The Fractured Nation Interviews

Jean Souviens

Shared Values

The Fractured Nation InterviewsJohnny: Turning to your second qualification for calling yourself a country: shared values.

Souviens: At one point in time we may have had more things in common, valued some of the same things. But not at the Fracture, pas à la fracture.

Johnny: Was that also because of the failure of Canadians to ratify the Charlottetown Agreement?

Souviens: No. We no longer shared the same values when the English-Canada took the side of this Allah than the Pope.

Johnny: Aladdin … the Pope???

Souviens: What are you saying?

Johnny: I thought you said Aladdin?

Souviens: No I did not. Why would I call Allah, Aladdin? Allah was no Aladdin.

Johnny: I must have misunderstood.

Souviens: As I was saying, the English, they took the side of this Allah than the side of good Québec Catholics. Whatever shared values we might have had, we didn’t have them no more when English Canada did not support Québec it its fight against those who would deny our traditions, our culture, those who would call Québecquers pagans.

Johnny: I think you mean infidels.

Souviens: What’s the difference? Canada was willing to sacrifice an important part of our culture, a culture that went backwards hundreds of years to appease a very bad and fanatical bunch of newcomers.

Johnny: The Canadian government was just trying to please everyone.

Souviens: And they pleased no one. It was not just the Canadian government but the Court as well.

Johnny: What court?

Souviens: The Canada Supreme Court. A small Catholic school tells a child studying there that he can’t bring a dagger to school; he could hurt himself or his little playmates. This wise decision makes sense to everybody, even the judges of the Québec Supreme Court agree, telling the parents of the kid with the knife that their little boy could not bring a dagger to class, that it was a reasonable limitation on religious superstitions “given the safety concerns from carrying the daggers to school” but not the stupid Supreme Court in Ottawa. They said it was okay for children to go to school carrying knives and things under their clothing. Everybody in Québec with the ability to think was outrage.

One of our good thinkers of the time Daniel Baril warned us that the Canadian Supreme Court had by this and other stupid decisions elevated a right to believe what you want to an obligation.

Johnny: An obligation?

Souviens: Yes, an obligation for the non-believing people with their taxing dollars to pay for the beliefs of those who believed even if you didn’t believe in any of the stuff that these believers believed.

Johnny: I believe I understand what you are trying to say. The impact of that decision was more widespread than the justices may have anticipated. By raising the bar so high – allowing students, children to bring concealed weapons to class – educational institutions simply gave up and gave in to whatever this or that religion wanted including building prayer rooms, chapels and synagogues on their premises at taxpayers’ expense.

Also, the cost of fighting appeals from religious zealots, most of which were funded by those same taxpayers, was prohibitive even for the public school boards who were already starved for resources, much of their funding having been diverted to pay for private religious schools and private religious education.

Souviens: It was not only the money. These public funding of the believers’ beliefs only created more exclusive groups with what do you call “the revealing truth” who would not grope the other. This would not do.

After much struggle, the not too Quiet Revolution of Lesage, Lévesque and Trudeau and others had finally gotten the Catholic Church out of Québec classrooms and the stupid Canadian Supreme Court demands that religion be let back in. Québecquers knew from experience that religion in the classroom makes your society go backwards.

Québec separating put an end to all that backwardness. In Québec, you can believe whatever you want to believe but don’t expect others to pay for it and our schools are not for indoctrinating your religion but learning, do your believing on your time and your dime.

Johnny: Revealed truth. Not “revealing truth” is what you meant to say.

Souviens: Whatever! It’s all nonsense to me.

Johnny: How about your third claim that a country is a geographical area whose inhabitants consider their own.

Souviens: It wasn’t only Québec that was making that claim. The first King Ralph was just as adamant in claiming that Alberta belonged to Albertans. That money from oil belonged to Albertans and the King’s friends and for the most part, the Canadian government agreed, refusing, as Ms. Smith said, refusing to impose more tax, tax that would have been paid by Americans, TABERNACLE, and that would have funded health care for all of Canada.

À La Fracture just about every Canadian province was acting as if it was a country. Speaking geographically, the provinces were countries and Canada an association of countries; a sort of Souveraineté association. They denied it to Québec only to grant it to themselves.

Johnny: “Centrally administered” I think we just answered that one. Your last claim to being a country was that “its inhabitants feel an attachment so strong that most would be willing to die to maintain its geographical and cultural integrity.”

Souviens: What was that line from that poem about the good guys doing nothing while the bad guys bullied and killed everybody? The good guys à La Fracture outnumbered the bad guys, yet the bad guys won. Why? Pourquoi? Because the good guys didn’t think their country, whatever it was, was worth fighting or dying for.