Thursday, August 18, 2005

Double Talk From Michaelle Jean

Two weeks after her appointment as Canada's next governor general, Haitian-born citizen of France Michaelle Jean has finally deigned to admit some sort of attachment to Canada, after all.

Her official English statement is terse:

I am deeply touched and wish to thank all those who have so warmly greeted the news of my recent nomination to the office of Governor General of Canada. Others have questioned my attachment to Canada and that of my husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond.

I want to tell you unequivocally that both he and I are proud to be Canadians and that we have the greatest respect for the institutions of our country. we are fully committed to Canada. I would not have accepted this position otherwise.

We are equally proud of the attachment to Quebec that we have always shown beyond any partisan considerations. Let me be clear: we have never belonged to a political party or the separatist movement.

Her official French statement includes another sentence which is rather more revealing:

Nous sommes également fiers de cet attachement pour le Québec que nous avons toujours démontré et ce, au-delà de toute considération partisane.

Translation: We are also proud of our attachment to Quebec which we have always demonstrated, beyond any partisan considerations.

Mme. Jean's expressions of loyalty to Canada ring hollow in these official statements; moreover, she says one thing to English Canada and another thing to Quebec.

Commitment is quite a different matter from loyalty. One may be committed to an externally imposed obligation, such as paying off a mortgage or completing an employment contract, but that commitment does not suggest any heartfelt attachment to the bank or the boss, nor does it mean that one's interests coincide with theirs.

Moreover, her statements do not address her intentions regarding her French citizenship. She has not declared any intention to renounce it, so that no question of her allegiance to Canada will remain.

Remote as the possibility may be, the French government could use her citizenship to influence her in regards to any legislative or executive actions that might be injurious to France's interests.

What's more, that additional statement in the French press release indicates a willingness to say one thing to English Canada and another to Quebec. In effect, she's saying that even though she'll represent the queen of les anglais, she's still a pure laine Quebecoise at heart--as though the Crown were not Quebec's Crown also.

The governor general must speak for all of Canada. She cannot say one thing to us and another to them, or she won't be trusted by either.

Source: Governor General Designate

1 comment:

Canadi-anna said...

In the case of liberals, there is no such thing as divided loyalty. Loyalty is only to self -- that's why history matters so little.