This got me wondering about just how Francophone Quebec views Canada and its place within Canada and what changes are occurring there that would explain the low pro-separatist support. According to a friend of mine who is soon to be practicing law in Quebec, French speaking Quebecois really are taking a new look at Canada and beginning to become interested in Canada. I'd say that this might be the start of something that we have not seen before.
I don't think that there was ever a point in time in which Quebec had so many reasons to be upset, but yet is so positive in it's view of Canada. That disastrous November Economic Update that nearly created a Dion lead coalition of the separatist Bloc, the semi-social Democrat NDP and the Liberals created a massive anti-Quebec sentiment in the Western part of the country. Stephen Harper went out of his way to play up that resentment and bombed much of the last parts of a bridge that he still had leading him to the Quebec electoral promise land (and truly national party stature). Yet, in spite of this, French Speaking Quebecers, a majority of them don't want to separate! I know those numbers were from November, but still. The point remains that more and more Quebecois are getting used to the idea of being in Canada.
I think that we might very well look back upon these days as the days were Quebec's full engagement with Canada began. I'm really excited about this, not only because I'm from New Brunswick and would be geographically separated from most of Canada if Quebec were to separate, but because I think Quebec adds so much to the country. Everywhere in the world that I go people point out that I live in "the French part" of the country and I get to tell them about New Brunswick and bilingualism and our peculiar neighbour Quebec. I think it is cool (for lack of a better word) that Quebec is such a world onto itself and I think it is a shining example of how not every nation needs to be independent in order to feel happy and engaged as a true stakeholder in the process.
I hope that we are moving past the days of handing out ceremonial carrots in order to appease Quebec and into the days where Quebec's place in the country (perhaps a Canada with a multi-national concept in place) is simply a given.
For English Canada (of which I myself am a member) Quebec has done us a service as well. We'd likely not have our own flag if it weren't for Quebec being unable to accept the old one, and something similar could be said about the anthem Canada gains a lot from Quebec, and Quebec gains a lot being in Canada. Perhaps soon when Quebecois look at the Canadian flag they will think of it more as their own, rather than the flag of the other.