Duceppe gets surreal in Washington

Duceppe - hérault de l'indépendance (tournée 2010)

edmontonjournal.com October 17, 2010
Here's to good old Gilles Duceppe, always happy to provide harried editorialists with some quality foolishness to mock. In a Washington D.C. speech before an audience of American policy wonks at the U.S. government-funded Canadian Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Hudson Institute, the veteran Bloc Quebecois leader unleashed his latest whopper.
You -- and folks from Malarctic to Magog -- might be surprised to discover that Quebec is moving "quite quickly" toward the creation of a new country.
Perhaps Duceppe is talking in geological terms.
Americans, he continued, shouldn't be worried, however. After all, "one thing is certain," opined the MP for Laurier-Sainte Marie. "Our relationship with the U.S. would be the focal point of a sovereign Quebec's foreign policy." Do tell.
As well, Fortress Quebec would be prepared to impose a stiff green tariff on countries such as China, if they refuse to sign on to binding targets in international agreements to reduce pollution. Well, no doubt that threat would push Beijing over the top.
To boot, a separate Quebec would be a military asset to the U.S. that could help Americans on missions in francophone nations such as in Haiti and Africa. No word on Afghanistan.
Yes, it's true that after three terms, the scandal-prone Quebec government of Jean Charest is in trouble, as befalls most creaky administrations so long in power. The BQ is also strong federally, not so surprising given the weak performance of federalist parties in Quebec.
But if anyone, especially U.S. academics with a background in Canadian studies, confuses those perennial realities with a sharp turn toward separatism, they should have their tenure revoked.

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