Reed Scowen, an expert in Quebec-Canada relations, has come to a controversial conclusion: Canada would be better off if Quebec separated.
To make his case, Scowen -- a one time Liberal member of the Quebec legislature -- wrote a fascinating book called Time to Say Goodbye: Building a Better Canada without Quebec.
And now he has set up a special website.
Check it out.
You make not agree with Scowen's unique take on federal-provincial relations, but you will find his arguments interesting.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Quebec?
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Bah... I've been saying that since the last referendum. Let them go - but if they DO go they cut ALL ties. Quebeckers do not get Canadian passports... they do not use the Canadian dollar as currency... all Canadian federal resources are removed (including the armed forces). Quebec will not be part of NAFTA or any other Canadian-involved treaties by default... they'll have to apply for and or negotiate their place like any other country. And speaking of treaties, all lands that have been deemed Native lands would NOT be part of the package. Transfer payments from Ontario and Alberta stop IMMEDIATELY. And most importantly they take their share of the national debt.
Quebec's like the whiny teenager who eats all your food, burns all your gas, uses all the hot water, and then threatens to move out when he doesn't get his way. If they wanna go so bad, well, don't let the door hit 'em in the ass on the way out!
Separation will be a mess. The Indians for one will not accept it and the international community will care more about them than about anglos.
The rule of law will be the first casualty.
Ditto ,what anon said at 12:29.
"they do not use the Canadian dollar as currency"
Can't a country use whatever currency it wants? Not that they'd want a Canadian currency that is being propped up by the oil that isn't there's while hurting their manufacturing and tourism.
I've been saying this since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, and so have most people I've known over the years. What's interesting is not so much how long it took Reed Scowen to develop some common sense, but the fact that such a prominent English Montrealer, so heavily invested in Canada, could even be capable of common sense.
What if Quebec leaves without Indian lands, without the Eastern townships, and without any lands conferred since 1867?
As much as Quebec can be a pain having and as much as we would save money in less transfer payments, separation is very messy and creates many other problems. For example, do all those living in Quebec, even if born elsewhere in Canada or with a parent born elsewhere in Canada lose their citizenship. Are we going to build border controls at each border crossing. And how about the issue of bilingualism. This is constitutionally entrenched so cannot easily be repealed, but rather than leave the issue behind, it would flare up again as it is far more debatable whether Canada without Quebec should have two official languages than Canada with Quebec. Never mind, I value Canada being its own unique culture and Quebec plays a big role in this. It makes us different from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, just as Quebec being part of Canada makes them different from France. It also helps keep our country reasonably centrists. Just as Alberta pulls us to the right, Quebec pulls us to the left so it balances out.
It certainly would be refreshing to never again hear this spoken in our House of Commons:
"Quebec and Canada" ... IMO, yes, it's overdue time to say good-bye!
Quebec separation is not going solve the very expensive and unpopular problem of official bilingualism in the rest of canada. The French just love their publicly funded segregated communities. These communities identify us as an Apartheid country and that is not exactly very flattering. It does make us different from the US and most other countries.
I hope it is time to say goodbye to Alberta as well.
Please, please support the separation of Alberta so we can be free of the eastern politicans.
Anonymous - Bilingualism is constitutionally entrenched and so even if Quebec left, the constitution would have to be amended. In New Brunswick a 1/3 is Francophone, so that would be too politically risky. While Francophones in Ontario and Manitoba make up less than 5% of the population, they are heavily concentrated in a few ridings and this is an issue that they few so strongly about that it would cost the party those ridings. So unless the party is far enough ahead elsewhere that they can write those off they wouldn't want to touch it. So reality, is bilingualism is here to stay regardless of what happens with Quebec. The only difference is the government will probably only do the minimum mandated constitutionally rather than go beyond it as they do now.
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