Letter to the Editor published in Oak Bay News (Victoria), 18 September 1997
To all those who support the concept of partitioning Quebec, consider the following scenario:
In the fall of 1998, a majority of Quebec citizens vote “Yes” in a sovereignty referendum. The province immediately declares itself independent from the rest of Canada, forming a separate nation-state. The Canadian government, acting in the interests of the minority of Quebec citizens who wish to remain in Canada, partitions the province, allowing pro-federalist municipalities and regions to remain in the federation. The province is bitterly fragmented, with pro-sovereigntist Quebec becoming a new state, and pro-federalist Quebec remaining a part of Canada.
Within the partitioned areas, a strong, angry, and militant minority group supporting sovereignty is created. Utterly frustrated by its failed aspiration of national self-determination and independence, this minority group resorts to violence in a desperate attempt to achieve its goals, exercising this violence through a militant terrorist group (perhaps a reemergence of the FLQ, perhaps something along the lines of the QRA- Quebecois Republican Army).
Incessant bombing campaigns and other terroristic activities ensue throughout the Canadian federation. A woman and her newborn baby are killed in an explosion in a Vancouver office building. Twenty-nine people die in a subway bombing in downtown Toronto. Twelve are injured and three die as an explosion rocks Parliament Hill. Within the partitioned areas, irresolvable hostility and violence develops between the two rival groups.
This violence continues unabbatted for decades and decades on end.
Sound ludicrous? The idea of partition has been tested before, and the result is exactly that which I have described above. Northern Ireland — with all its implicit problems — is a product of partition. Where Quebec would involve linguistic partition, Ireland represents religious partition. Anyway you look at it, partition is a deadly mistake. The solution: Support Quebec’s democratic right to national self-determination and territorial integrity, no strings attached.