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québecois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image.

He is also alarmed by what seems to be an invasive and aggressive polarization of complex social issues for which there are no black-and-white answers. This eventual identity crisis, he feels, will only be solved through good faith in, and honest communication with, all sides pulling on our ever dwindling “pure laine” blanket.

It is with this in mind that he contributes to as a valued member of our, in-house, writing team.

Categories: News

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset has an engineering degree from Université Laval and common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, where he also studied economics.