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(Quebec Premier) Landry sees Sept. 11 as lesson in sovereignty
CP via National Post ^ | November 19th, 2001 | Alexander Panetta - The Canadian Press

Posted on 11/19/2001 6:39:20 AM PST by jerod

November 19, 2001

Landry sees Sept. 11 as lesson in sovereignty
'Catalan or Taliban': Nations become reactionary if denied their independence

Alexander Panetta
The Canadian Press
Jacques Boissinot, The Canadian Press

Bernard Landry, the Quebec Premier, denounced the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks at a weekend party meeting.: (Photo ran in all editions except Toronto.)

QUEBEC - Bernard Landry yesterday linked the Sept. 11 attacks to Quebec sovereignty, saying the terrorist bombings were the result of bitterness that can arise when nations like Quebec fail to achieve independence.

"The freedom of peoples and nations and their character is an indispensable condition for global equilibrium," the Quebec Premier told delegates to a convention of his Parti Québécois. "Otherwise we will go from dominant imperialism and disappointment to deep bitterness."

"Since the events of Sept. 11, if there is one conclusion to draw in relation to the project of Quebec sovereignty and the sovereignty and liberty of all people, that is it."

He implied that Quebec sovereignty was a way of avoiding terrorist attacks such as those on New York and Washington.

To illustrate his point, the Premier used the example of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain with its own language and political autonomy.

"The future is Catalan or Taliban," Mr. Landry said, quoting what he said was a recent speech by Bill Clinton, the former U.S. president. "To follow our ideal of sovereignty, it's simply contributing to the progress of all humanity."

Hubert Bolduc, Mr. Landry's press secretary, denied the Quebec Premier was trying to make any link between the attacks and the sovereignty option.

"You can't link the Quebec independence project with Sept. 11," Mr. Bolduc said in a telephone interview after the speech. "You are making a story out of nothing."

After speaking with the Premier, Mr. Bolduc could not explain what Mr. Landry meant.

"I don't really know what he meant to say," Mr. Bolduc said. "But one thing is certain: That's not what he wanted to say. Well, at least not the way it was interpreted."

A total of 4,537 people died on Sept. 11 when terrorists, believed to be members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, crashed passenger jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and a fourth jet crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

Mr. Landry has denounced terrorism since the attacks and offered support to the U.S. government. He also plans to meet with New York Governor George Pataki and tour Ground Zero during a trip to New York City in two weeks.

Speaking in French without notes, Mr. Landry also delivered his harshest remarks about federalism since the terrorist attacks.

One recent opinion poll suggested Quebecers felt more secure inside Canada since Sept. 11, and Mr. Landry has played down talk of sovereignty while remaining cautious when discussing the federal government.

The Premier has been more guarded in his remarks about Canada since referring to the Maple Leaf flag as a "red rag" last January. He later said the remark was misinterpreted.

But he adopted a harsher tone in a pair of speeches to party delegates this weekend.

Mr. Landry said the Canadian union has regressed while the rest of the Western world has evolved and said Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, and Stéphane Dion, the Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, "embody the opposite of modernity."

Meanwhile, he noted that Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, recognizes that Scotland and Wales are nations.

"Why is Canada blocked, while England manages to recognize Scotland and Wales?" Mr. Landry asked. "Why is the world evolving, while -- on constitutional matters -- Canada regresses?"

He said his remarks were not directed against Canadian citizens, but aimed at the federal government. Earlier in the day, PQ members adopted a resolution calling for public hearings on sovereignty.

Support for sovereignty still hovered above 40% in recent polls but lagged behind levels recorded in the mid-1990s. Surveys also show most Quebecers do not want another referendum on the issue.

Mr. Landry told delegates on Saturday the PQ would not abandon sovereignty to increase its appeal before the next election, which is still a few years away.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events

1 posted on 11/19/2001 6:39:20 AM PST by jerod
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To: jerod
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

With all their beady little eyes And flappin heads so full of lies

Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

2 posted on 11/19/2001 6:47:40 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: jerod
Truly appalling and in astonishing bad taste; the worst sort of irresponsible demogoguery.
3 posted on 11/19/2001 10:33:18 AM PST by AmericanVictory
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To: jerod; coteblanche
Landry is certifiable, and all outside the PQ hierarcy know that.He's unelectable in Quebec, and a joke to the rest of the country.Poor Mordecai Richler would have enjoyed taking him down several pegs...
4 posted on 11/19/2001 10:37:45 AM PST by habs4ever
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To: jerod
Thanks for posting this--I live in Quebec.
On the surface, his comments seem ridiculous, but not when you take into account the violence and terrorism that actually did occur in the 70's here.
This man is dangerous. I miss Lucien Bouchard.
5 posted on 11/19/2001 10:39:50 AM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: jerod
I think that we need to separate this into two different issues.

First, is the attempt by this bozo to link Quebec independence to the Sept 11 attacks. That is absurd.

Second, is the underlying issue of Quebec independence and the proper type of political sovereignty that is best for the our modern world. I think that small, relatively culturally homogenous republics are the best bet. The French Canadian people have a coherent history, culture, and sense of nationhood. They deserve to be independent. Large, polyglot multicultural empires do not work and are causing a variety of problems around the world.

6 posted on 11/19/2001 11:02:36 AM PST by quebecois
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche
Cote, speak english to me.What did you say? :-)
8 posted on 11/19/2001 11:14:36 AM PST by habs4ever
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To: coteblanche
I left because my parents dragged me with them.I didn't have a choice in the matter ;-)
10 posted on 11/19/2001 11:38:45 AM PST by habs4ever
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche
I didn't...weekends to Montreal are enough for me, and watching too much winning hockey is a narcotic, so I want to preserve my health.People in Ottawa don't have that same problem, though...:-)
12 posted on 11/19/2001 1:04:40 PM PST by habs4ever
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

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