Friday, May 23, 2008

Bouchard-Taylor, Quebec Love, and Elvis Gratton

I see the the Bouchard-Taylor Commission has finally released its report. And although the Commission has been a debacle right from the start, I think the final product is pretty good.

Which is a relief. Because I was really worried when I saw a leaked version of the report, and it seemed to suggest that the solution to the nonexistent problem...was that the first white people to live in Quebec should call themselves Québécois of French Canadian origin instead of just Québécois.

And I knew that some in the province were already comparing that to the moronic sayings of The King of Kings..... Elvis Gratton.

He's a wellknown movie and television character in Quebec. A comic caricature of a vulgar, ignorant, federalist French Canadian who dreams of being a big shot Elvis impersonator.

In short.... the kind of Québécois who makes the rest of the old stock Frenchies shudder.

Especially when in a famous scene he is on a plane with his wife. And a Frenchman from France asks them if they are Canadian.

Here's the scene with my translation underneath...

PASSENGER: Are you Canadians ? You have the accent...

ELVIS: Me I'm a Canadian Québécois.... a French French American of the French North...a francophone Québécois Canadian....a Québécois of French Canadian French expression. We are the Canadian American francophones of North America...the Franco Québécois....

WIFE: We are the Franco Canadians of Quebec, the Québécois Canadians. That's it....

You see what I mean? Throw Elvis into this identity question and it could be DEVASTATING.

But now I'm not worried anymore. As one of my separatist friends said today: "I'd much rather be a Québécois of French Canadian background, than an old stock Québécois." And he wasn't the only one.

Many English Canadians believe that Quebecers are racists.

But I should have known better. How lucky I am to belong to the great French Nation in Canada. Still the most progressive province in the country.

How proud I am to be a Québécois of half Scottish from Scotland....half English from England origin ...of anglophone AND francophone expression... AND a proud Canadian.

Only in Canada eh? Or Belgium...

Oh yeah. Quebec is moving on.

And Elvis has left the building...


P.S. Guess where I'm going this weekend?

I leave you with this great old song by Robert Charlebois... to help explain how far we've come.

And why I love the place and the habitants so much...

Oh sure. Endings are sometimes rough.

But new beginnings are WONDERFUL.

Have a great weekend everyone !!


sassy said...

I suspect that most Canadians from outside of Quebec have little or no idea of what the Québécois are really like.

If they ever have the opportunity and/or make the effort to discover Quebec and her peoples, it is my contention that they would be most pleasantly surprised.

Simon said...

Hi Sassy!!! I I guy firmly wedged between the two cultures I find it sad that they can't appreciate each other more. As I do. :)
I think they complement each other nicely...and all the other cultures are a bonus.
I'm going to have to host a giant party when I get back to Montreal and invite EVERYONE !!! :)