Sovereigntists need to cut the prince some slack

Two Quebec sovreigntist groups have denounced the upcoming visit of Prince Charles. The Prince has an admirable record of charitable and humanitarian work &- he is respected around the world for his preservation work in the United Kingdom and his commitment to the environment. Unfortunately these sovereigntists are unable to see the world beyond their lily-coloured glasses and are protesting his visit on account of crimes committed by the British against the French almost 400 years ago.
The Societé St-Jean Baptiste, one of the groups involved, has announced that the Prince will not be welcome in the province of Québec unless he apologizes for the alleged “ethnocide” of the French people which occurred preceding and following the fall of New France in 1763.
The group cites such sins as the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, the execution of the leaders of the Patriotes rebellion, and the Act of Union of 1840 as examples of British transgressions against the French Canadians. They did not warn the Prince not to visit Quebec, but indicated that such a visit must be preceded by an apology to all French Canadians.
Another group however, has told the Prince not to come to Quebec at all. The Réseau de Résistance du Québecois, has called for Prince Charles, who they characterize as an “atavistic enemy of free Quebec,” to stay out of Quebec or face as of yet undefined harassment. They claim to have some 500 members at all levels of Quebec society, ready to do whatever they can to disrupt the Prince’s visit.
These groups are detached from present day realities; in their world, the good old days ended with the fall of New France in 1763. Since then, they feel the lives of French Canadians have been a nightmare. Actually, in the years that followed the British conquest of New France, the quality of life of the average French Canadian has risen steadily, and continues to do so up to the present day.
While there were mistakes made by the British in their interactions with Canada’s French population, those mistakes were all made in the now distant past. Overall, the British presence in Quebec and Canada contributed to the creation of province and country where the rule of law reigns supreme and where civil rights ensure that even such groups as the Societé St-Jean Baptiste and the Réseau de Résistance Québecois can spew whatever nonsense they like.
Rather than concentrating on the “crimes’ perpetrated by the British authorities during the 18th and 19th centuries, it would be nice if these organizations focused their attentions on real problems that affect real people in present day Quebec.


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