La Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal demanded the removal of a band that was to play English music for Quebec's Fete National (ST. JEAN-BAPTISTE DAY) celebrations in Montreal on June 24, 2009.
The Canadian news media then decided to survey the public in Montreal, Quebec and get a pulse of the city on this important issue. Of course when they started to interview many Quebecois/Quebecoise they were not surprised at all at the answers they got. In the main the opinion they got was that La Fete National was a provincial affair celebrating the Quebecois (French) Nation, its language (JOUAL) and its culture (Metis) and that it should not be done in any other language. A statement made by some was that this is a FRENCH FEAST DAY and should only depict their language and culture. That the English have their CANADA DAY festival and we do not partake of it because it belongs to the English culture alone.
Hearing all this talk of Canada Day being an English celebration got me thinking about my telephone conversation in the 1970's with a former Battle of Britain pilot who came to Canada in 1954 and married a Quebecoise from Baie d'Urfe afterwards, or so he told me. That man was Hal Herbert, Liberal MP for Vaudreuil and which at that time included Pierrefonds, Quebec. I questioned Mr. Herbert on the name change of DOMINION DAY to CANADA DAY of which he took part one afternoon without a quorum in the parliament at Ottawa, Ontario. I pointed out that Canada Day should be on June 24th because that was the day that Jacques Cartier supposedly discovered Canada and that July 1st should stay as Dominion Day and not be altered as had been done. But again as typical Liberal MP, he pointed out that there was no word the equivalent of the word DOMINION in French, so it had to be changed.
Mr. Herbert went on to tell me that June 24th was a day that was celebrated by "les canadiens" as their NATIONAL FEAST and that he would not approve of it because it would make his Quebecoise wife very angry. So I asked him whether he was MP for the constituents of Vaudreuil or only represented his wife a Quebecoise. At which he got very annoyed and put down the telephone.
Now, if the Quebecois/Quebecoise believe that July 1st which was Dominion Day had to be changed to Canada Day, then the very reason for its existence as a national holiday for all Canadians were no longer applicable to the Quebecois/Quebecoise which treated it as an English ONLY celebration. And therein lies the Quebecois view of Canada Day being some sort of foreign holiday which did not apply to the Quebecois.
Kenneth T. Tellis