Michaelle Jean and Her Views on Separatism
I have been following the story about our Governor General designate Michaelle Jean and whether or not she is a Quebec separatists. Some of the stories, if true, are very disquieting to say the least. The Lafond/Jeans travelled in separatist circles, as elegant liberal CBC types are wont to do. Her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, a (French born) film maker made a documentary about the FLQ and is known to have befriended members of Canada's home-grown terrorists.
Paul Rose, jailed for only eight years for his part in the kidnapping and murder of Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte in 1970, built the Lafond/Jean's a bookcase in their residence that M. Lafond joked contained a hidden weapons cache. Pierre Laporte you may recall was strangled by the FLQ terrorists with the chain from his religious medallion. For those unfamiliar with the FLQ, I refer you to Wikepedia via Answers.com.
The Front de Libération du Québec (Quebec Liberation Front), commonly known as the FLQ, was a Nationalist terrorist group founded in the 1960s that was part of the Quebec sovereignty movement. Based primarily in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, they distinguished themselves by their use of extreme violence and terrorism as a means to achieve their goals. The FLQ was a group of young Québécois whose declarations called for a Marxist/anarchist insurrection, the overthrow of the Quebec government, the independence of Quebec from Canada and the establishment of a workers' society. ......
In 1963, they were organized and trained by Georges Schoeters, a Belgian revolutionary and alleged but unconfirmed KGB agent, whose hero was Che Guevara. Its intellectual leaders were Charles Gagnon and Pierre Vallières. On October 7, 1963 Schoeters was given 2 five-year prison terms for political crimes. At least two of the FLQ members had also received guerrilla training in selective assassination from Palestinian commandos in Jordan.
Various cells emerged over time: The Viger Cell, the Dieppe Cell, the Louis Riel Cell (see:Louis Riel), the Nelson Cell, The Saint-Denis Cell, the Liberation Cell and the Chénier Cell. The latter of these two cells were involved in what became known as the "October Crisis," the first terrorist crisis in modern Canadian history.
From 1963 to 1970, the FLQ committed over 200 violent political actions, including bombings, bank hold-ups and at least three deaths by FLQ bombs and two deaths by gunfire. In 1963, Gabriel Hudon and Raymond Villeneuve were sentenced to 12 years in prison for crimes against the state after their bomb killed Sgt. O'Neill, a watchman at Montreal's Canadian Army Recruitment Centre.
By 1970, twenty-three members of the FLQ were in jail, including four convicted murderers, and one member had been killed by his own bomb. Targets included English owned businesses, banks, McGill University, and the homes of prominent English speakers in the wealthy Westmount area of the city. On February 13, 1969 the Front de libération du Québec set off a powerful bomb that ripped through the Montreal Stock Exchange causing massive destruction and seriously injuring twenty-seven people.
As a Marxist group, the FLQ was also opposed to the United States' ruling class and one cell supposedly plotted to blow up the Statue of Liberty, but they were apprehended before this could occur.
In 1966 a secret eight-page document entitled Revolutionary Strategy and the Role of the Avant-Garde was prepared by the FLQ outlining its long term strategy of successive waves of robberies, violence, bombings and kidnappings, culminating in insurrection and revolution. On October 5, 1970, members of the FLQ's Liberation cell kidnapped James Richard Cross, the British Trade Commissioner. Shortly afterwards, on October 10, the Chénier cell kidnapped the Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte, whom they later murdered on October 17, 1970.
From Canadian Press, via CTV News and Neale News we learn of this.
Perhaps the most outrageous comments in this affair come from those who assert that the views of Jean and Lafond are none of our business, i.e., if they support/ed the cause of breaking up our country.
The comments were included in a 1991 documentary film by Lafond and in his subsequent companion book about French-speaking author Aime Cesaire, Le Quebecois reported. The context of Jean's comment, which was made during a discussion about both Martinique and Quebec independence, was not clear.
In the  book about the [Lafond's] documentary [on the FLQ], Lafond appeared to support Quebec independence.
"So, a sovereign Quebec? An independent Quebec. Yes, I applaud with both hands and I promise to attend all the St-Jean Baptiste Day parades," the cinematographer wrote. He added that Quebec will affirm its identity and become a real country in the modern world.
In the film, Jean is seen with several sovereigntist hardliners, including poet Gerald Godin -- a co-founder of Rassemblment pour l'independence nationale and Parti Quebecois cabinet minister, Yves Prefontaine, former FLQ member Pierre Vallieres, novelist Dany Laferriere, Andree Ferretti and poet Paul Chamberland, according to Le Quebecois.
At the beginning of one scene, the guests toast independence.
Vallieres later says: "Not only should Martinique go to independence, but to
revolution, as Quebec should." To that, Jean replies [my emphasis]:
"Yes, one doesn't give independence, one takes it."
While it isn't clear what Jean was referring to 14 years ago [Really!], Le Quebecois has drawn fresh allegations about her position on Quebec sovereignty.
"It is now clear that it's the couple that has long maintained relationships with FLQ members and independence supporters, and not only Jean-Daniel Lafond," Le Quebecois said in a news release.
I disagree! The issue is crystal clear. Jean is either a loyal Canadian, or she is a Quebecois separatist. Mrs. Jean has an obligation to the Canadian people clear the air on this point before she assumes high office. She has been selected by the Prime Minister (another problem for another post) to become the Governor-General of Canada. As a public person we have a right to know how she voted in referendums intended to break up the country. If she wants privacy (her legal right) on this matter she can return to private life. If not, she must tell the Canadian people how she voted in the referendums. (That I am even having to make this point is beyond belief.)
If she voted to break up Canada country, then she is unfit to a hold high office with significant constitutional responsibilities and she ought to apologize to Canadians and withdraw from the scene. If she voted for separatism and she refuses to withdraw her name, then Paul Martin ought to either withdraw her name or resign himself. Simple really.
If you are one of these people, who say it is none of our business how she voted, I can't and won't argue with you. You obviously have such a debased view of what it means to be a Canadian I cannot have a rationale discussion on the matter with you.