Montreal and the rest of Quebec: the gap

Balarama Holness, a former candidate for mayor of Montreal, says he wants to create a party whose function would be to "represent Montrealers in the National Assembly".

Montreal and the rest of Quebec: the gap

Balarama Holness, a former candidate for mayor of Montreal, says he wants to create a party whose function would be to "represent Montrealers in the National Assembly".

In reality, he wants to strictly woo the anglophone and allophone vote in Montreal.

I am not interested here in its chances of success, but in what the intention behind this movement says about relations between Montreal and the rest of Quebec.

Two universes

Meanwhile, the PLQ can no longer elect a candidate outside the metropolitan region, with the exception of the Outaouais.

The PQ was almost completely ejected from the metropolitan area.

The CAQ only has one toe on the island of Montreal.

Politically, it is as if the metropolitan region were in the process of separating from the rest of Quebec.

This political divide is also a linguistic and cultural divide.

Get out of Montreal, drive two hours, and say that French is in danger.

We will consider your remarks bizarre, and that's normal: French is ultra-dominant outside the metropolitan area and we don't realize what is happening in Montreal.

Talk about the debate on religious symbols: you risk monologue, because it is not a visible issue in everyday life.

Conversely, you surely know people living far from Montreal who feel a shock if they haven't been there for a long time and will say: I felt like I was in a foreign country.

Many young Montrealers have never, in their entire lives, traveled to the rest of Quebec and would be unable to name a single French-speaking artist, apart from Céline Dion.

No need to scratch too much to realize that many consider the rest of Quebec to be populated by xenophobic, even racist retards: an "Alabama of the North", said Amir Attaran.

The sophistication, the “openness to the world”, the diversity, the modernity, all that is cool is Montreal.

The only aspect of the "countryside" that finds favor in their eyes is the occasional weekend at a pal's daddy's cabin or the touching rural romances of Love is in the Meadow.

In all countries, there is a cultural distance between major cities and regions.

But in most of these countries there are several very large cities.

I don't know of another developed nation where a single city is as demographically dominant as Montreal, where a single city receives more than 80% of immigration.

Danger

Nothing seems to me more worrying for our nation than this growing gap of incomprehension and mutual disinterest between the Montreal region and the rest of Quebec.

On both sides, many assume this gap: we turn our backs, we ignore each other and, often, we hate each other.

What will happen when this gap becomes impassable?

How to cure it ?

Regionalize better-chosen immigration and vigorously defend French in Montreal.

Easier said than done, of course, but there is no other alternative.

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