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Paysage à Québec
Marc-Aurèle Fortin Paysage à Québec (Galerie Alan Klinkhoff)

Baldwin and LaFontaine: Union

The victory of the Reform Party on 24 January 1848 was one of the most significant in Canadian history.

Baldwin, LaFontaine and Responsible Government, The Canadian Encyclopedia

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.

But …

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.

About Covid-19

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.

L’Appel du Nord by Jack Warwick (Érudit series)
Textes de l’Exode (David Hayne‘s article)
Le Développement des idéologies au Québec by Denis Monière (Érudit series)

Love to everyone 💕

© Micheline Walker
22 Octobre 2020