Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dion is right

This is something to watch going forward, Harper's choice of "Quebecois" versus "Quebecers" when he refers in English to the "Quebec nation" within Canada. He needs to be careful when employing "Quebecois" when he speaks in English. He could be tap dancing with the soft nationalist sentiment to the detriment of the federation:
Mr. Harper must “be very, very clear in saying that the Quebecois nation is defined in sociological terms and that it includes all Quebeckers and not just those of francophone origin,” Mr. Dion said on Sunday.

Mr. Harper's government passed a motion last November recognizing the Quebecois as a nation within a united Canada.

But Mr. Dion said Mr. Harper was unclear who the definition applied to when he tabled the English version of the motion, which still referred to “Quebecois.” The English translation of Quebecois is Quebecker.

The Liberal leader said he is concerned sovereigntist leaders could slip in a definition of a Quebecois nation based on ethnicity rather than sociology.
I've been meaning to dig out an authority for the following proposition...but I believe a Prime Minister's comments on the constitution are to be made carefully as they may lend credence to a developing constitutional interpretation. I recall Chretien being extremely careful in the House of Commons at the time of the 1995 referendum with his comments with this concern in mind. I think this is what Dion is getting at, in addition to the problem that exists with the wording of the motion that was passed. More to come on this in the future...it's Sunday and blogging is light!