It is said that one must turn one's tongue seven times in one's mouth before speaking. I should also perhaps turn my fountain pen seven times in my inkwell before writing. Because I know what I'm about to write will be hard to hear.
Quebec, the only bastion of linguistic and cultural resistance in North America, seems to have lost its footing. We live in a counter-current society, against the light, which sends back to us an image of ourselves at odds with the few values inherited from a humanism that we believed to be rooted in modernity. A humanism praised by the elites who educated us out of our "great darkness" before the Quiet Revolution.
I do not rule out the shock suffered by the pandemic which affects us as it affects the entire planet. But the old countries of Europe, for example, have a historical depth that allows them to absorb the fallout from the global health crisis less violently.
In Quebec, our health institutions, our schools and our social services have turned out to be abysses of disorganization. CHSLDs that we had hoped to be places of kindness, efficiency and competence are now branded in Quebec history.
What about the incomprehensible mismanagement in the hospital system? Waiting years for surgery, months for a doctor's appointment and hours for an urgent consultation. Who dares claim that all the reports and studies, a paperwork that is constantly accumulating, which end up being shelved, have provided solutions?
Is it verbal swelling to talk about Quebec's disarray today?
Anglo-Quebecers are also clearly plunged into disarray. They see the PLQ slipping under their feet. Do they understand that their allergy to Bill 101 ended up altering their belonging to Quebec?
The refusal of sovereignty by the French-speaking majority through the two referendums did not calm them down. The very idea of an officially French Quebec seems to them to be intolerable. Like the popular enthusiasm for the CAQ, which they understand is sweeping the net to the point of now weakening the only party in Quebec that still guaranteed them a sharing of power.
This no doubt explains why the accommodation they showed in the past with respect to laws protecting French is now becoming problematic, even intolerable in their eyes.