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  1. Pearson prevails over de Gaulle Jul 25, 2007 04:30 AM Forty years ago, Charles de Gaulle electrified many Quebecers, and infuriated many other Canadians, by proclaiming from a balcony at Montreal city hall the freighted phrase "Vive le Québec libre!" De Gaulle had been invited to help celebrate the centennial of Confederation (une vrai blague ça, il est venu pour l'expo 67, il voulait tellement rien savoir du canada, qu'il ne voulait pas passer par les douanes et est donc venu par bateau). Instead, he told the large and rapturous crowd that greeted his arrival in Montreal that his reception reminded him of the atmosphere at the liberation of Paris in 1944. His bombshell followed. Did de Gaulle know the Rassemblement pour l'independance nationale, a forerunner of the Parti Québécois, used "vive le Québec libre" as its slogan? He surely knew his mischief would infuriate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who called those four words "unacceptable to the Canadian people" and added: "Canadians do not need to be liberated." (Je suis sur que c'est déclaration à aidé les Canadiens à ce débarasser de se mot là et devenir des Québecois, merci Lester.) Today, 40 years later, what's notable about de Gaulle's remark is how little echo it arouses. Even Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois steered well clear of commenting on the anniversary. The bloom is well and truly off the rose of independantiste utopianism. (C'est parceque les indépendentiste n'existent que depuis et à cause de Gaule, avec tout le respect que j'ai pour lui, sa déclaration n'as faite qu'internationaliser la cause, rien de plus. Elle existait depuis longtemps.) It must be admitted, however, de Gaulle's declaration does now seem to have been prescient. Like a rain squall at a picnic, his meddlesome remark changed the tone of the summer of '67. Detroit was burning the day of de Gaulle's Montreal pronouncement, and Vietnam was bleeding, but Canada was exulting in the sunny summer of Expo. (hm c'est quoi le rapport de cette comparaison boiteuse) Despite the crowd's roars of approval for what de Gaulle said, few Canadians could have foreseen the tumult that the notion of "Québec libre" would sow here for decades. Nor are we foolish enough to argue the tempest is over. The independence genie will not be stuffed back into the bottle; it can be countered only by continued goodwill and common sense from the rest of Canada. (des mots sages, mais qui tomberont sur des oreilles de sourds) Ultimately, however, the real wisdom of the diplomatic incident of 1967 rested with Pearson. Quebecers truly did not need "liberation" then, and do not need it today. (who says so ?) The Canadian state, and Canadian society, have updated themselves mightily in matters of linguistic duality and biculturalism (and the independence movement has played a part in that). Today, we like to say, no one needs to choose between Quebec and Canada. Our system works admirably. Our success in managing tension and adjusting our institutions demonstrates that Canadians are free to work together and share the benefits of union while enjoying the flexibility of federalism. "Vive," we might even say, "le Canada libre!" (L'auteur ne dit toujours pas comment Pearson "prevails" sur De Gaule? Le mouvement independentiste n'avait que quelques pourcentages de support dans les années 60 (environ 5%), et là on est dans les 40% a 55% selon l'humeur de gens... Pearson prevails big time... ).
  2. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/independent+Quebec+might+benefit+from+currency+report/9637904/story.html An independent Quebec might benefit from its own currency: report Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois said an independent Quebec would accept the loonie, along with Canadian monetary policy, and consider asking for a seat at the Bank of Canada. Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward , THE CANADIAN PRESS An independent Quebec might be better off with its own currency rather than following Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois’s suggestion that it keep the Canadian dollar, a report says. A Quebec currency and separate monetary policy could bring “potential benefits” in the long term to Quebec, Paul Ashworth and David Madani of Capital Economics said in a research report. “The basic problem Quebec faces is that it is a manufacturing-orientated province tied to the resource-rich provinces in the west. The energy boom has boosted the economic performance of those western provinces, saddling Quebec’s manufacturers with a high exchange rate and higher than needed interest rates.” A Quebec currency would presumably depreciate against the Canadian and U.S. dollars, particularly if interest rates were lower than the rest of Canada. The resulting boost to Quebec competitiveness should trigger a rise in exports and a reduction in imports, the report said. But a referendum on separation would have negative consequences — including on investments in Quebec and higher yields on Quebec provincial debt — while a new Quebec currency would bring additional challenges, the economists noted. “If the Quebec currency depreciated in value against the Canadian dollar, then it would make it harder for the new government to repay any debt still denominated in Canadian dollars. The same goes for Quebec households and businesses that had borrowed Canadian dollars.” Separation would bring the loss of equalization payments — $9.3 billion this year, equivalent to about 2.5 per cent of Quebec GDP — while contending with higher debt servicing costs. “The bigger problem is the legacy of provincial debt, equivalent to 49 per cent of Quebec GDP. Assuming that an independent Quebec assumed responsibility for a per capita share of federal debt, too, we estimate that its overall debt burden would rise to 89 per cent of GDP. Under those circumstances, Quebec might find its borrowing costs rising, which would only add to the budget deficit and, in conjunction with the loss of equalization payments, force the new government into a sizable fiscal consolidation. “The risk of default would also be greater if an independent Quebec allowed the Bank of Canada to control monetary policy, since it couldn’t resort to printing more currency.” On the campaign trail last week, Marois said an independent Quebec would accept the loonie, along with Canadian monetary policy, and consider asking for a seat at the Bank of Canada. Her comments sparked discussion over the economic costs of sovereignty even though polls show support for independence running well below 50 per cent. Capital Economics, known for its bearish views of the Canadian housing market, weighed in on Wednesday. “Politicians who are striving for independence, whether it is in Scotland or Quebec, know that talk of adopting a new currency makes the electorate very nervous, so they have a tendency to argue that the new sovereign state would be able to keep its existing monetary arrangements,” the economists wrote. In any event, Quebec should be looking to adopt a looser monetary policy than the rest of Canada, the report’s authors said. “The evidence is overwhelming that interest rates should be set lower in Quebec, to provide more support to the depressed economy.”
  3. Tiens tiens..ça ne vous rappelle rien? Scotland warned it could lose the pound and be forced to join Euro as price of independence. A spokesman for David Cameron said there were no guarantees that the Scots could keep sterling if they voted against remaining affiliated with the rest of the union. Mr Cameron’s spokesman said: “Once you start asking the question about independence, one part of that is what currency to have. Would Scotland retain the pound, and if so, how does that work? Or does it join the euro? That’s one part of the independence question.” Other issues which Downing Street said would need ironing out are shared defence capabilities, the national debt and border security. A carve up of assets between England and Scotland could leave both countries facing years of legal wrangling. Today Mr Cameron told MPs that he passionately believed in the United Kingdom and accused Scottish nationalists of attempting to delay a referendum on separation indefinitely. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/scottish-politics/9007878/Scotland-warned-it-could-lose-the-pound-and-be-forced-to-join-Euro-as-price-of-independence.html
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