Wes Burtnett


Today, the Canadian government and mainstream dailies treat separatism like a “when pigs fly…” argument or something that could only happen in outer space. But separatists still exist. They won the 2012 provincial election; they are immigrants, activists, young people, academics and even Anglophones.

Is Canada Without a Core Culture?

English. French. Chinese. Russian. Spanish. All races and religions are accepted into Canada. It is even known as the land of 200 languages, even though 90% of the population either speaks French or English. However 6.6 million people,(more than the number of people in Toronto), speak neither French or English most of the time at home. Previous generations of immigrants — Irish, Italians and Greeks, Germans, Russians and Poles, to list a few — who arrived before multiculturalism became enshrined as federal policy in October, 1971, were forced, out of necessity, to embrace English and/or French because speaking the official languages was key to being a part of the greater Canadian culture.

Separatist Issue Looms

American visitors to Montreal and Quebec City often come back describing the province as “European” in character. Quebec politicians also are more “European” than the rest of North America in their suspicious attitude toward immigrants. And this fact is creating a growing cultural estrangement between Quebec and the rest of Canada, further exacerbating the country’s longstanding rift over language. The dominant party in the provincial legislature is the Parti Québécois (PQ), a 45-year-old party founded with the goal of breaking up Canada and creating a sovereign Quebec state