Opinion » Editorial


Eight months ago, just as Quebecers were about to vote on the future of the country, many of us for the first time really considered what Canada might be like without Quebec, and whether the country would survive. How many of us have thought about it since? Prior to last October’s referendum both sides said — many times — the status quo was not an option. But the status quo remains, which means the issue remains, which means the country could face another referendum. The only difference from eight months ago is that Lucien Bouchard — to many a much more appealing leader than Jacques Parizeau — is now premier of Quebec. At the moment Bouchard is concentrating on Quebec’s debt, the economy and other matters ignored in the build-up to last fall’s referendum. What he is doing, is getting the province in better shape prior to another referendum. The question is do we as British Columbians care? British Columbia has perhaps the healthiest economy and brightest future of any province in the country, as our premier keeps telling us. B.C. is in a position to take a leadership role within Canada, but it seems to be against our nature to show much interest in the rest of the country, at least until there is a crisis or a vote that may affect us. Generally, our dealings with the rest of Canada seem to be confined to how badly we are short changed or aren’t given control of our own resources. Quebec’s seemingly endless whining should sound familiar; we do a fare bit of it ourselves. It’s a bit much to expect westward-facing British Columbians to suddenly do an about-face and show a deep understanding for Quebec’s position, but maybe we could spare a moment on Canada Day to think back eight months and recall that we, too, have a stake in this country, and maybe we could contribute something to making it work better.