What does it really mean to be a Quebecer?
To answer it, I had to spend a lot of time consulting the press. In fact, almost the same time as the various Quebec governments, when they attempted independence before losing it. The project was rejected by 50.58% of the voters. Let me just conclude that 49% of Quebecers had therefore won it dearly, a short time and then almost immediately lost, when the results were disclosed. It was brutal and unfortunate for some, while for others it was a real relief.
So, I go with this lesson in mind. Whether you like the answer or not, I would go to the end to bring us to the answer to this apparently very difficult question: What is it to be Quebecois? And also, to consult a rather large number of newspapers: newspaper of Montreal, for example, to question a good number of Quebeckers, separatists, liberals or conservatives.
This question quickly comes up: What does it really mean to be a Quebecer?
Easy, you would say to me: people born in Quebec. While visiting friends of Ste Marie du Lac Masson (two Quebeckers, native), I asked them this question. Do you consider me to be from Quebec?
They answer with a smile, we're afraid to admit it to you, but you are not pure laine. Well, I have to admit that they have to slow down their speaking speed for me to have the chance and the joy to understand them.
Your children, surely will almost be quebecois while your grand children, will be completely Québécois..
This response saddened me so much. Sorry, I replied. But I know the history of Quebec by heart, song by Falardeau, the speech of Général de Gaulles and its famous, Vive le Québec Libre and watching referendums in tears at the results.
So convinced that knowledge of Quebec history would be enough to make me a cultivated lady, I ask the question again: Do you consider me a cultivated Quebecer who knows Quebec history better than the average do?
At that moment, it seems to me that I pissed off these two gentlemen from Lac Masson. So, they answer me by frowning and raising their tone slightly: No, No, and no more.
I then respond a little scared and very motivated to get this answer: and what if I was with you and had a darker skin color or Asian style or even Arabic?
At that moment, though uncomfortable my hosts where seeing in their eyes the hope of an independent Quebec, filled with intelligent people and knowledge, And then their faces darkened and I could distinguish their sadness to see Quebec's present day is a little gloomy, the regrettable absence of real social projects. Looking at their faces, I saw the Quebec of the great revolution putting Quebec on top at the time of its great modernization. At that time, dear Sirs, you fought to be master of your own affairs, and that French be written, used and spoken. So, I can see in your eyes, your battles to place French as the official language spoken in Quebec. So would that mean that you have to be necessarily independent in order to be from Quebec? No, no and no again, this answer touches on political convictions when being a Quebecer is a nationality.
Moreover, at this moment, they drop the beautiful bottle of St Emilio on the floor, breaking it in to 2000 pieces. It made one of these damages, a real disaster.
Still no satisfactory answer, is there? At this moment. Don't be discouraged, we'll get it.
As you might know, I am a native Parisian as they say. I was born in Paris but am a non-native Quebecer. But how to demonstrate it? While my Parisian family bitterly repeats, I left my own land. But between you and me, I own no land there. And not here in Quebec, Canada, either. When I arrive in Paris, it takes me a few hours to find "our" way of speaking. So here, after 2 words in English and in French, it is said and recognized, I am NOT a Quebecer from… stock. Yes but no native Quebecer…., but Québécoise nonetheless.
My dear readers, let's look at this question, I think I got you involved. That was by no means my goal. So let's resume, I crossed the ocean and got here.
I take the manuscripts from my work as an economics teacher that I like to consult when I feel lost. And there you have it, all of a sudden, I can conclude from my manuscript a more convincing answer allowing me to get closer to the answer.
With a practical example, come and let me explain: for each $ 100 spent in Quebec, $ 5 will go to the provincial government while $ 10 will go to the federal coffers.
So at that moment, I said to myself: of course, I was born in Paris but after 10 years of time in Quebec, I spent a large of portion of 100 $$$ and therefore paid a lot of $ 15 to governments.
Then I ask you if they care about my origin: native Quebecer, French native and even the English. Yes, Americans, too. And the Chinese? No difference! Oh sorry, I dared to forget the Arabs. Same treatment, too.
And then, can we conclude that the more we are consumers in Quebec, the more we are Quebecers? So, this would explain why immigration is so expensive and difficult? Yes, I understand. Imagine that I am 30 years old, and arrive in Montreal. I will have to make up for these fifteen years when I was not participating in the modernization of Quebec. Yes, I was not here (Quebec) but there (France).
Dear native Quebecers, let me come in and accept me, please, into your tight club. Can I go? Do you allow?