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Conrad Black: Canada not hopeless but desperate for leadership

National Post: 'The consensus that seemed to emerge and to be supported by the distinguished audience was that Canada had squandered its former status built up by the Chretien and Harper governments as a fiscally strong, budget-balancing, hard currency country; that public and private debt levels were now dangerously high, that federalism is in potentially serious crisis because of the present federal government’s hostility to the oil and gas industry, which constitutes an unjustified economic war on Alberta and Saskatchewan, and because of the government of Quebec‘s repression of the language and education rights of English-speaking Quebeckers. I offered the view, as I have in these pages and elsewhere, that the antics of the present Quebec government look like incremental separatism, the pursuit of sovereign independence on the installment plan. The implications of eliminating any official status for the language of more than 70 per cent of Canadians and constricting its education rights in the country’s second largest province, are very serious.


'No one dissented when I said that the current prime minister‘s father, Pierre Trudeau would have taken draconian measures to challenge the imposition of the current Bill 96, the repression of the country’s principal official language in the workplaces of the federal government and federally chartered corporations of a province of nearly 8.5 million people. All were agreed that this is a magnificent country with immense resources, a skilled and well-motivated population, a history that is the proud development of half a continent over four centuries, with no serious historical reason for shame — we only participated in just wars, victoriously, seeking nothing for ourselves and motivated only by a desire to support the cause of freedom throughout the world. A number of those attending professed to me privately to be outraged by how little is known or taught of Canadian history.'


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