Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Friday, 9 May 2008

France salutes the 'almost Queen of Canada'

French-speaking Canada extends well beyond Quebec, Governor-General tells Sarkozy in Paris, provoking separatists at home

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, kisses the hand of the Governor General Michaelle Jean as he welcomes her at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, May 7, 2008.

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, and Governor General Michaelle Jean visit the Canadian military cemetery in Beny-Reviers, western France, during the 63rd commemoration of the end of the Word War II, Thursday, May 8, 2008.

PARIS -- In her first state visit to France, Governor-General Michaëlle Jean has been extolled in the media as the "almost Queen of Canada" and a symbol of successful multiculturalism - and all in this decidedly anti-monarchist country where immigration is widely seen as a problem.

"I perceive my role as a kind of catalyst," she said in an interview yesterday. "And I find myself in that role here."

Ms. Jean met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and is scheduled to join him again today in Normandy for memorial services marking the anniversary of the Second World War armistice in Europe. They are also to visit a Canadian military cemetery.

In interviews with the French press, Ms. Jean said one of her aims is to impress upon French officials that French-speaking Canada extends well beyond Quebec. While her comments were welcomed in Paris as confirmation of the health of what the French call the francophonie, they prompted indignation from the Bloc Québécois. Pierre Paquette, the Bloc's deputy leader, called Ms. Jean's statements an insult to Quebeckers.

The other theme to Ms. Jean's visit was the 400th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Quebec City. She will spend half a day in La Rochelle, the port city that was the embarkation point for Samuel Champlain, founder of Quebec, and for later French settlers sailing for Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries.

But Premier Jean Charest's absence at Quebec City's 400th anniversary kickoff celebrations in France created a furor in the Quebec National Assembly yesterday.

Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois accused Mr. Charest of failing his responsibility to defend Quebec's identity abroad, leaving it up the "representative of the Queen of England" to mark the event.

She accused the Quebec Premier of deliberately allowing the federal government and the Governor-General to create the perception that the 400th anniversary celebrations marked the "beginning of Canada rather than the foundation of Quebec."

Mr. Charest defended his government's close ties with France, noting that he has met Mr. Sarkozy three times since his election a year ago, and that Ms. Jean is a Quebecker capable of representing "the Quebec nation.''

"There is no contradiction in having the Governor-General of Canada representing in France the Quebec nation and its direct and privileged relations with France," he replied. In fact, he added, "we are proud of the fact that Quebec founded Canada"...

More: Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said Wednesday that Canada should no longer have a governor general and called the monarchy "ridiculous".


J.K. Baltzersen said...

'Tis tempting to call Mr. Sarkozy the almost legitimate head of France.