Letter # 1 - to - Dan Veniez  Federal Liberal Candidate in British Columbia: &  Mr. Veniez's reply # 1. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Response to Dan Veniez - On his.. "The Michael Ignatieff I Know" article

Note:  Although I firmly agree with Mr. Veniez's  take on the non stop media bashing of Michael Ignatieff  etc..  I was horrified to see him brag about and 'Praise'  Quebec's Nation - Status. 

 Quebec's 30 year, ongoing  Ethnic Cleansing - of its 400 year long English history - now as reviled - Les Autres (other) -  and English population in my opinion is the very last thing one would imagine anyone possessing any intellect or semblance thereof - would brag about, no?  Ergo this letter. 
Find the article from his home page:  http://www.danveniez.ca

Sent to: dan@danveniez.ca  05-24-2010  from: didi1947@gmail.com

Dear Mr. Veniez,

I read your article with great interest, having been a Federal Liberal Party Supporter - since you were 5 years old - and having lived in Quebec since 1954, I am compelled to let you know how very 'alarmed' I am to discover that Michael Ignatieff - was the FIRST to recognize Quebec as a Nation  - and that you obviously SUPPORT - the continued devastation and destruction this 'supposed nationhood'  has wreaked on the OTHER Quebeckers that not only helped build the COUNTRY of Canada - but more importantly - were a vital part of the building of Quebeck - for 400 years.

This 'nationhood'  has managed nothing other than to remove  the (now called autres - other) language - rights and freedoms - that you continue to and  presently enjoy and take advantage of in beautiful BC;  but is DENIED to over 2.5 Millon Quebeckers  and was responsible for the biggest mass migration of a population that felt FORCED to leave their homes - since World War II .   It has legalized ETHNIC CLEANSING to an entirely new level that is obviously fully supported by our Present Liberal Party  - Even Though - WE  the English and Immigrant community of Quebec were Promised - over and over again - that if we were patient and supported the Federal Liberal Party  - this horrible language law and subsequent ugly discrimination we were subjected to in EVERY  aspect of our lives,  would BE RECTIFIED once the Party was re-elected!   That turned into a 30 year  continued  series of BROKEN PROMISES from our once much beloved Liberal Party.

I am writing this - because - you were obviously only  10 years old - when the disgraceful and grotesque language laws were enacted, and I have to assume you were denied the TRUTH about those "Autres"  that were such a supposed a blight on La Belle Province;  and raised with the  FALSE belief that the French language was in jeopardy and needed to be protected - from the surrounding 'Sea Of English';    And the way to do it was - to  ERASE  the  ENTIRE CULTURE and Language  of Quebec's  Other Founding People...  all  3 million of them  (notwithstanding Our Decimated  Native Population - who are the ONLY TRUE 'Founders of Canada) who had for your information - lived in HARMONY  with their  Francophone Friends, Family and neighbors for over 400 years.  So much so - that the Province had become the RICHEST and most PROSPOROUS one in Canada!   It was also one of the Best places to live in North America.

What has always puzzled and dismayed me is:  The seeming total blindness - absolute and  outright cruel  disregard- coming from supposedly worldly and educated - 'Leaders' such as yourself - when it comes to the non francophone ' community' s  PLIGHT and cries for help.   Being so educated - obviously intelligent enough to run some of our largest businesses  -  the ONLY conclusion one can possibly reach is that - you too - knowingly and deliberately support and promote - the ERASURE of an entire population OUT  of Quebec.   It is obviously  NOT for the good of Quebec - given its continued 'Bottom of the Barrel'  status  both financially and ethically - in the country - and its current UGLY reputation around the world.    So I have to ask - how on earth you can PRAISE  Quebec's  "Nation Status"?   The question is WHY.

Below is a copy of part of an ongoing Facebook dialogue, I sent, only this morning, to a young man - who asked why I wasn't posting in French.  It will give you at least a hint of the facts that one - NEVER sees printed - let alone discussed - from ANY of our supposed 'Leaders'  - who seemingly have  blindly - accepted and supported the righteousness (as if there could be such a thing to anyone with any sense of human decency, rights and morality) - of  Canada's and Quebec's  Factual Ethnic Cleansing - that will forever be etched as Canada's Greatest Shame - in future history books!  

Well Philip my dear. Here's something you may still not be AWARE of, even though I have written it countless times.
First and foremost - The freedom to ENROLL into the French School System - was DENIED to population Anglo/Allo BY the French Catholic Education Board - that RULED not only the French School System - but pretty much the essence of ... the Francophone population in Quebec.  My parents tried to have us EDUCATED in FRENCH - from the moment we landed in this province - back in 1954!!  We were NOT ALLOWED IN!! Therefore - because they were not rich - just poor immigrants - they could NOT Afford Private Schools and were forced to learn the French language in our schools and through our FRENCH FRIENDS. The French school system only opened to NON Francophones - AFTER the PQ took power!  Therefore: My French written grammatical skills are extremely limited to this day. And if you wonder WHY I didn't
take courses etc.... to perfect my skills in French - The first reason is: Although Free French courses are offered to
certain current immigrants settling in Quebec - they are STILL NOT offered to Anglo/Allos LIKE ME. We are FORCED pay for them - (although all new immigrants to Quebec have had access to them 'free of charge for  30+ years)  which of course ONCE Again - Denies us - ACCESS to perfecting our French; especially when you consider we have families to support and bills to pay. I of course, 25 years ago, sent my son to French school willingly - because I wanted him to be not only bilingual - but multi-lingual. He was one of the ONLY non Francophone children in the school and I was forced to REMOVE HIM from the French education system - in the 4th., grade - because he had endured constant bullying by both the children and more importantly the TEACHERS - because he was an ANGLO. It got so bad that he developed a
stutter that affected him - until his early 20's and had a profoundly painful effect on his life, as you can well imagine. AND YET - today he is FLUENT in French - although his French written skills although good - are not excellent. Experiences like that btw, were suffered by countless non Franco kids - forced into the French stream and are still happening to this day. (All the kids in our family are fluent in French - both living in Quebec and in Ontario - as are their kids.)

So, I hope you understand that we ALWAYS embraced the French language & its culture and the ONLY REASON we are not firmly entrenched in it - is because WE were NOT Allowed In!   Mind you - before the Language Laws - the
English community - were the ones who created the French immersion system - and did so willingly and with
enthusiasm. I know - because my niece was one of the FIRST students (pre-kindergarten) in it. Her daughter aged
11 - now living in Ontario - is also enrolled in the French stream and loves it.

WE 'les autres' WERE REJECTED by the Francophone community - and NOT the OTHER WAY AROUND as you and so many others have been falsely and deliberately taught. It is up to you to find out why - you were deceived. And up
to you - to ask for PROOF of the supposed Anglo SINS committed. Ask for places - names - times - etc... EX: Who - What - Where- When -Why... would be a great start. The answers and truth are there for you.

So - please note: I have no reason to make my quest or posts - based on a foundation of : 'Proving them (Language Law supporters) wrong". My quest and posts are to make sure the TRUTH is told. The TRUTH by the way - is something that EVERY QUEBECER & HUMAN BEING - DESERVE to know! Primarily because - ignorance of the facts and TRUTH - are what allows - discrimination and hatred toward ones fellow human beings to take root and to flourish! THAT and ONLY that is WHY I post. Having been born in Germany - and living the 'consequences' of THAT HORROR - is most probably what compels me to do ALL I can - to Speak Up and Out - Against ANY KIND of Ethnic Cleansing. There is NO RIGHT KIND - and NO  JUSTIFIABLE  REASON  EVER - to ERASE ANY SEGMENT of ANY SOCIETY.  NONE!!

Following this post - I invite you to read some of the TRUTHS you may have been denied - while growing up: 


I am going to be copying and pasting this email on the Liberal Federal Facebook Page - among others.
A reply would be very much appreciated.

Posted by DidiM at 3:06 PM

REPLY # 1  -  May 26, 2010  -  From Dan Veniez 

Dialogue with Dan Veniez - BC - Federal Liberal Candidate ,

Hi Didi:

Thanks so much for taking the time to write on a matter that obviously touches a deep and personal chord with you and many other Canadians.

Where to begin?

A good place, I think, is perhaps to direct you and your readers to the contents of my website at www.danveniez.ca. There you’ll find plenty of context for my support of Michael Ignatieff, some background on me, and a few speeches and blog posts that may put in perspective my profound convictions on national unity.

You made some reference to my tender age, and for that I am grateful! But some background on me and my family is in order, I think.

I was born and raised on the working class east island of Montreal. My father was a truck driver and my mother worked at the local Canadian International Paper sack plant as an hourly laborer. Both were lifelong union members and organizers. Dad grew up in St-Michel, a pretty rough section of Montreal. He is of Irish (my paternal grandmother, Margaret Thompson, was born in Belfast) and British (my grandfather, Walter, was born in Croydon, England). Neither of my grandparents spoke any French when they came to Canada, and until the day they died. My father learned the old-fashioned way: By fighting the French kids – literally - on the way to school and back. He was the only English kid in that neighborhood. He met and married my mother, Micheline Riopelle. Mama didn’t speak a word of English when she met my father. Her parents, Laurette and Solomon, hated the English. While my father’s father fought in WWI and lost his leg in the battle of Passchendaele, my Papere fled to the Laurentiens to avoid conscription. In fact, my mother’s parents and her sisters didn’t go to my parents wedding because she was marrying a moudit anglais.

My brothers and sister (we are four siblings) attended St-Charles, an English Catholic public elementary school in Pointe-aux-Trembles, then a suburb of Montreal. Our friends were primarily from English speaking families. My brothers and I lived the same experience my Dad did growing up. We had to be pretty good fighters. I was luckier than most because I played hockey and ended up being pretty good. Scoring goals that was the best and fastest way to gaining acceptance, and over time, trust and friendship. So too was learning and speaking the language, which we all did. we were lucky there, too. French immersion was playing with the neighborhood kids on the streets, not in a fancy classroom.

For the longest time, we didn’t feel at home in our own community. We felt like outsiders. I don’t have to tell you that is a terrible feeling. So, despite the fact that I was a kid – and perhaps because of it – I lived the pain and embarrassment feeling excluded, feeling different, feeling like we were somehow second class citizens. To paraphrase Bill Clinton when he was running for the presidency in 1992: Didi, I feel your pain!

I lived through many of the iconic moments of that period. I vividly recall for instance waving the Canadian flag as President Charles de Gaulle passed by our home in his motorcade on rue Notre Dame going to deliver that infamous speech on the steps of Montreal City Hall. I still see that image and remember thinking to myself: What a goofy hat he has on! Or going trick or treating with my older brother Peter and friend Timmy Martel during the middle of the October Crisis. No lights were on and no one – except us – dared go out that night. Or my father and mother bringing us to a rally one sunny fall afternoon to see this young guy speak to a huge crowd of mostly screaming girls. That was the first time I saw Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

And I indeed remember, because I know now that it was such a formative part of my experience, the language wars. We were scared. That is the only way to put it. Bill 22, enacted by the Liberal federalist provincial government of Robert Bourassa, was the first salvo. That was 1972. We felt the reverberations throughout the English speaking community. In our neck of the woods, it was a very small one. Our provincial constituency was Lafontaine. That is where the first member of the Parti Quebecois was first elected to the National Assembly. His name was Marcel Leger, one of the founders of the PQ, and it is no coincidence that he ran and won there. 

I was in high school when Rene Levesque and the PQ came to power in 1976. That event sent shock waves that were felt for years. We spoke the language, but we were an “English” family. All of us had gone to English schools and that was the language we spoke at home. With Mama, we spoke French, but together, the language was English. The economy tanked. Head offices were leaving and jobs going with it. within a few years, my father lost his job at Canadian Vickers, and the sack plant shut down and Mom lost her job. She was left with no pension and no benefits.

Friends and their families were leaving. My father’s brother and sister left for Ontario. We didn’t see our cousins until years later. My sister got a job in Toronto, where she still lives.

I was old enough to remember how Montreal was the cultural and economic capital of Canada. I remember the jobs that were lost, the pain and anxiety in our family and our small community, and the outright fear that we felt when the PQ came to power.

The high school I attended was the only English language school in the region. It was called ecole secondaire Napoleon Courtemache. It was an absolute dive, as English schools in that area were. Many years ago it was torn down. The closest high school was in St. Leonard, Roberto Luongo country.

My first ever vote was “NON”, in the 1980 referendum campaign, which paved the way for Prime Minister Trudeau’s repatriation campaign which eventually lead to the historic agreement to have our own Charter of Rights and Freedom’s, his most important and lasting legacy to Canada, in my humble judgment.     

My family was deeply impacted in many ways that I cannot begin to adequately convey. We weren’t alone. We felt like interlopers in our own city and province much of the time. Sometimes, we felt singularly targeted because we spoke English at home and went to English schools. I remember my father asking where all the leaders had gone to protect us from what he believed – with a lot of justification – was institutionalized discrimination at the hands of language “zealots”, as he called them.

So, I get it, Didi. And I know all too well what you felt and feel.

The Quebec economy suffered a prolonged and devastating decline. It still hasn’t recovered, and arguably, never will, in relative terms.

That was 40 years ago and much has changed. Quebec is today a more confident society. The insecurities and passions that drove Bill 22 and Bill 101 are very hard to find today. There is more bilingualism and more multiculturalism in today’s Quebec than I have ever seen.

During the constitutional wars that began in Victoria when Lester Pearson was prime minister, a show stopping “demand” from Quebec governments going back to Jean Lessage was that Quebec be recognized as a “distinct society” within Canada. Various attempts to reform and modernize the Constitutional Act failed before and since because there was no support for that concept. In 1992, Trudeau repatriated the constitution without Quebec’s signature. In fact, the National Assembly passed a unanimous motion against it. Meech Lake and Charlottetown fared no better. For different reasons, these stalemates ushered in the Reform Party and the Bloc Quebecois, the genesis of our “permanent” minority parliamentary impasse.

Today, Canadians are living with those consequences.

Frankly, I didn’t like – in fact, hated – the notion that Quebec, or anyone else for that matter, should be recognized as a “nation” within Canada. It took me a while to get my head around that idea. It was Michael Ignatieff who helped me understand what that meant in the contemporary context. I read it in his wonderful book, The Rights Revolution, which I strongly encourage you to take a look at.

“In a strong federation, all provinces should be equal, but all provinces are not the same. Each came to our federation with a particular history that must be recognized. Quebec in particular has a unique history: the only former French colony to join confederation with its own distinct language, legal system and religious institutions. It entered the federation on the strict understanding that its distinguishing features would receive special protection in the new federal government of Canada. Canadian unity ever since has depended on recognition of this understanding.

Quebecers, moreover, have come to understand themselves as a nation, with a language, history, culture and territory that marks them out as a separate people. Quebec is a civic nation, not an ethnic nation. It is composed of all the peoples from many lands who have come to Quebec and associate themselves with the values and traditions of Quebec and Canada. Quebec’s Charter of Rights—and its language laws—balance the rights of the majority, with equal rights for linguistic and other minorities.

More than 5000 nations are recognized as such in the world, but there are less than 200 states at the United Nations. It is normal, therefore, for nations to join with other peoples to share a state. The Scottish people consider themselves a nation, but regard Britain as their country. The Basques and Catalans regard their people as nations, but accept Spain as their country. So it is with Quebec. Quebecers, by considerable majorities, consider Quebec their nation and Canada their country.
To recognize Quebec—and Aboriginal peoples—as nations within the fabric of Canada is not to make some new concession. It is simply to acknowledge a fact. Nor is it a prelude to further devolution of powers. Quebec already possesses the authority it needs, in areas of health, education, immigration, manpower training, language and culture, to protect the identity of its people and to promote its economic and social development. Since the 1960’s, it has opted out of national programs, like the Canada
Pension Plan, while providing substitute programs that meet both its objectives and those of the federation. These negotiated rights to opt out should be respected, but equally Quebecers should have the right to opt in, to participate fully in pan-Canadian programs that expand their citizenship, increase their opportunities and improve their economic performance. This achieved balance—between provincial autonomy and national citizenship—already allows a clear majority of Quebecers to say, with pride, “Le Quebec est ma nation, le Canada est mon pays.”

I understand where you’re coming from and how you feel, Didi. But I sincerely believe that we have – and will continue to evolve in a way that respects and balances the rights of all Canadians. And I genuinely believe that with the right national leadership, our best days as a country are ahead of us. Fighting the painful wars of the past do no good. building together is what we must focus on. That’s what I am dedicated to doing as a person who is putting his money where his mouth is by standing for elected office for the first time in my life. I feel honored and privileged to be doing so. The country my kids are growing up in is a different one than the one you and I did. I want to work to make it stronger, better, and more united.

Sorry for the length of the message. Your note and observations are terribly important. Please feel free to contact me anytime, and please take a look at the website.

All the very best,