24 June 2011

What is 24 JUN? As usual, Quebec is ambiguous

from the (Quebec) National Holiday Act:

1. The 24th of June, St. John the Baptist Day, is the National Holiday.

Since St. John is the patron saint of French Canada (not only of Quebec), the day takes on an "ethnic church" dimension. So much for 'secularism'. These days the holiday's all about bonfires and getting drunk.
As the years went by and the sovereignty movement gained momentum, the celebration morphed into a sovereignist celebration as well. There isn't an Anglo-Quebecker older than 40 who doesn't remember the sickening television images of drunken revellers desecrating and burning Canadian flags, amid shouts of 'Vive la Quebec libre [sic]'

from Bonjour Quebec:

This holiday originates from the tradition, prevalent in several countries, of celebrating the summer solstice by lighting bonfires and performing popular dances. June 24 was officially designated "Québec's National Holiday" in 1977. Shows and bonfires will take place in several municipalities. Since 1984, the Mouvement national du Québec (MNQ) has been the national coordinator of this event.

This assumes that Quebec is a nation and/or a nation-state, rather than what is it: a province.

The government has been two-faced, claiming that the holiday is for everyone and then sub-contracting the organization of the event to radical groups.

If the government wants to signal that it really means that the 24th is a holiday for everyone, they must remove sovereignist groups as the exclusive organizer of the event.
In short, if you want a holiday that is inclusive, don't hire ethnocentrics to run the show, it's as simple as that.

The SSJB is what it is and everyone knows it. As long as the government employs them to run the show, sanctimonious protestations by Ministers decrying the decisions they take, is cynical and unfair.
On every level, it is politics at it's worst.
All the society has to do, is call it Quebec Day, and I'm all for it. Because in spite of myself, I am a Quebecer too.

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