The rise of Canada’s separatist Parti Quebecois (PQ) is due to the US “divide and rule” policy as Washington wishes to “Balkanize” the country to gain control of its abundant natural resources, says an analyst.
Media projections suggest that the separatist Parti Quebecois (PQ) is well on its way to win the provincial elections in Canada’s Quebec, putting an end to nearly a decade of rule by Liberals.
The PQ will, according to the projections, win 58 of the 125 seats in the provincial legislature, just five short of the 63 required for a majority, but enough to form a minority government.
Before the election, PQ leader Pauline Marois said that if her party won and was able to form a new Quebec government, she would call for a referendum on the separation of Quebec from Canada.
Under the Liberals, who want Quebec to stay part of Canada, relations with the federal government in Ottawa have been relatively stable since 2003.
Marois also pledged that she would roll back the government’s proposed tuition fee rises, if her party won the elections.
Since February, students have been protesting against the hikes and the provincial government’s controversial anti-protest Bill 78. The protests later turned into a larger movement dubbed as the “maple revolution,” which reveals deeper social unrest.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Canadian activist and political commentator, Kenneth Fernandez.
The program also offers the opinions of two other guests: human rights activist and international lawyer, Paul Wolf and political commentator, Bruce Katz.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
First of all how likely Mr. Fernandez do you think is a win for the Parti Quebecois or other separatist groups and why?
I think that what’s likely to happen is a minority government either way. It’s going to be a very close call. I do think that the PQ stands a chance of forming a government, only a minority one.
There is a lot of disaffection with the Liberal party which as I’ve mentioned before the leading premier Jean Charest was never a liberal. He was actually cut from conservative cloth and is spun by a very pro-US government that of Brian Mulroney who in fact launched his political career.
That being said the current government is being played by a series of corruption scandals, they‘ve mishandled the student protest movement badly; they’ve reacted with draconian measures and there is vast swathes of the public that are really disaffected, the healthcare and the administration of healthcare is pretty much gone down the tube.
People want a change. I’m not sure if people want the instability and barefaced hatred that the PQ represents however and I would like to comment in effect on what the lead-in said: It’s not accurate to say that Quebec was forced into signing, forced into the constitution in 1981, that’s a total inaccuracy, and it’s regrettable that the commentator chose to enunciate such a gross distortion of fact.
Observers are saying Mr. Fernandez that voters are disenchanted. You said as well with nine years of liberal rule that’s been marked by corruption scandals, the recent student protest but what kind of changes are they looking for when we are speaking about this vote for separatist groups. Again is this about independence? Is this about economic changes and basically can these groups that are now leading in the polls bring those changes?
No, firstly from what I’ve read, what I hear it’s clear to me that people in the province want a strong social infrastructural province, they want strong social programs, they want a very good and efficacious healthcare system which has been withered away over time, they want education to be accessible to as many people as possible and it’s not an ethnic factor, it’s not an issue of English or French. It’s just simply that most people irrespective of linguistic or ethnic background who live here want that.
That being said crafty politicians whose carrier is like Pauline Marois have been based on fomenting hatred and dissent and division, have made it their priority to hype up this kind of ugly nationalism with the support of media outlets that are in effect quite right-wing.
And I would only surmise that we must see the push for the sovereigntist movement in conjunction with the American lack of resources and the lack of being able to control resources in Latin America and parts of East Asia. I think that when it comes time to this ‘divide and rule’ is very much front and center of US policy planning and I would suggest that the PQ’s rise and the PQ’s constant support in the media by way of mention and the support of the separatist parties by way of mention in the media are part and parcel of a broader agenda.
Certainly the United States needs water. It needs crucial energy reserves. It needs crucial reserves of metals and all sorts of other materials and the only way they can get it is to secure Canada. They’ve already managed to some degree with free trade. If they succeed in Balkanizing the country so much the better and I would suggest that the outcome of the election would give rise to a push by other politicians to call for constitutional change that were already rejected in the 1990s but will have the effect of Balkanizing the country to the point where those areas of control over resources will fall to the provinces and they will be much more easily controllable by Washington.
What if we consider this that a referendum is proposed and actually is held, how are people going to respond to that referendum, Mr. Fernandez if you could answer that question for us. I was reading this article, someone was saying that times have changed since Canadians outside the province packed buses bound to Montreal determined to convince the Quebecers to vote ‘No’ in the 1995 referendum and they were saying that a lot of things have changed that actually might lead those people to actually vote for that referendum and for independence. Do you think that there have been major changes that could bring about a change of vote?
Firstly, before I address your question I would like to address the comments made by Mr. [Ronald] Walker. It’s not accurate to say that there is massive support for US campaigns around the globe. Yes, the governments are in lockstep that’s fair to say but there was tremendous opposition across country against the war in Iraq; against [the war in] Afghanistan-- it is not popular and that holds across the country. To suggest that there is no US intervention is unfortunately-- it doesn’t bear up with the facts.
The facts are that since [Brian] Mulronie’s reign, Mulronie received huge amounts of money from American sources, huge amounts of technical support. So did Steven Harper and in fact the Harper administration is not a legitimate one. It stole two elections, one involving parliamentary procedures with the manipulation by the governor general and another one by what amounts to voter fraud in over 200 writings. So to say that Canadians are right-wingers and Quebecers are somewhat apart is totally ridiculous.
That having been said I’ll address your question now and say that I think that the climate of instability that could arise is going to be a very unfortunate one.
I don’t agree that most people want separation. I do think they want a change in government. They want something to go on. It’s hard to imagine the PQ not being corrupt. There are elements of the unions that back it that are totally linked up to corruption, scandals involving the construction industry.
So I don’t know how it is going to play out in the end but certainly a nationalist agenda is being put on the table and well if other Canadians, I think, are starting to get burned down this I think that the stage is set when Steven Harper said Quebec is a nation. It says to me that he wants to break up the country and certainly he’s aiming for that.
Either there is one nation or there is not one nation and Harper has said that Quebec is a nation so I don’t know where this is going. I certainly don’t-- in my view it doesn’t augur well for the stability of Canada...
Mr. Fernandez, because we’re short of time the major question left is, quickly if you can answer this as well, the student protest, the fight of tuition fees and that has become very much bigger in Quebec as you know this is not just about student protests any more it’s about the restrictions people say put on protests. Are these protesters going to be represented as a result of these elections?
I think the students have found their support in Quebec Solidaire, the PQ leader has removed the red badge which I still support as you see, the little red square in support of the students, she quickly dispensed with it. So her pronouncements can be best described as a cynical ploy to woe votes but I don’t think the students are that stupid. Many of them whom I’ve spoken to have said we don’t have any faith in PQ after that and it remains to be seen how they will go but I think they will go for Quebec Solidaire, because Quebec Solidaire has come out squarely in their favor.