UNE EXPÉRIENCE RATÉE OU...Dans ce livre de 1962 qui est une compte-rendu d'une conférence annuelle sur la fédération canadienne en 1961, on trouve le texte de la présentation historique du Dr Marcel Chaput, co-fondateur du Rassemblement pour l'Indépendance Nationale et fondateur du Parti Républicain du Québec.
Ce document pratiquement introuvable est important car il marque le départ de diverses ruptures. M. Chaput, docteur en biologie, était chercheur dans un laboratoire fédéral à Ottawa. Or, il avait été invité par les organisateurs à prononcer une conférence à cet évènement après la parution de son livre, « Pourquoi je suis séparatiste ». Comme son patron, un unilingue anglophone, lui avait refusé la permission d'y aller, il décida de démissionner peu de temps après car il s'attendait à être congédié, ce qu'il ne voulait pas, en homme d'honneur qu'il était.
Le texte complet de sa conférence suit...
L'avenir du Canada: séparation, intégration, ou...?
HÉILAS LA PAUVRE, ELLE SE MEURT; ELLE AURAIT BIENTÔT CENT ANS
CANADA FRANÇAIS, COLONIE D'OTTAWA
LE QUÉBEC EST DONC UNE COLONIE D'OTTAWA ET EN VOICI LA PREUVE
UNE MINORITÉ PAS COMME LES AUTRES
NOUS NE RÉCLAMONS POINT LE BILINGUISME
LA MINORITÉ FRANÇAISE : LA PLUS IMPORTANTE AU CANADA
NOUS AVONS BESOIN DE VOUS
The Canadian Confederation — which really isn't one — is the concretization of an outmoded colonialism; for Quebec, mother-land of six million French Canadians, is simply a colony of Ottawa. Its future will be: separation and independence.
Historically, English domination over Quebec was established and maintained by force of arms, later replaced by force of economic and political institutions. Confederation was never ratified by the people, and Quebec's only alternative was not independence, but the status of an isolated British colony.
Most French Canadians must learn English to earn a living; forming 29% of the population of Canada, they hold only 10% of federal posts, mostly inferior; forming 85% of the population of Quebec, they own only 10% of its economy; English is the only official language in the armed forces; and so on. This is colonialism: how long would English Canadians tolerate it? True, Quebec has the same rights as other provinces; but it is not just another province — it is the national State of French Canadians, who, outnumbered, cannot control their national destiny in the House of Commons. And French Canadians, juridically and constitutionally, are not just another minority; they are not immigrants — they were here first. And all other minorities, through assimilation, become English Canadians eventually.
But today's separatists are not asking for justice from English Canada. It is too late for that. French Canadians do not want to be a minority any longer. This may mean that the rest of Canada will be absorbed by the U.S.A. — but we cannot be expected to sacrifice ourselves in order to preserve English supremacy in Canada.
Mr. Fulton's announcement of his government's panicky proposals to guarantee French Canadian rights simply proves that the cabinet has understood nothing: we do not want concessions, but the full mastery of our destiny — our right as a nation. But such promises of half measures are the worst enemy of the cause of independence. Reforms are always promised to colonies; but Quebec would still remain one province out of ten. If Ottawa were sincere, Mr. Fulton would have told the nine English provinces that henceforth there will be a real confederation — of two Canadas, English and French; but in effect he said "Quebec yes: but long live English supremacy in Canada !"
To understand French Canadian separatism, the cabinet should examine their own reasons for wanting Canada independent of England or of the U.S.A., with which they are even identical in language and outlook. If this separatism is justified, Quebec's is a hundred times more so.
In summary, French Canadians claim the sovereignty of Quebec because they form a nation which has a right to freedom and dignity; only thus can it ensure its full development and play its rightful international role. The independence of Quebec is the legitimate aspiration of a once-conquered people struggling for liberation after 200 years of colonial rule.