Open letter to Justin Trudeau

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The proposed legislation the CAQ government introduced to enhance the French language (Bill 96) has very little to do with promoting and protecting French in Québec. It does however, have much to do with inflaming linguistic tensions. Québec’s threat of unilateral changes to the bargain our Founding Fathers struck
in 1967 is dangerous and extremely unsettling.

The proposed legislation the CAQ government introduced to enhance the French language (Bill 96) has very little to do with promoting and protecting French in Québec. It does however, have much to do with inflaming linguistic tensions. Québec’s threat of unilateral changes to the bargain our Founding Fathers struck
in 1967 is dangerous and extremely unsettling.
As an Anglophone Quebecer, I’m not terribly surprised by M. Legault’s actions, given his political lineage. Most Quebecers will understand the unfairness and mean spiritedness of this proposed legislation. West Quebecers, in particular, have long lived as a community that respects cultural and linguistic differences; we celebrate St. Patrick’s and St Jean Baptiste Days with equal joy. Mr. Legault has not caught up with the fact that all Quebecers are weary of the politics of division. They recognize that their Anglo brothers and sisters support their legitimate desire to promote and protect the French language and I know they believe that our culture and language of our forefathers deserves the same respect and protection.
I’m not surprised by M. Legault’s
self-serving motivations, and am deeply outraged by your response, Mr. Trudeau. Your absolute surrender to these proposed actions subverts the very document that gives you not only the power to govern, but the obligation to defend both the spirit and letter of the rules that are woven into the very fabric of Canada. To say now
that Québec has the absolute right to unilaterally change the rules is just wrong. If you think we cannot see the convenient cowardice at play, you are wrong. We see it in all its gory detail. As a lifelong Liberal supporter, I’m saddened to inform you
that you are no longer worthy of my vote. I ask you to consider what your father would say of your actions. The one saving grace you may count on is that every
single federalist party leader has joined you in this ignoble pantheon of cowards. Shame on you all!
However, we will fight this challenge, while remaining deeply respectful of our Francophone neighbours’ legitimate fears for the well-being of their language and culture. We will continue to support any measures designed to promote and protect French so long as our rights are not unduly infringed upon as a consequence. We will do so confident in knowing the undeniable fact that Quebecers are a generous and welcoming people who want to live in peace and harmony with all.

Henry Quinn
LITCHFIELD