The government's policy of multiculturalism encourages people to stay in ethnic ghettos and leads to "all sorts of absurdities," governor general-designate Michaelle Jean has said
Ms. Jean made the comments in French at a colloquium in Montreal last April, before she was named the country's next governor general. They were reported in the Canadian Jewish News.
"Citizenship means living together. ... But does 'multiculturalism' really propose us living together?
"We are even given money so that we will each stay in our own separate enclosure. There's a kind of proposition of ghettoization that is there, and that is financed. Yet 'multiculturalism' is proposed as a founding model of Canada," she said at the colloquium held by the Institut de Judaisme Quebecois.
Ms. Jean went on to criticize the leaders of organizations who make their living from multiculturalism.
"It's terrible, when you think about it. My dream is that we reflect much more deeply on citizenship, on belonging, which is not a negation of where we come from or our heritage, whether we are from Abitibi or Haiti or somewhere else.
She said it is damaging to children to be pushed into separate ethnic identities.
"Lots of kids in north Montreal don't recognize themselves anywhere. In school, they're still called 'our little Haitians,' 'our little this,' 'our little that.' They have no opportunity to be Quebecois... These kids say: I'm Haitian, I'm Latin-American. They're born here, they grow up here, they speak Quebecois ... and yet, they're incapable of calling themselves Quebecois. Why? Because they don't feel it. We still call them 'the others.' These young people don't have the sense of being full-fledged citizens."
It's interesting to find Mme. Jean criticizing the multiculturalist obsession with identity politics that probably led to her appointment as governor general. Paul Martin saw the Haitian vote in key Montreal ridings drifting to the Bloc in the next election and needed to shore it up, so he picked Mme. Jean in the hopes of keeping that ethnic bloc in line.
If the Indian or Italian vote in Toronto had been threatening to break to the Conservatives, he'd have named an Indian or Italian.
The Liberals have prospered by the policy of divide and rule, and by keeping immigrant communities as unassimilated as possible, they keep them dependent on the benificence of the federal government and voting Liberal.
For her second point:
When Quebec nationalists say "Maitres chez nous!" or "Le Quebec aux Quebecois!", they don't mean anybody whose ancestors came from Haiti, Poland, Vietnam or Lebanon.
Jacques Parizeau's drunken outburst against "money and the ethnic vote" and his claim that "three-fifths of us voted yes" made it clear that Quebec nationalism does not extend its embrace to those who are not pure laine .
Mme. Jean's great-grandchildren will be Canadian, but they will never be Quebecois.
Source: Ottawa Citizen