Dec 3, 2012

Behind the walls, a Quebecism version of separatism

In a picture-postcard walled city, a new revolution is brewing. Quebec has been given a revival by a new matter-of-fact separatism now alive in Europe. Crikey's man-at-large walks the cobblestones.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


When you come round the headland in the tourist launch, and the stone towered walls of Quebec City rise above the St Lawrence River, you realise you came in from the wrong direction, days earlier, arriving at the modest train station. No, the only way to arrive is at the head of the American Revolutionary Army who came across the river in December 1775, determined to take the capital the British had taken from the French only two decades before.

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3 thoughts on “Behind the walls, a Quebecism version of separatism

  1. Allison

    Dear Mr Rundle

    I expected a quote from Cohen’s Suzanne at least in this article. Am heartbroken.

    Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
    You can hear the boats go by
    You can spend the night beside her
    And you know that she’s half crazy

  2. Frank

    The big difference between all the separatist states you name and Quebec is, it would seem, the potential (or at least the desire) to join the EU. You can afford to shear away the mysticism when there’s the prospect of a grant or two.

    What, then, is in it for Quebec’s pragmatic separatists?

  3. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Quebec separatism is all well and good, but proponents should remember that not everybody speaks French in the province. Not only do you have the English speakers in Montreal and the Gatineau valley north of Ottawa (the place where my mother grew up), you have the Cree and Inuit speakers in the north of the province. If Quebec chooses to secede from Canada, the latter tribes may want to secede from Quebec in turn.

    Seriously, I’m enjoying your pieces on Quebec – but I advise you to go north if you can. Sticking around Montreal and Quebec city is good, but it’s like making a piece on NSW and not going west of the Great Dividing Range. You may find of interest the tribal negotiations that lead to things such as the James Bay hydroelectric project. It’s something that Australia can learn from.

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