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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

It means nothing

BY Will Nicholls Nov 17, 2022

The Bloc Québécois has stepped up to the plate and finally admitted something we all knew all along. Essentially, that their promises and oaths – like those of the Parti Québécois – mean nothing to them. 

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is refusing to swear an oath to the King in order to take the seat in the National Assembly that he won in the October 3 provincial election.

Meanwhile, BQ MPs say said while their oaths were sincere to Quebecers, they decried the connection to the British monarchy. We have always assumed any seats, whether federal or provincial, means that duly elected members of either Quebec or Canada (meaning they represent the people they serve) have just said that isn’t happening. 

I know many Quebecers who honour their word, and their actions prove this. But when your leaders show this type of behaviour saying they will only accept what they think, then you must ask how soon it will be before the rest of the population they serve fall into the same type of behaviour. 

We have all been looking to make the world a better place. But the Bloc and PQ are trying to use speech to misdirect reality. Saying the British monarchy is racist is understandable in a way. But the Bloc Québécois must look at historical facts. That Indigenous slaves outnumbered Black slaves in New France might not be a reason to doubt the Bloc’s claims. Yet the abolishment of slavery seems to have taken place over 50 years between Britain and France. Neither being the first nor the last to enact it.

Still the Nation applauds and thanks the Bloc for assistance in looking at the monarchy’s racism. After all, their sworn allegiance to a “conquering empire” is meaningless. Given the residential school system, does that allow future Cree administrations to also reject existing agreements with the federal or provincial governments because it may not suit them? Because, as sovereign Cree Peoples, we have many claims on the honour of not only a person’s words but their ties to the governments that sent them

Their words have joined the claims of abuses that Indigenous have experienced throughout the decades. But in the end who makes politicians honour their words and even make it possible to encourage them to change their words to create a better world than we live in. 

The tie to the monarchy is nothing compared to what politicians want us to deny. They want us to deny that everything in the end means nothing but what they want to mean. Be true to yourself and the future you would like that means something more than nothing.

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Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.