The PQ has done it again. In a much-publicized speech in Toronto at the end of November, Premier Jacques Parizeau put his foot in it again by referring to Crees as “our minorities.” The Grand Council was unwilling to take Parizeau’s remark lying down. The Crees’ response came in a full-page ad in an influential Ottawa weekly The Hill Times, which is read by Ottawa politicians, federal bureaucrats, lobbyists and journalists.
“Mr. Parizeau, we are not your minority,” said the Cree ad in bold type. “We are not Quebec’s Native nations. We are not Canada’s Indians. We are our own people.” It was not the first time in recent weeks that PQ officials have made bizarre pronouncements.
Deputy Premier Bernard Landry left reporters incredulous in late November when he appeared to call for the arrest of Grand Chief Coon Come. Landry was seething over the Grand Chiefs most recent speech in Washington, D.C., where he chided Quebec separatists for their “ethnic nationalism.” “Even under a freedom-of-speech context, the criminal law also exists and everything must be examined,” Landry told reporters, explaining how the Grand Chief could be charged under hate laws.
“I have been a law student and there are limitations to freedom of speech in the Criminal Code.”