Plains Of Abraham

Battle site a loaded issue in Quebec

1759-2009 - point de vue anglo-saxon

By Graeme Hamilton, National Post - How long does it take for old wounds to heal? Apparently, when the injury came at the hands of the British on the Plains of Abraham, 250 years is not long enough.
Agnes Maltais, Parti Quebecois MNA for the Quebec City riding of Taschereau, is outraged that federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Josee Verner plans to attend a re-enactment this summer of the battle of the Plains of Abraham. The skirmish will mark the 250th anniversary of the battle, in which the British under General Wolfe defeated General Louis-Joseph Montcalm's French forces, bringing an end to French rule over what is now Quebec.
Speaking to Le Soleil, Ms. Maltais accused the Inter-Governmental Affairs Minister of seeking only to provoke: "She is just trying to light a fuse. The only ones who have a right to do that are those firing muskets."
Ms. Maltais maintains that if the historical re-enactment organized by the National Battlefields Commission must go ahead, it should be a politician-free zone. Premier Jean Charest has already announced he will be otherwise engaged the day of the re-enactment.
Le Soleil columnist Francois Bourque said he wishes people would get over it. He notes that the head of the battlefields commission is getting gun-shy as controversy threatens to overshadow what was intended as a simple bit of history and an enjoyable day in the park.
Mr. Bourque suggests avoiding the loaded term "celebration" when talking about the re-enactment. Even "commemoration" is pushing it. "A historic reminder of the battle of the Plains of Abraham. Would that work for you if we called it a reminder?" he wonders.

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