At the time of writing his letter, the Quebec « difference » is only a memory. My grandparents explain to me that Quebec used to be a distinct nation with different values from the rest of North America, that Quebec lived in French, that Quebec talked about efforts to approach and communicate as equals with the First Nations.
Today, I can hardly believe it. My parents remind me that Montreal did not become an English-speaking city until 2016, that quietly, the desire of Quebecers to open up to the world ended in a profound assimilation into Canada and the United States rather than in a determined fight to acquire its own freedom. They remember me that each time they were talking about their freedom, Canada calls them fascists, racists and always implied the shameful threat of declaring armed war on us as in 1970. They lived under a reign of terror.
I still see traces of the Francophonie everywhere here and older people in many regions still speak a good part of French, but in the urban centers, French speaking is only a memory. « Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? » sounds terribly bad to my ears.
Today, Quebec is a post-national state without a distinct culture, as the Trudeau’s wanted it to be. We are Americans, we listen to their television series, their movies, their literature, we eat their food, we share their dream : anyone could be important, rich and powerful, but at the cost of ruining the vast majority of life.
What my people did not foresee is we would forever be condemned to be a silenced minority in this English-speaking world. We can indeed now participate in the great bubbling of the English-speaking world hegemony, but we are only a drop in this ocean and Quebecers as not at all any word to say to great concert of nations.
I, as a young Quebecer, have no power. Canada does.
I, as a young Quebecer, have no words. Canada does.
I, a young Quebecer, have no distinction to the world other than my geographical latitude and longitude. Canada does.
My people are dead. Canada is living well.
I have never been able to dialogue as equals with the Aboriginal peoples. Nether Canada.
Phil Bourg was right : la vraie richesse, c’est la différence.
I should have had take the red pill…
A young Quebecer