Marcel Masse was a Quebec nationalist politician. He worked in the Mulroney cabinet. He was variously Minister of Communications, Energy Mines and Resources, and Defence. He was born in 1936 and died last week in 2014.
I think pride in being French Canadian is normal, and to a degree, admirable. But when you accept a position as a Minister of the Crown in a federal government department, different and broader loyalties are expected: to the Constitution of Canada, to the nation (or nations) as a whole, and to the Crown which you serve.
I draw a line at the deliberate destruction of federal departments by the ceaseless oppression of English speakers and the vaulting upward of incompetent French-Canadian civil servants to replace them. I draw the line at the real racialism of French Canadian bigotry, which is so casual, unthinking and against which no one dares to raise one’s voice. Masse exemplified and acted upon this privileged anti-English racism. Marcel Masse’s tenure as a senior federal cabinet member in the Mulroney administration was a standing disgrace to his Prime Minister’s judgment.
We have not lost a great man, Mr. Mulroney, contrary to what you say. We have lost a traitor to this country, who went unpunished and highly rewarded by his true masters in the Quebec government. The Globe reports:
The nationalist Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste praised him as “an exemplary patriot” and former Parti Québécois cabinet minister Jean-François Lisée wrote that even when Mr. Masse was in Ottawa, “We could talk almost as if between fellow independentists.”
It was not “as if” – Marcel Masse was a separatist and campaigned for the Yes side in the 1995 referendum. Support for Quebec separation does not make him a traitor, that just makes him line up with his convictions. The treason lies in being a federal cabinet minister and acting upon those convictions.
I hope to piss on his tombstone one day.