The Grand Council of the Crees

Quebec Agrees to Negotiate, Kidnap Crees First But "Negotiate"

Quebec Agrees to Negotiate, Kidnap Crees First But "Negotiate"

Posted: 1997-05-26

Briefly, on Thursday of this week, the tiniest chink appeared in the massive edifice of double-standards erected by the Quebec separatists in their effort to secede from Canada (and in the process to negate and violate the legal and treaty rights of Aboriginal peoples in Quebec). It happened when Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Québécois, the separatist party in the federal Parliament, for a brief moment allowed logic to overcome the hard-line separatist position, so often repeated, that the borders of an independent Quebec are "sacrosanct" and "sacred". At an election campaign meeting Duceppe was asked what he would do with the Cree people if they wanted to stay in Canada after a Yes vote in any future referendum. He said an independent Quebec would negotiate with us, but if the negotiations failed he would turn to an international tribunal to deliver a judgment. This seemed to indicate that the borders of an independent Quebec might be, after all, negotiable.

It sounded almost like a concession, a wavering from the Canute-like separatist insistence that they can ignore all realities except their own.But Bill Namagoose, executive director of the Grand Council of the Crees,was quick to point out that no such tribunal existed, and even if it did,what Mr. Duceppe was proposing was unacceptable to the Crees. "He is saying we will be kidnapped first, and then an international tribunal will decide our rights," Mr. Namagoose said.

Mr. Duceppe's statement was reflected at the same time by the renowned separatist lawyer Mr. Daniel Turp at a meeting of the Canadian Bar Association in Ottawa (May 22, 23) where he conceded that the Crees had the right to self-determination while Quebec no longer based its claim to independence on any Quebec right of self-determination. At the same conference Dr. Guy Lachapelle professor of political science and Coordinator of Quebec Government Relations at the Office of Government and External Relations publicly commented that the Crees had the right to self-determination and that as a result, Quebec would be divisible in the event that the Crees choose not to be part of a separate Quebec.

Duceppe's slight wandering from the hard-line position always adopted by the separatists was quickly shot down by Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard,who said that the "fundamental character" of the territory of Quebec is its"integrity". This is the same old story from the separatist old guard, who have shown themselves to be world champions in at least one thing:double-standards.

Canadians as a whole seem to be unaware of the depth of the double
standards advocated by the separatist leaders. We Crees are only too grimly aware of them, however, since we will be the first and most deeply affected community if the separatists ever get a chance to put their current secessionist policies into practice.

Here are just the major double-standards being pedaled by the Parti Québécois government as they pursue their effort to separate from Canada:

This is an amazing list, and it is almost incredible that a party purporting to adhere to the principles of democracy and legitimacy has the nerve to come before the public with such fuzzy thinking and muddled policies.

Overall, we Crees award the PQ, and the BQ an A-plus for muddled,discriminatory, and arrogant thinking!