Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Montreal vs Quebec

There is an "age-old" rivality in Quebec, that of the city of Quebec and Montreal. It might have started way back then when Quebec was called Bas-Canada and the rest of Canada (was is know now as Ontario) was the Haut-Canada. Montreal with it's strategical position on the St-Lawrence river and proximity to the English speaking Haut-Canada quickly became an center for commerce and wealth, while Quebec only slightly less strategically placed but much farther along the St-Lawrence river stagnated as a governing city. Wealth begath wealth and Montreal got richer faster and grew much farter then Quebec city (topping 3.6 millions inhabitant in 2006 while Quebec city hasn't crossed the million) who remained the seat of governement and eternal second city of Quebec.

I talk about this because I had a very distribing discussion with a Montrealer woman, apparrently Montreal is the most world friendly city in the world (with Sidney) and Quebec is some hell hole comparable with Bangkok for close-mindness. Apparently she cannot understand that Quebec might have other opinnions then those found in Montreal (or more probably her own). While I do admit that Quebec with its very large french and white population is probably harder to intergrate into, than Montreal with its many large ethnic communauty, I do not think it means that Quebec is closed on the world. Quite the opposite in fact I have heard more close minded and racist statement from Montrealer then I've heard from Quebec. A former Montrealer friend of mind confirmed this and raise this theory (which as some merits I think) people from Quebec are probably as racist or perhaps more then Montrealer but since Montrealer have to live with ethnic communities day-in day-out they are more prone to be exasperated by them. The girl argued also that Montreal was a nicer city to live in the Quebec, in fact that Quebec was an oppresive city. That I really cannot agree with and I tried to argue that it might have been something in her personnality not something in the city but apparently being from Quebec I couldn't be right. While I stoped arguing at the moment (no point in arguing when you cannot even raise an objection) I had to make a post about this.

I think that might be part of what the Bloc Quebecois and Montreal medias call the Quebec mystery (in relation as to why Quebec voted for the ADQ in 2003 and the Torries in 2006.) Something that as been explained as a flaw in Quebec city's resident in understanding the message from the parties and "mass-brainwashing" from devil incarnated radio-jock (almost named mister Jeff Fillion). Personally, I think it something more in the line that Quebec isn't Montreal and that the city is large enough to have it's own media/culture.

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