“Advancing the idea that protecting French is discriminatory, or even racist, is ridiculous,” a furious Legault said at a news conference Friday. “It’s not true we are going to be lectured about this by anyone.
“Regardless of what is said, regardless of what is done in Ottawa, Quebec is a nation, free to protect its language, its values, its powers,” he added, invoking a turn of phrase used by former premier Robert Bourassa after the failure of the Meech Lake constitutional accord.
“I will certainly not apologize for defending our language, our values, our powers,” he said. “It is even my duty to do so as premier of Quebec.”
Am I the only English Canadian who digs Francois Legault’s refusal to back down on Quebec’s legislation barring religious symbols being worn by public servants?
Now I grant you that Legault is somewhat over the top. But as Jonathan Kay has noticed, the French Canadians are proud of being themselves, while English Canadian elite opinion deplores itself and wants to fly the flag at half mast in perpetuity until the Indians forgive us for seeking to educate them in Edwardian-era residential schools. Shame shame!.
Yes the legislation is discriminatory, and the French Canadians have decided that this is necessary for the maintenance of their society. You may consider them wrong in this, and I am likely to agree. But I cannot resist admiration for their unalloyed sense of self and their desire to preserve themselves from the dissolution of multiculturalism.