Racism just keeps bubbling to the surface
Try as they might, it seems that the Bloc Quebecois just can't keep that familiar theme hidden: the inherent racism of the Quebec separatist movement.
Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe was busy on the campaign trail yesterday doing damage control after a BQ MP suggested that voters in his riding would not vote for NDP candidate Romeo Saganash because he is Cree.
Yvon Levesque currently represents Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou, Quebec's largest riding, but it may be fair to wonder for how much longer.
While Levesque won the riding by nearly 10% of the vote in 2008, it may be fair to wonder how many votes he has driven to either Saganash, or to the local Conservative candidate (the Tories came second in 2008).
Levesque quickly jumped forward with an apology, but the damage may already be done. The last thing he needed to do was remind any aboriginal constituents about what the real attitude of the Bloc Quebecois is toward them.
“My words were totally inappropriate and I retract them,” Lévesque wrote. “I hope that my unfortunate declaration will not harm the important advances of aboriginal communities that the Bloc Québécois has fought for, for years."
But even in the context of his apology, many aboriginals should quickly realize that it's not quite fully genuine.
After all, it seems that whenever a key issue related to aboriginal affairs in this country comes up, the BQ votes against them. For example, in 2007 the Bloc voted with the Liberals and NDP to kill a Conservative party bill that would have made the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applicable in aboriginal communities.
Yvon Levesque was one of the MPs who opposed human rights in aboriginal communities, then actually had the temerity to applaud himself for it.
So it makes it a little more unbelievable that Levesque, who voted to keep aboriginals across Canada living under the thumb of Chiefs who are far-too-often entirely corrupt, would pretend to be an ally of aboriginal people.
For his own part, Gilles Duceppe won't remove Yvon levesque as a Bloc Quebecois candidate, even if he does send a stark reminder to all Canadians -- in Quebec and elsewhere -- about what that party is really all about.
It's clear that they're counting on Quebec voters to simply look the other way. Maybe this is a smart ploy. After all, they so often have.