Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has raised a storm in Canada with an interview he gave in Britain in which he said Quebec will “eventually” separate.  Even now, he said, Quebec is master in its own house.

“Now effectively …. we’re almost two separate countries.”

Later Ignatieff said he was a strong federalist and that he had been taken out of context.  It is hard to see how.

Will Quebec separate?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Robert Sapienza Says:

    I suggest that Quebec is already 90 percent “sovereign”. In fact, defacto independent. The only things missing being an army and post office. Not to make light of a serious situation, with all the concessions made to Quebec since the “quiet revolution”, I believe we are a stone’s throw from the full package. I think we can expect (under a PQ government) that there will be a renewed thrust to go the full distance. Of course, whether they will be able to mobilize public opinion into their camp remains to be seen.

  2. 2
    Janus Bellator Says:

    Don’t know what you find so hard to see, Neil; he’s right. We ARE almost two separate countries. The only thing missing is the formality of recognition.

  3. 3

    Ignatieff is a “sore loser”. He’s getting even for his abysmal showing. To make matters worst he’s claiming that he was quoted out of context.
    I don’t think that separation is inevitable, some are doing the math now and realize that Quebec would quickly become a failed state. Once the old guard are 6 ft. under, the project will die. The hard liners are all over 65 &70. Only 1/3rd of the population thinks it’s a good idea now, and I think they are rife with a group who would reply negatively to a poll and then never go to actually vote.
    For the time being (and understanding the French “culture”). I suggest that we don’t poke the bear.
    Maybe I’m misreading the scene because I don’t want to have to move out, but I confess I am sick of the subject here.

  4. 4

    BTW: There are more than a couple of things missing-Employment Insurance, Medicare support, Highways & Bridges money etc. and the fact that Quebec is a “have not” province now and depends on Federal money more than ever. In the event of separation, not one big project here could afford to go ahead.

  5. 5

    Robert Sapienza said it so succinctly and dead on that I have nothing to add.

  6. 6
    Jim Says:

    Monsieur Neil, don’t spoke to me while I am spoking to you.
    All 10 provinces are 90% different from any other province. Each is unique in its own way, with its different positives and negatives.
    There is no chance that Quebec will separate. To begin with, too many concentrate on the 50% plus 1 rule which isn’t a rule but a wish. There is no way that Canada will accept this percentage and neither, by-the-way, will the International Community.
    Justin Trudeau rattled the same sword as Ignatieff the other day. Throw in the NDP and Tony Kondaks and you get yourself a quartet, all moaning the same mantra, “Quebec, please stop dipping into the till in Ottawa” Are you kidding? Come on down and let’s discuss it over a poutine.

  7. 7

    I’m with Patti – and Jim. I’m old enough to have lived through a big piece of the Quebec saga. Stefan Dion pointed out some years ago that Bill 101 virtually ensured Quebec would stay in Canada.
    French-speaking Quebecers have had many legitimate fears over the past century. They have many fewer of them now. As Patti pointed out, those who remember all the past grievances, are greying; the younger ones, keen on the internet, and with problems in common with the youth across the country, are taking on new issues. Separatism is fading away – even in the PQ!

  8. 8
    Janus Bellator Says:

    “To make matters worst he’s claiming that he was quoted out of context.”

    Perhaps he was quoted out of context. Media fights, set up by the media to inflame passions, sell more media. So, sometimes they misquote on purpose.

    “…Quebec is a “have not” province now and depends on Federal money more than ever.”

    And that’s probably the main reason we haven’t yet seen the borders slammed closed permanently. If anyone is seriously serious about keeping Quebec in Canada, start turning off the money tap. Now. Then start horsetrading for actual equality, instead of across-the-board “special” status for les francophonies…

  9. 9

    I saw the interview with Ignatieff and he said what he said.
    Of course it’s a “dependant” situation. IF Quebec didn’t need the Federal government/equalization payments, there would have been a logical argument for separation, and it would be a fact now. IF Nfld. could have managed, they would not have joined the Federation. and as my Dad would say “IF my uncle had t-ts, he’d be my aunt”. Excuse if your sensibilities are bruised.
    Quebec is unique, unlike any other province, and has some special needs, and complexities which I admit have been met to some extend at a very high price, by those of us who have hung in here, and those beyond our borders who have contributed. History will tell if it’s been a worthwhile effort.

  10. 10
    Janus Bellator Says:

    Patti, we are ALL unique. And we ALL have special needs. I’m tired of catering only to one group.

  11. 11

    Our differences should unite us, not divide us. (who said that?)
    I have travelled East to West and visited all the nooks and crannies of our country and I can assure anyone that this country is unlike any other. We should celebrate that. Tolerance is a good start.
    PS: We’ll be in Alberta and BC this summer and enjoying every minute. Come to Quebec, you’ll like it!

  12. 12
    Janus Bellator Says:

    I’ve been to Quebec — it’s beautiful in Shield country! I was there in late summer — fruit harvesting season…stuffed myself silly. Practised my high school French, too. Well, I tried, anyway; as soon as the locals heard my execrable accent, they found their English to be much better than my French! ;D

    And if you want to see cultural celebration in action, come to the Fusion Festival Jult 20 and 21! Tolerance is merely putting up with something because it’s not polite to do otherwise. But we do know how to celebrate!

  13. 13

    I think that Canadians do tolerance & celebration quite well.
    I won’t be there at that time in July, but someday I’ll come back for the Alaska tour.
    Well at least that’s what’s on my “bucket List”.

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