In my sixty plus years I have only spent approximately ten days in the Province of Quebec. Some of my memories are positive and some are negative; all are superficial. As I reflected on this I recognized that probably my experience is matched by most Quebecers and likely, most Canadians. A great deal of the rhetoric that has been used in the debate about our country stems from emotion - not personal experience. I love my country within its present boundaries and hope dearly that this geography will not change.
I believe that as one of the 'discovering' peoples, the French Canadian people's language, culture and civil law should be named and recognized as a Distinct Society. I also believe that our Native peoples who were here to be 'discovered' should be named and recognized as having Special Status. We are all here as immigrants at some point in our family history and daily, many more people are coming from all parts of the world as immigrants and refugees.
We have a remarkable opportunity, in this wonderful country of ours, to move forward and find ways for all to live in peace and harmony. Underlying the question of separation there appears to be a disease, chronic in nature, tied to racism. Once we can agree on Special and Distinct Societies having a place within our boundaries are we strong enough, collectively, to put aside differences and work in faith towards truly loving our neighbours? That is my prayer.