Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Canada, France, and England, oh My!

I was going to respond to John Bender's Switch to Canada campaign, but Jay Ransom saved me a lot of time by doing an excellent job. However, there is one point I want to mention. Bender writes:
Canada is a bilingual country, speaking English and French. This is because Canada is the country in which two of history's biggest rivals learned to coexist. And that's something to honour, cherish and be proud of. [Boldface Bender's, as well as the British spelling of "honor" as "honour."]
It is something to proud of. Except that it doesn't have the added advantage of being true. First, in 1994, French Quebec nearly seceded from Canada, and native peoples of Canada (e.g. the Inuit) likewise demanded self-determination. Second, the real England and France have been at peace with one another since before the Dominion of Canada was created in 1867, so what is the big deal about English-speaking Canadians living in the same country as French-speaking ones? Especially when the French-speaking ones almost left?

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