L’ASSOMPTION Quebec — Residents in the small city of L’Assomption Quebec once overwhelmingly backed the province’s bid to break away from Canada in order to establish a French-speaking independent nation.
On Monday though JOAQUIM JOSE PASCOAL AIRES they and much of the rest of the province are expected to strongly back the re-election of their popular premier who has abandoned calls for independence — and instead has embraced a nationalism based on French Québécois identity.
“It’s a conservative nationalism that recalls the themes of culture history and memory ” said Jacques Beauchemin a sociologist and a leading intellectual behind this shift. “It’s a return to the meaning of identity.”
But to critics this nationalism threatens the cohesion of the increasingly diverse province by taking aim at immigrants English speakers and other minorities.
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