Parizeau, Lévesque and Laurin: irreplaceable!

For sovereignists, the coming months will be difficult.

Parizeau, Lévesque and Laurin: irreplaceable!

For sovereignists, the coming months will be difficult. Political mourning and nostalgia for a great unrealized dream will be there. Pride, despite everything, too. Sensitive hearts, abstain.

This fall, the Parti Québécois will risk extinction in the general election in the same year when a series of major public events will honor its three most outstanding figures: Jacques Parizeau, René Lévesque and Camille Laurin. The irony is indeed cruel.

These three men have long carried the project of a new country, of which only a minority still dreams today. Each has also shaped a resolutely modern, ambitious and humanist Quebec.

They knew how to dream big and act big. Three exceptional men. Three tireless workaholics. Three brilliant, erudite, refined, incorruptible minds. Passionate and exciting. Irreplaceable, what.

Three exceptional men

Jacques Parizeau. Great builder of modern Quebec. Relentless destroyer of all fears, starting with that of existing. The only Prime Minister who succeeded in leading Quebecers to the gates of independence.

Rene Levesque. The hyperactive intellectual. The imperfect man. The strategist often trapped. The hesitant but still hopeful sovereigntist. For his first term (1976-1981), the best Prime Minister we have had.

Camille Lauren. A man of thought and action. Humanist. Terrific strategist. He was the architect of the Charter of the French language, adopted in 1977 under a torrent of insults comparing him to the most infamous racists.

In its original version, this law, masterful in intelligence and courage, nevertheless aimed to make French no longer the only language of former French Canadians, but also of all those who, of all origins, choose Quebec. All of them, Quebecers.

Camille Laurin thus lived at the very antipodes of the identity withdrawal. Quebec, he wanted to be French-speaking, welcoming and, in doing so, increasingly diversified. A Quebec confident in itself and open to the world.

When they died, these three men necessarily left behind them a huge void. Our shame too, let's face it, of not having appreciated them enough during their lifetime.

For the PQ, the year promises to be dark, but the light will come from elsewhere. It will come from the many commemorations honoring them. Finally up to them.

Jacques Parizeau will have his monument

On Sunday, at L'Assomption, the Maison Jacques-Parizeau will be inaugurated. Reflecting Mr. Parizeau's great and unrecognized love for the arts, it will offer a privileged place of accommodation dedicated to creators.

On June 1, the long-awaited monument to Jacques Parizeau will be officially erected in the gardens of the National Assembly. The Jacques-Parizeau Fund will also multiply initiatives to perpetuate his memory.

One hundred years after the birth of René Lévesque, from June 2022 to June 2023, it will be the Lévesque Year. Its honorary president is Lucien Bouchard. For the program, see the René-Lévesque Foundation website.

Under the aegis of the Société des musées du Québec, from September 2022 to winter 2024, a major exhibition devoted to the inspiring career of Camille Laurin will also tour Quebec.

Well beyond the political options, remembering or discovering all that these three extraordinary beings were able to build against all odds – and bequeath to us – will be worth the detour. For young people, maybe even more.

Over the course of the commemorations, if they take the trouble to explore the immensity of the legacy of Jacques Parizeau, René Lévesque and Camille Laurin, their horizons will be broadened. That's for sure.


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