Housefather to BQ: Quebecers voted to stay within Canada

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Quebecers have made it clear in past referendums and elections that they wish to remain within the Canadian federation, Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather told a Bloc Québécois MP in the Commons last week.

The exchange with Xavier Barsalou-Duval took place during a debate on the government’s tax bill, which  Barsalou-Duval supports.

Housefather thanked the Bloc MP for supporting Bill C-2.

“I understand that his political party believes that Quebec should be an independent country,” the Mount Royal MP said. “In his speech, he said that Quebec did not need the federal government and that his people were trapped in a federation. Twice, in two referendums, our people voted to remain in Canada.

“After two referendums and a number of provincial and federal elections in which our people decided to stay in Canada, why does he still believe that the desire and will of the people of Quebec are not respected?”

Barsalou-Duval countered that no Quebec premier has signed the Canadian constitution “since it was forced on Quebeckers in 1982.

“No one has accepted the situation that Quebec is in. We are in a kind of no man’s land. Ottawa continues to impose things on us that we never agreed to. The best example is the [Energy East] pipeline.

“A number of studies, which were swept under the rug, have shown that the federal government went well beyond its allowed spending for the 1980 and 1995 referendums,” the Bloc MP charged. “It cheated and did not follow the rules.”

Rick Blue comments on Canada Day in CSL

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Rick Blue

Blue Notes – July 8, 2013 – West Island Gazette

A week ago Bowser and Blue performed at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park in Cote St. Luc for Canada Day. We were worried about the rain, but it held off until we were finished. The crowd was large and supportive. We brought out our best Canadian and Quebec material for them.

It’s always great to play for an audience that understands our jokes.

Cote St. Luc is an interesting city. It is completely surrounded by railroad tracks. And because there are only a couple ways in, it is like an island in the midst of the Montreal sprawl.

Indeed it is a unique community. And these days a rebellious one. They are none too happy about the current regime in Quebec City. Both the mayor and the local MP were vocal in their criticism of Bill 14 and the PQ’s never-ending political civil war.

Yes, the mayor and the entire city council were there. We even sang a song with them at the end of our set. They all wore red. Because they are proud Canadians.

We share the feeling. I don’t think there are any Canadians more conscious of our identity than Canadians living in Quebec. We are constantly under threat. It is a truly unique situation. Canadians across our country might be proud of our land and feel the surge of patriotism that we unleash every July 1st but there is no Canadian as desperately attached to it as we are.

Because it is our only hope to survive.

The PQ’s latest campaign of open hostility toward Canada is also open hostility toward us. It is a government that acts hostile toward its own citizens. And we pay our taxes for the privilege.

We try to lessen the burden with humour. Because if you can laugh at something, it makes it much less oppressive. And if you can laugh at your enemies, you have escaped their control.

And because laughter is the best revenge.

But we are musicians first and comedians second. We are very serious about our songs. Even if they are funny. Songs have power. And they have many functions. They can make people dance or fall in love. I always like it when our songs make people laugh. And I like it when our songs say something that you just won’t get from any other songwriters.

Like folk singers anywhere we write about our people. And it is their support that keeps us going. We sing about the shared experiences of the people we sing for. It has to be entertaining, of course. But it is also a little subversive.

And in Cote St. Luc, they understood the subtext.

Unity protection lost under Bill 170, Nashen, Suburban

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Council supports Chretien’s unity move, Suburban

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Council supports unity, Suburban-1999-12-08

Council Wades into Referendum Debate

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Tuesday 7 December 1999

Council Wades into Referendum Debate


The Gazette

The recent heated revival of the referendum debate that sent shock waves throughout Canada has trickled down to the tranquil city of Cote St. Luc.

Municipal officials there yesterday adopted a resolution stating the city supports Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s recent decision to intervene, if necessary, in the next Quebec referendum to ensure the process is clear and credible.

“This is a symbolic gesture,” said Cote St. Luc Mayor Robert Libman. “We wanted to strike out and show our support.”

Last month, Chretien said a 50-per-cent-plus-one vote is not enough to break up the country, and any future referendum on Quebec independence must ask a simple question with a single focus.

“We want the prime minister to know that he isn’t standing alone on this issue,” said Councillor Glenn Nashen.

“The ability to affect changes starts at the grass-roots level,” Nashen said. “Because there is a real possibility that another referendum will be held, we thought this was the right thing to do.”

Cote St. Luc city officials plan to send copies of the resolution to municipalities across the Montreal Urban Community.

This isn’t the first time Cote St. Luc officials have decided to wear their federalist hearts on their sleeves.

In August 1996, the city adopted a resolution stating the city wants to remain in a Quebec that is part of Canada. Several other municipal councils in the Montreal area adopted similar resolutions.

Three months later, the council adopted another resolution stating the municipality would hold its own vote if any future referendum on Quebec sovereignty isn’t based on a “fair and clear question.”

The adoption of the latest resolution also makes sense since 96 per cent of Cote St. Luc residents voted against separation in the last two referendums, Nashen said.

The resolution also is an example of how city officials can voice their opinions on issues in the face of the looming threat of municipal amalgamations by the provincial government, Nashen said.

“Municipalities have an increasingly important role to play on a wide range of issues, including the whole national unity debate,” Nashen said. “As long as cities have a voice, we must continue to use it.”

Federalist cities virtually secure in Canada

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Federalist cities virtually secure in Canada, Suburban, 1999-01-13

Côte Saint-Luc in Canada Forever: Councillors

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For Immediate Release                                                        30 August 1998

Côte Saint-Luc in Canada Forever: Councillors

Cote Saint-Luc— The recent Supreme Court ruling on Quebec virtually guarantees that Côte Saint-Luc’s place in Canada is secure, said Councillor Glenn J. Nashen who introduced a National Unity resolution to City Council in August 1996.  “Our resolutions became the cornerstone of a movement that swept through Quebec and across Canada”, Nashen said.

The municipal resolutions for Canadian Unity were eventually deposited before the Supreme Court by lawyer Guy Bertrand.   The High Court ruling supported Côte Saint-Luc’s resolution that the borders of an independent Quebec are not sacrosanct.

“Our clear declaration regarding the right of cities to choose to remain Canadian proved to be effective and successful,” said Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, a strong advocate of National Unity.  Brownstein presented a National Unity resolution to Council prior to the October 1995 referendum which was adopted in November 1996.  This resolution was subsequently adopted by more than 40 cities throughout Quebec.  Brownstein explained that the “Plan B” approach which began in Côte Saint-Luc eventually became the policy of the Government of Canada.

Councillors Nashen, Brownstein and Richard Schwartz have made National Unity and Côte Saint-Luc’s right to remain in Canada an integral part of their Vision 2000 and Beyond – A Blueprint for the Future of Côte Saint-Luc planning document.

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