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PM says Quebecers form nation within Canada
Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced a motion on Wednesday that recognizes Quebecers constitute a nation within a united Canada, in a surprise move aimed at countering an imminent Bloc Quebecois motion.
"Do Quebecers form a nation within a united Canada? The answer is yes. Do the Quebecois form an independent nation? The answer is no, and will always be no," Harper said in an address to the House of Commons following question period.
"The Bloc Quebecois has asked us to define that, and perhaps that's a good thing, because it reminds us all that Canadians have a stake in the future of this country."
He called on his federalist colleagues, and also their separatist counterparts to, "do what we must to keep this country strong, independent, united and free."
Harper had already sought the backing of Interim Liberal Leader Bill Graham and NDP Leader Jack Layton, reported CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
He then asked for his own party's support, reminding members of the combined francophone and anglophone infl
Harper's motion effectively counters the imminent Bloc motion, which calls for recognition of Quebec as a nation, but not within Canada.
"The refusal to recognize the Quebec nation explains why Quebec is considered as a province like any other and no more."
"How could we ever support a motion on Quebec by a party that has zero commitment to Canada, which is blind to the greatness available for Quebecers within Canada, a country in which they are at home from coast to coast to coast?" Graham asked.
The eight Liberal leadership candidates were unanimous in saying they couldn't support the Bloc motion because it doesn't mention the word Canada.
"What about recognizing Acadians as their own nation within Canada? You could take it down the line to different ethnic groups within Canada so it has become very controversial."
The motion sent Quebecers the message that "we want you in Canada, we want you to be a part of Canada, we recognize the fact that you have a different history,"
The Bloc Quebecois has tabled an amended separatist motion declaring that Quebecers form a nation "that is currently within Canada.''
"We're tabling a motion that respects all sides without subjecting the recognition of a Quebec nation to partisan conditions. Yesterday the prime minister did exactly the opposite. He tabled a motion that recognizes a Quebec nation with a condition attached -- a partisan string attached," Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe said in the House of Commons.
"So we see that the prime minister is merely trying to save face. The only respectful attitude toward Quebecers is to recognize them for what they are. ... A nation that doesn't stop being a nation whether it's no longer part of Canada, that's obvious, a nation with no conditions," the separatist leader said in French.
Duceppe argued that the prime minister had no place deciding the future of Quebec.
"Quebec's future belongs to Quebecers, period. Quebecers under the rules under of the National Assembly, can decide on their own future," he said.
Recognizing Quebec as a nation in the House of Commons is more than a symbolic issue or a partisan one, Duceppe said.
Link to CTV Article
Originally posted by TrueLies
All I gotta say is why not?
Distinct societies committed to their homelands, territories with which they identify a shared history and culture form nations. A nation is usually an ethnic group, a people sharing the same language, religion, history and icons-- symbols of their distinctiveness.
Source: The National Geographic Desk Reference, 1999
Originally posted by Duzey
I can't help but wonder how this would play out if it happened in the US.
In a surprise move, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe said his party will support the motion initiated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier this week.
The motion upstaged a similar one by the Bloc, which had initially called for recognition of Quebec as a nation -- but without mention of Canada.
The phrase "within a united Canada" was meant to prevent separatists from using the motion for their own agenda, but Duceppe said recognition of Quebec nationhood actually gave them another weapon.
"It's always better that when we're fighting for a sovereign Quebec that Canada recognize that Quebecers are a nation. That's a plus," Duceppe told reporters outside the House of Commons.
Agreeing to the language about being in a united Canada was simply recognition of the fact.
"It's more important to recognize the fact that the Quebec nation exists from now on," he said.
Tory cabinet minister resigns over Quebec motion
A Conservative cabinet minister has resigned his post over Prime Minister Stephen Harper's stance on Quebec. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Michael Chong (he also holds the sports portfolio) announced his resignation at a news conference late Monday.
"I believe in this great country of ours, and I believe in one nation undivided, called Canada," said Chong.
"This is fundamental principle for me, and not something I can, or will, compromise -- not now, not ever. While I'm loyal to my party and to my leader, my first loyalty is to my country."
Chong opposes the motion that the Quebecois constitute a nation within a united Canada, and will now abstain from voting on that motion in Parliament this evening.
Originally posted by chissler
slink, you make a great point and I agree with you 100%.
But if this wording is enough to silence Quebuec, would you not accept it? Wouldn't it be better to consider Quebec a nation under a united Canada rather than a nation standing on itself?
Originally posted by chissler
You would expect that this has been mentioned within the party as of late, and Chong would of been well aware of what was about to happen.
The maverick Toronto-area MP, who now sits as an independent, says the Conservative environmental plan, the budget, tax cuts, the income trust decision and military policy in Afghanistan were all presented to the caucus as done deals, not as subjects for debate.
"Caucus has not been involved in substantive policy issues at all," Turner said in an interview. "That has been, I guess, one of my greatest surprises and greatest disappointments - that we have not, as members of the caucus, been allowed to discuss any substantive policy issues."
"There has never been a policy debate where people have lined up at the microphone and been asked for input into a pending policy decision in the national caucus, and that has been a huge difference from my experience in the past, where that is the reason that caucus existed."
There have been meetings where cabinet ministers presented policies and took questions about them, but there was no debate.
Turner says caucus members have no say in policy
Q: Were you consulted by Mr. Harper before he decided to introduce his own motion?
Chong: I was not consulted.
Q: You're the key point guy, intergovernmental affairs. You would think that somebody would have told you what was going on.
Chong: I think you'll understand ---
Q: And what is the consequence of you leaving because you are the person who's supposed to deal with all the provinces?
Chong: Well, I think you'll understand that this motion from the Bloc Québécois came as a surprise to all of us so it's not surprising that the Prime Minister had to take some very rapid decisions as to how he was going to deal with this problem and, you know, I don't envy him for having to take those decisions.
The Hon. Michael Chong: In His Own Words
Originally posted by Harassment101
This would just leave the way open for Alberta to become a nation within Canada, and do their own thing.