November 27, 2006 (39th Parliament, 1st Session)

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Interjection)

New Democratic Party

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to clarify my statement. In the course of a debate that is 20 minutes in length, one tries not to keep repeating oneself in terms of all the descriptions and adjectives.
A t the outset, I said we were supporting the motion that says, “the Québécois are a nation within a united Canada”, and that we rejected the Bloc motion which stopped short of saying “within a united Canada”. I want to elaborate for a moment. As part of our history, we have always fought for that recognition within a united Canada.
I want to refer very quickly to the statements we have made over the years. Back in 1999, we said that Quebec was a vibrant, distinct society. It is a result of many historical developments and it is one that we respect and reflect in our policies in the context of a dynamic, varied, multicultural society which recognizes the first nations as our founding peoples.
Again, in our statement at our last convention in Montreal, in what has now been described as the Sherbrooke declaration, we very clearly described the need for recognition of Quebec's unique status or definition as a nation within a united Canada, as long as we were fully cognizant of the fact that federalism itself was something that must be nurtured, developed and worked on time and time again or we would be in danger of losing the very essence of who we were as a nation.
I hope that has clarified for the member what we feel, and to be absolutely clear that we only look at this question within the context of a united Canada.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Québécois
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