Like a monster from a nightmare, Quebec’s proposed Values Charter lurches forward toward law in that deeply divided province. (So much for the trite formulation “Quebec vs. the Rest of Canada,” when Quebecers are now denouncing each other while each side has its supporters throughout the other provinces and territories.)
I haven’t changed my mind since my early warning about it two months ago HERE. It’s a very bad idea, not least as Jean-François Lisée, Quebec’s minister for the Montreal area and for international affairs, connects it with the purported “failure” of multiculturalism in Germany and France.
The failure, sir, has been precisely yours, and of people like you in Quebec, Germany, and France, who have refused to integrate into the life of your society newcomers you have officially welcomed as immigrants, and then have been shocked to find they continue to be not just like you. Somehow you seem happy to accept their dollars, and labour, and energy, and votes, but not your fellow citizens themselves…unless they are deracinated and willing to conform to the post-Quiet Revolution secularism upon which you are narrowly insisting.
This policy breeds only confusion, resentment, and division. Of course we need a better conception of multiculturalism than we’ve had–which has, in too many instances, been not much more than “come on in, if you have money or a relative here!” Of course we need to think harder than we have about who can really be welcomed into the fragile Canadian experiment of diversity, and then about how we are going to keep forming and re-forming a common life together.
But what we have now is, I fear, the beginning of a Quiet Terror, a demand that the Revolution must roll on to purify ever more thoroughly the state and its citizenry.
It is easy to call such worries alarmist, but the history of modern revolutions suggests that it’s better to sound the alarm early than late. I’m sounding it again now: This is the thin edge of a frightening political wedge of racism and repression.