Is it “La Saint-Jean” or “La Fête nationale du Québec”?

Is it “La Saint-Jean” or “La Fête nationale du Québec”?

Quebec City (Quebec) 22 June 2015 – Québec’s second most celebrated holiday (after from Christmas) is around the corner. There seems to be some controversy around the true meaning of the festivities: is it an opportunity to promote the independence of Québec or is it simply an inclusive celebration for all Québécois, despite their political orientation?

The question came up last week when a Coalition avenir Quebec (CAQ) MNA, Benoit Charette, suggested that since the festivities, carried out in 700 different sites across the province, are administered by a pro-separatist organisation (Mouvement national des Québécois et Québécoises) or MNQ, that the different activities had pro-independence tendencies and that some of the events included speeches by separatist individuals. M. Charette wants the celebrations to be more open to all Québécois and wants to avoid any political bias at the 700 galas presented around the province.

The opposition leader Pierre Karl Péladeau, leader of the separatist Parti Québécois, claims that M. Charette is simply upset over his party having lost a seat in the recent by-elections and that he should stop attacking the Fête nationale. When questioned, the Liberal government responded by saying they didn’t want to make a political issue out of the June 24 celebrations. La Saint Jean has drawn some criticism on this issue  ever since the Parti Québecois changed its name to be “La Fête nationale” back in the 1970s. The MNQ was mandated to administer the special day’s festivities back in 1984 and has been doing so ever since.

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