Canada – either we are one country or we are not

When now-disgraced Andrew Potter wrote his diatribe against Québec and Québec society, calling it dysfunctional and lacking trust, he could not have got it more wrong. Yet, these days it seems that his observations were kind of appropriate – if applied to English Canada.

Everything Potter accused Quebecers of now seems to fit the description of a growing number of English Canadians – at least the ones who keep mouthing off on the social media.

Vast parts of Québec have been flooded recently. Many people have lost their homes or suffered tremendous damage. The army has been called in as well to help with the efforts.

Almost instantly, questions started being raised in the media and online about who would cover the extensive bill. What is more, a lot of people’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage (insurance companies are scammers; they never provide the cover people truly need, such as flooding, earthquakes, sinkholes, etc.).

The Canadian prime minister and the premier of Québec have called on Canadians to help out by making donations.

While the community spirit among Quebecers has been phenomenal throughout the crisis, with neighbours helping neighbours (the very thing Potter wrote didn’t exist in Québec), it is English Canadians who are now piping up online, saying that Quebecers should be left to stew in their own juices (with most of the online posters using a lot less polite language).

Only hours ago, for example, I witnessed a steady stream of online comments to this effect on Facebook, filled with hateful language and insults, which prompted me to unfollow a bunch of people.

To read or hear such hate-filled, anti-Québec mudslinging from, say, Albertans, doesn’t surprise me. That a lot of those perpetrators can also be found in Ontario, parts of which have also been devastated by the recent weather events, however, does.

Ontario is not only Québec’s next-door neighbour, but also has a large number of French speakers. If anyone in English Canada should support Québec, it’s Ontarians – or so one would think.

Québecers help each other, and also other Canadians. When Fort McMurray in Alberta burnt to the ground, Québec didn’t hesitate to help out (see here and here). It makes me sick to think that some of those people who received help from Québec last year are now on Facebook or Twitter to express their sincere wishes for Québecers to drown and perish.

It makes you wonder whether “Canada” is a real country, or just an imaginary one.

All I can say is that I have lived all over the country, but nowhere have I felt as much at home as I do in Québec.




Author: Werner Patels

Translator - Thinker - Writer

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