Monday, February 15, 2010
Alexandre Bilodeau and the French Question
I'm trying to stay away from the medal hysteria, because it just puts more pressure on our athletes. But I have to admit that I practically hit the ceiling with joy when Alexandre Bilodeau of Montréal, Québec, won Canada's first gold medal.
Not just because I'm a proud Montrealer, and the story of him and his disabled brother is so beautiful. Or that his performance was so awesome.
But also because of this.
Which is so unfortunate, if only because it gives Pauline Marois,the bourgeois queen of the PQ, some cheap ammunition.
Le Canada, a-t-elle dit, a démontré hors de tout doute qu'il considérait la minorité francophone comme une quantité négligeable sans importance, ou pire, un boulet pour la majorité anglophone.
Canada, she said, has demonstrated beyond any doubt that it considers the francophone minority as a negligible quantity without importance, or worse, a burden for the anglophone majority.
Which is predictable nonsense, but no doubt some will believe her.
The fact is the ceremony could have been a bit more French, especially the speech from the VANOC chief. I mean when you only have four or five French words to say, and you mangle them so badly, it's not too brilliant. And it doesn't look good.
But it was still a marvellous pan-Canadian show. And the sight of a Quebec kid flying over the beautiful golden prairies, is the kind of Canada I believe in.
But then there is this poll.
French Quebecers have a significantly higher opinion of English Canadians than English Canadians have of them. The poll found 75% of French Quebecers have a favourable opinion of English Canadians, but only 60.1% of English Canadians have a favourable opinion of French Quebecers
In fact, the only group further down the list than French Quebecers when it comes to who English Canadians view favourably are aboriginal Canadians.
Which makes me laugh, when I see some of these same rednecks now acclaim a Quebecer as their hero.
And as a guy who lives with one foot in each solitude, and is presently working in Toronto, also depresses me. Because I read and hear a lot of anti-Quebec comments, that I don't dare share with my Frenchie friends...or even my companion Sébastien .
Because most of them think Canada is great eh? And I don't want to disappoint them.
And the worse thing is that Stephen Harper uses this anti-Quebec sentiment, like he did during the coalition crisis, to prevent us from joining forces with the Bloc, and chasing these Cons from power FOREVER.
Oh well. More on that some other day. Right now I just want to say that I consider the French-speaking people of Canada...and our beautiful native people...national TREASURES. To be celebrated and embraced. And anyone who doesn't should be ashamed of themselves.
And of course I also want to say that Alexandre Bilodeau, from Montréal, Québec.
Woohoo!!!! Tabarnac !!!!!
Is an amazing CANADIAN champion...