Quebec has been fighting for over two centuries and a half so that its language, culture, religion and…borders should be respected. But some seven and a half million Quebecker residents are expecting more than a simple recognition by the Canadian government or even an apology from France for having abandoned them into English’ hands two hundred and fifty years ago.
Rich in culture, keen on tradition and folklore, generous and welcoming, the vast majority of Quebecers will do their best, I hope, to maintain a delicate balance between cultural diversity and political independence…In other words, we should take care that the trap of a single language (English in this case) doesn’t close on this people rich with history, struggles and challenges. On the other hand the threat of isolationism should also be avoided.. This is, in my view, the real political situation which Quebec faces today, after the referendum held on 30 October 1995, which saw the sovereign option rejected by 50, 6 %.On that day, just over half the people have left the other half definitely speechless, abandoned to a heightened Americanism, a capitalistic system without limitations, until the famous turnaround situation, the economic crisis that we all know today...
Let your imagination run wild, but do not pass judgements in haste. I would like to draw a picture as complete as possible, of the vast cosmopolitan city of Montreal, doing everything to remove the prejudices and myths that can be heard in France, to give you the feeling that I have during my stay here.
So, imagine a city divided by a fictitious wall with on one side huge buildings along the most beautiful Hilton hotels, fashionable lounge bars where the voices of Canadian English-speaking jet set can be heard. The other side of the imaginary wall reveals smaller and more modest French speaking neighbourhoods, more affordable rents, popular bars and further down, poorer areas with their homeless, tattooers, prostitutes and police sirens in the background.