I have made small changes to yesterday’s post because it could be misinterpreted. I would not encourage a woman to have an abortion, even if a pregnancy would kill her. That would be her decision.
Second, Presidential candidates take a “pro-life” stand to look morally superior and earn votes. It is, in many cases, a mere ploy, but it offends women. It makes them look irresponsible and less credible then men.
I deeply resented being considered a “cutie pie” by a Dean who asked that the minutes of departmental meetings be taken to him by a man, not a woman, me. When I tried to return to work, a Vice-President told me he would not let me re-enter a classroom. He doubted my sanity.
Yet, I was expected to fill gaps in the programme and prepare courses in areas I had never studied, or leave. It was also reported that I discussed personal issues in the classroom. My students knew I had a little cat named Mouchette. They otherwise knew very little about me.
What about environmental concerns? We’ve hurt the planet. Poverty is spreading. Gunmen shoot children and the Black. The cost of medical care and medications is much too high, etc.
A Presidential candidate’s moral superiority does not depend on whether he states that he will not tolerate abortions. Decriminalising abortions does not translate into the advocacy of abortions. Moreover, being pro-life does not guarantee that a candidate is morally fit for the Presidency of the United States. However, it most certainly sheds suspicion on the behaviour and character of women.
The choice of a President of the United States may be based on such issues as abortion.
The health of a woman should not be used to sway voters. Besides, women are being insulted. They are full-fledged citizens of the United States and they know right from wrong. They are responsible individuals and cannot be looked upon as frivolous.
Abortion and birth control are not a clear “yes” or “no” issue. A person may be against abortions, but find herself needing an abortion. There are women whose health and life preclude a pregnancy, and women who are taking medications that may endanger the health and life of a fetus. The fate of these woman and the fetus is not for the White House to determine. Nor should Washington interfere with a doctor’s duties towards his patients.
Millions of women would like to have a child, but cannot conceive. As for women who are fertile, they have a right to control their fertility.
Our society has given abortions a bad name, which is very wrong. Our society has also been intolerant of sexual orientation. As long as no one is forced into sexual intercourse, and children are protected, sexual intercourse is a gift to mankind. It must be consensual, even in marriage, but it is pleasurable, comforting, and it allows a woman to bear and give birth to little ones.
It is very painful not to have the child one thought one would have. Childless persons do not have a family.
Canada has decriminalized abortions. Women were resorting to the use of coat hangers or went to charlatans who could cause their death and whose fees were unacceptably high. They had turned the government’s failure to protect its citizens into a lucrative but secret industry. That is unacceptable. Women also committed suicide.
The time has come for governments around the world to look upon women as responsible citizens who would not resort to frivolous abortions. It is a matter of education. At this rather late day, women are on the same footing as men.
President Trump and Moral Issues
President Donald Trump downplayed the novel coronavirus. He had to listen to Dr. Fauci and other experts in epidemiology. He didn’t. He also kicked the WHO, the World Health Organization, out of the United States. I hope he will pick up hospital bills as well as funeral costs. He was not there when he should have been and he let thousands of Americans be infected .
In short, politicians who use their stand on abortion are seeking votes and, in the case of Mr. Trump, this stand does not represent his genuine feelings. Politicians are merely using women. They are not qualified to decide whether a pregnancy is physically and emotionally safe or unsafe. Most are not medical doctors and they are not one’s personal medical doctors. Besides, if one candidate to the presidency uses his stand on abortion to gain a vote, first, he may be lying and, second, he may be forcing an opponent to take a stand on a medical and very private issue.
I lost fourteen brothers and sisters to a congenital blood disease. My mother was pregnant knowing the child she bore was unlikely to survive. Religion was a factor. I have always wondered whether giving birth to children who would die was morally right or wrong.
When one of his sons died, I saw my father collapse. His friends, both medical doctors and dear friends, led him out of the room. He never recovered.
During a visit to Quebec, legendary violinist Yehudin Menuhin (1916-1999) met Jean Carignan (1916-1988), Quebec’s finest fiddler in his days. They performed music composed by André Gagnon, entitled Concerto pour Carignan.
The above video shows different styles that are not incompatible. Within a mere few bars (mesures), one can move from violoniste to violoneux (fiddler). In fact, many violoneux are also violinists. One does not preclude the other.
I am working on two one-act plays by Molière: La Critique de l’École des femmes (June 1663) and l’Impromptu de Versailles (October 1663). These are plays about plays.
I have been editing older posts and have noticed that some videos feature singers and fiddlers who let their feet dance. There are similarities between Celtic music and French Canadian folklore. Nicolas Pellerin dances: podorythmie.
French Canada also has fiddlers, as do many cultures, as well as legends. La Chasse-galerie is one such legend. Honoré Beaugrand wrote its finest telling. It is rooted in French legends. I will look for translations or retell the legends.
In the area of folklore, our best source could be the Voyageur Heritage Community Journal & Resource Guide (WordPress).
English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians are not incompatible. Lord Durham suggested an assimilative Union, but Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, the Reformers, mapped out a genuine union.
Sir George-Étienne Cartier had good reasons to persuade his province to enter into a strong partnership: Confederation. Confederation had French-speaking opponents, but several French Canadians wanted to join. Therefore, I wish that Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine had been alive during Confederation.
Le curé Labelle asked farmers to go north and make land (faire de la terre), but many couldn’t. When the ancestral thirty acres (trente arpents) could no longer be divided or were too expensive to purchase, when, moreover, there was no prospect of employment in Quebec, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 French-speaking Canadians and Acadians left for the United States. This period of Canadian history is called the exodus.
When Québécois fully realize the harm John A. Macdonald inflicted on 1) Amerindians, 2) French Canadians, and, to a large extent, on 3) English-speaking Canadians, they must stay calm. All must stay calm.
We have a future to build, and it must be built harmoniously.
A word on Covid-19. Quebec and other Canadian provinces have entered the second wave of the Covid-19 crisis. Let us protect one another and ensure that people do not commit suicide. Losing one’s position is a terrible affliction, but this is a crisis, and governments must help. People are afraid. My little area of Quebec is a pale yellow zone, but that will probably change. Quebec City, Québec’s capital, is this province’s current pandemic epicentre. However, it seems Covid-19 will not spare anyone. I’ve been indoors since early March. It isn’t good. Yet, I pity those who must go out. Let us help one another.
A few novels tell about the exodus and the many obstacles French Canadians had to face. These are:
I have written posts about all four novels. Besides, these are novels I have taught. As you know, my teaching load was extensive: six areas. I also created language-lab components. It was all but lethal.
I was writing a post that was erased. So I will be brief. I have started to edit my Canadiana pages: 1 and 2. To a significant extent, literature is written in a context. It may not be a clear product of its time nor a clear product of an author’s life, but it doesn’t stand in a void. For instance, there are elements such as intertextualité, archetypes, genres, modes, themes, and an author and his time.
The two pages listing posts on French Canada contain the title of literary works reflecting the history of French Canada. They require a little dusting. Much has happened since 2012, when many of these posts were written.
New France fell to Britain in 1759 (Quebec City), 1760 (Montreal), and by virtue of the Treaty of Paris, 1763. The Quebec Act (1774) gave French-speaking Canadians a status that approximated the status of English-speaking Canadians. The Governor of Canada was Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester.
2. The Constitutional Act, 1791
After the American Revolutionary War, the United Empire Loyalists moved to Canada. The Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the large province of Quebec into Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Most of the inhabitants of Upper Canada spoke English. In Lower Canada, the majority of Canadians were French-speaking (Canadiens). English-speaking newcomers also settled in Lower Canada. The Eastern Townships would be home to a large number of English-speaking Canadians. But many French-speaking Canadians felt Lower Canada was their land.
Both the citizens of Upper Canada and Lower Canada rebelled in 1837-1838. The Crown levied money from its British North American colonies.
3. The Act of Union, 1840
Lord Durham investigated the Rebellions of 1837-1838. He recommended the union of the two Canadas. He hoped English-speaking Canadians would outnumber French-speaking Canadians.
In other words, Canada had a responsible government 16 years before Confederation was signed. Confederation was the crowning event in a quest that began when the large Province of Quebec was divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada. However, in 1867, French-speaking Canadians signed a document, the Constitution of Canada, Confederation, that precluded their living outside Quebec, if they wanted to be educated in French.
Confederation: Rupert’s Land
Another precedent rooted in the Act of Union, and the most unfortunate for French-speaking Canadians, was Lord Durham’s hope that French-speaking Canadians would become a minority in the large Province of Canada. The Province of Canada was a short-lived administration. It lasted a mere sixteen (16) years, which did not allow English-speaking Canadians to become more numerous than French-speaking Canadians.
However, matters would differ after the B.N.A (British North America) Act (1867) was passed. The B.N.A. Act federated Ontario (Canada West), Quebec (Canada East), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. After they entered Confederation joined the four provinces, the Dominion of Canada purchased Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada could stretch from sea to sea, which it did. British Columbia was promised an intercontinental railroad, a promise that brought it into Confederation, on 10 July 1871. By the turn of the century, the province of Quebec had become one of nine (9) provinces, and, with the addition of Newfoundland (1949), it could become one of ten (10) provinces. where French-speaking Canadians could not be educated in French. The above is somewhat repetitive, but beginning in 1837-1838, English Canadians and French Canadians sought responsible government, not division.
After Confederation, Quebec was one of a handful of provinces and soon the only province where French-speaking Canadians could be educated in French. Until 1998, Montreal had its Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. It was founded in 1951 as a replacement for the Montreal Protestant Central Board. (See Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, Wikipedia.) Quebec has been officially unilingual since 1974, under Robert Bourassa (Bill-22), but, despite the status of the province, English-speaking Canadians residing in Quebec do not have to learn French unless they enter a career demanding a knowledge of French.
The War of 1812
The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack of Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent.
Yet, English-speaking and French speaking-Canadians had acquired a sense of identity sooner than Lord Durham had expected. To a significant extent, the Act of Quebec (1774) had put French Canadians on the same footing as English-speaking citizens of the colony. My best example would be the War of 1812. Amerindians fought for their waning freedom. Tecumseh joined the group. Richard Pierpoint assembled a Coloured Corps. He was born a free man and would die a free man. As for French Canadians, they had been conquered some 50 years before the War of 1812, yet, the Voltigeurs, under the command of Major Charles de Salaberry, proved a fine regiment.
It saddens me that an effort was made to impede French-speaking Canada’s growth, but New France had been a colony, and Britain was a colonist. The inhabitants of planet Earth share affinities that override ethnicity, which is the story Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine told us and which is one of the finest Canadian stories.
Microsoft will disconnect me on 15 October 2020. No, I can’t remember my password. My memory is failing me and Microsoft is a monopoly. They have suggested I purchase Office 365 once again. But I can no longer purchase Microsoft Office. That will not work. They will still ask for my smartphone number which is disabled. I cannot operate a smartphone. I need a cell phone for seniors. I have been up until 4 o’clock in the morning trying to remember. I have a phone number: 819 791-2447, if my memory serves me well.
I would like them to phone me until I purchase a cell phone I can operate. Smartphones will not work for me. I’m at a loss with technologies. I’ll have to purchase a phone for seniors.
My friend John sent me an email. He says I must return my hair to a dark colour. It was jet black. My hair and my face do not match. I’ve aged slowly. That picture is the real me. I’m not even wearing make up.
There is more to say about Confederation. Precedents influence a new constitution. The Constitution of 1867 is online. Article 93 and 133 of the Constitution stem from precedents. They were repeated in the Act of Union (1840/1841).
Given that I am long-winded, paragraphs were eliminated from the post I published yesterday. It doesn’t harm the post and the current length probably means that it will be read be very few people.
Lord Durham resigned his position because his report was criticized by Parliament.
The most violent event stemming from Lord Durham’s report is the terrorist branch of the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec). Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau put an end to what could have generated more violence. Prime Ministre Pierre Elliott Trudeau was an extraordinary leader. That unfortunate event is known as the October Crisis.
I have inserted my latest posts on Quebec in Canadiana 1. It’s a page.
My posts can be very long.
We cannot change the past, but we have a future we can shape.
Let me open this post by saying that the Constitution of 1867, or BNA Act, Confederation, was an act of Britain’s parliament. Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), as well as the Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) were colonies of Britain. The Rebellions of 1837-1838 opposed Canadians and the Crown, not English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians.
L’A.A.N.B. est une loi du Parlement britannique, il ne résulte pas de la volonté des peuples du Canada, mais de la volonté d’appropriation d’un appareil d’État par la bourgeoisie canadienne.” [The BNA Act is a law of the British Parliament, it does not represent the will of the people(s) of Canada, but the will, on the part of the Canadian bourgeoisie, to take over the Government.]
So, I repeat, the Rebellions of 1837-1838 did not oppose English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians. Canadians rebelled against the Crown and the Canadian bourgeoisie: the Family Compact and the Château Clique.
Lord Durham’s Investigation & Recommendations
After the Rebellions of 1837-1838 (Lord Durham), which occurred in both Upper Canada (Toronto) and Lower Canada (Montreal), John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham (Lord Durham) was asked to investigate matters. He spent about five months in Canada devoting two weeks to an investigation of Upper Canada. He nevertheless produced a Report on the Rebellions and made recommendations. There were many, but they can be summed up as follows:
the Union of Upper Canada and Lower Canada,
a responsible government for Canada, and, a matter often omitted,
the use of English in the Assembly.
The Act of Union was passed in 1840, and implemented, in 1841. Upper Canada and Lower Canada became the Province of Canada and remained a colony of Britain.
The British intended that this policy would facilitate the assimilation of the French. Still, the French, led by such astute reform leaders as Louis Hippolyte LaFontaine, took advantage of divisions among the English-speaking legislators by allying themselves with the reformers from Canada West to push for responsible government and to make themselves indispensable for governmental stability.
However, Robert Balwin and Louis-Hippolyte faced opposition.
Realizing he [Sydenham] had almost no support in Lower Canada (at this time Canada East), he reorganised electoral ridings to give the Anglo-Canadian population more votes, and in areas where that was infeasible, he allowed English mobs to beat up French candidates. Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine was one such candidate who suffered from Sydenham’s influence; Lafontaine eventually left Canada East to work with Robert Baldwin in creating a fairer union for both sides. The new constitution, after being carried through the colonial parliaments and ratified by the House of Commons, came into force on 10 February 1841. It led ultimately to the great confederation of 1867.
Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine were friends. In fact, Robert Baldwin arrange for Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine to run for office in in York (Toronto) and La Fontaine won his seat.
Matters changed when three or four provinces of British North America confederated. The Province of Canada had been Upper and Lower Canada, which explains the conflicting totals of three and four. Moreover, when Confederation was passed, the Province of Canada became Ontario and Quebec, which delighted George-Étienne Cartier. French Canadians were fond of their Lower Canada whose inhabitants were not exclusively French-Canadians. Wolfred Nelson would be a mayor of Montreal.
In short, what I wish to stress is that English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Canadians have seldom, if ever, attacked one another. Yes, as noted above, Lord Sydenham “allowed English mobs to beat up French candidates.” (See Lord Sydenham, Wikipedia). Louis Riel pushed back the armed surveyors ready to divide the Red River Settlement, bought by the Earl of Selkirk. But, truth be told, Canadians were not enclined to attack one another. There have been tensions between linguistic groups and a few bad moments, but in 1837-1838 patriots and patriotes were Canadians fighting Britain. They were led by William Lyon Mackenzie, in Upper Canada, and by Louis-Joseph Papineau, a Seigneur in Lower Canada. Papineau was also the leader of the Parti canadien. The party was the first political party in Canada and was first led by Pierre-Stanislas Bédard.
However, the Rebellion was more severe in Lower Canada. It appears the British were forwarned and Louis-Joseph Papineau, the leader of the Parti canadien, led ended up leading the patriotes. Papineau was very articulate
hangings and exile
Un Canadien errant
However, the rebels were defeated. At the conclusion of the Rebellions, many were saddened. Several patriots or patriotes were hanged or exiled. Both William Lyon Mackenzie and Louis-Joseph Papineau fled Canada. In 1842, Antoine Gérin-Lajoie composed Un Canadien errant. Few songs express in so poignant a manner the profound grief of the exiled. Editor and author Eugène Achard suggested that the song could be the National Anthem of Acadians. Acadians agreed. As well, for French-speaking Canadians, the Act of Union was a loss. French Canadians, called Canadiens, were quite comfortable in their Lower Canada, a land where they were a majority, but shared with people of different origins. The Act of Union took it away. It created a large Province of Canada were French-speaking Canadians were expected to become a minority and be assimilated.
Minorisation and Precedents
I have been asking why Protestants could be educated in English in Quebec, while French Canadians could not be educated in French outside Quebec, thereby becoming a minority. First, there was a precedent. By joining Upper Canada and Lower Canada, it was hoped that the English would be a majority.
Minorisation didn’t happen in the Earl of Durham’s Province of Canada, but it would happen in a federated Canada. English-speaking Canadians did not choose to be a majority, but in 9 of 10 provinces, waves of immigrants were educated in English. The Earl of Durham’s Province of Canada, where French Canadians were expected to constitute a minority presaged a federation that excludes the French and the Catholics. Ironically, in 1849, Papineau championed “rep. by pop.”
The Act of Union had set precedents to the Constitution of 1867. There would be no separate schools for French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec, (article 93 of the Constitution of 1867), but Parliament was bilingual (article 133). Sir Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine had spoken French, a precedent. But Ottawa was located immediately next of Quebec. One crossed a bridge. Quebec would have a role to play in Ottawa, which is the path Sir Wilfrid Laurier used.
G.-É. Cartier’s “here and now”
George-Étienne Cartier liked Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy. Canadians would be included in a government he favoured. He had belonged to the parti bleu (the Liberals), but had switched to the parti rouge (the Conservatives). Confederation would protect Canadians from expansionnist Americans. As well, the clergy was on the side of Confederation. The Province of Canada had 48 French-speaking representatives, députés. When the matter of Confederation was put to a vote, 26 approved and 22 didn’t. Then came railways…
Conversely, French Canadians provided Canada with a mythic past. It had legends Sir Ernest MacMillan set to music. Louis Riel is a major Canadian figure, and the Canadian martyrs have become American martyrs. As well, in his Report, Lord Durham was very unsympathetic to French Canadians. They didn’t have a history nor did they have literature. French Canadians responded by creating literature in French, their patrie littéraire,or literary homeland. That is all well, but immigrants to Canada settled in provinces west of Quebec and were educated in English. One “does the math.”
A will to assimilate French Canadians underlies the Earl of Durham’s report and the Act of Union, his main recommendation. The Province of Canada is a prelude to Confederation. Statues of John A. Macdonald are in storage and, having researched this post, I suspect Lord Durham’s demeaning view of French-speaking informs both the Act of Union and the Constitution of 1867, Confederation.
 Micheline Bourbeau-Walker, « Le Récit d’Acadie : présence d’une absence », in Édouard Langille et Glenn Moulaison, Les Abeilles pilottent,* mélanges offerts à René LeBlanc (Pointe de l’Église, Revue de l’Université Sainte-Anne, 1998), pp. 255-275. *The title refers to Montaigne‘s opinion on education (See L’Encyclopédie de l’Agora).