Chantier Politique

May 19, 2017

English Edition, No. 12

Conference Held in Montreal on the
History of the Conception of Rights in Quebec

The Need for a Constitution Which Vests
Decision-Making Power in the People


Conference Held in Montreal on the
History of the Conception of Rights in Quebec

The Need for a Constitution Which Vests
Decision-Making Power in the People

The Need for Modern Institutions Based on
Defending the Rights of All

- Joseph Montferrand Collective
Calendar of Events for National Patriots' Day


Conference Held in Montreal on the
History of the Conception of Rights in Quebec

The Need for a Constitution Which
Vests Decision-Making Power in the People

On the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the 1837-38 rebellions in Lower and Upper Canada, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ) held an important conference  in Montreal on May 7 on the theme: For a Modern Constitution Which Vests Decision-Making Power in the People, Not the Crown. This year as well, the federal government is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The conference focused on the problem that the people and society face today -- mobilizing the people so that they become the decision-makers in all matters of concern to them. It was with that problem in mind that the conference examined the conception of rights for which the Patriots fought in 1837-38 and how that struggle was brutally repressed by the British. It also looked into the conception embodied in the Canadian Constitution established by the Royal Proclamation of 1867, as well as that established by British aristocrats on the basis of the suppression of the Quebec nation. The conference also investigated the definition of rights contained in Canada's fundamental documents following British conquest, the one given by the Patriots' struggle for their nation-building project, as well as the definition embodied in the Act of Union of 1840 and its evolution during the period of 1840-1867.

The institutions established by the British on the basis of the suppression of the Quebec nation and the dispossession and genocide of the Indigenous peoples are blocking the path to progress today and are clearly preventing people from being able to sort out the problems they are facing.

In that vein, the conference began with a presentation emphasizing the need to examine history by starting with the present -- based on today's conditions and what they reveal -- and by turning to the past to enrich our ability to understand those problems so that they can be resolved and thus, pave the way for the progress of the society.

Many workers and youth attended, as did people from other walks of life. The discussion was very lively and included an important intervention on the crisis in which France today is mired, because its nation-building project is not being renewed but instead, lies in tatters. Another intervention dealt with the relations between the Patriots in Lower and Upper Canada, as well as the assistance they received from American revolutionaries at that time. The intervention made by an organizer of Quebec construction workers on the state of rights today was also very much appreciated. He explained how the state uses its institutions to block workers from taking action in defence of their rights, including health and safety on work sites.

In this issue, Chantier politique is publishing the first part of the main presentation given at the conference by the Joseph Montferrand Collective.

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The Need for Modern Institutions Based on Defending the Rights of All

It is often mentioned that Karl Marx borrowed from Hegel that all events and historical figures are repeated twice. Marx said: "the first time as a tragedy, the second time as a farce."

In Quebec, the farce of the division of the people on a linguistic and ethnocultural basis has lasted long enough! The tragedy of the 1840 Act of Union based on the findings of the Durham Report that divided the people between "French-Canadian" and "English-Canadian" is repeated and takes many forms.

Tragedy or farce, the existential crisis that Canada is undergoing is insurmountable as long as the forms of the Anglo-Canadian state are maintained, today brought under the control of oligopolies in the service of U.S. imperialism as well. The cause of this crisis is that the British rulers that founded Canada by Royal Proclamation in 1867 vested sovereignty in the Crown and since then the people have never been able to vest sovereignty in themselves. Today sovereignty remains in the hands of the Crown, at the disposal of oligopolies which includes private security forces and intelligence services. The same goes for the nation of Quebec, which the British suppressed by force as a condition to impose their so-called democratic institutions. This Anglo-Canadian state is today the expression of the old, rotten policy of dividing the people to keep them from taking the sovereign power. It blocks building a modern and sovereign state based on recognizing the rights of all. We must put an end to the historiography that divides the people and maintains the status quo that plunges us into ever deeper crises, including the danger of world war.


Map of boundaries of Upper and Lower Canada in 1840

Today, as we celebrate the 180th anniversary of the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada, the renewal of the political process and institutions is blocked regardless of which political party is in power. From "open federalism" to cooperative federalism, from the Liberals' faith in the defence of multiculturalism to the House of Commons' adoption of a motion professing an ethnocultural basis for the nation of Quebec and the notions of "the other 150" that weeps for "French-Canadian" values over "English-Canadian" values. ("The other 150" means taking a position that Canadians may be right to celebrate Confederation -- i.e., there is not a problem with the Canadian Constitution and the Crown -- but Quebec should have its own such arrangement, perhaps like that of France, as if there is not also a crisis there!)

From the Harper Conservatives' pretense to "end the old constitutional quarrels," to the Trudeau Liberals' claim that the problem does not exist and their broken promise to reform the electoral system, the block to renewal persists. The Trudeau government insists that Canada intervene in the case against Quebec's Bill 99, passed by the National Assembly in 2000, which declares that only Quebec can decide the question to be asked in a referendum. It is clear that the Anglo-Canadian state and its representatives do not want a constitution that recognizes Quebec's right to self-determination and redefines the division of powers and the rights of all on a modern basis.

This subversion and blocking also includes a policy of integration of immigrants that violates the right to conscience by imposing an oath of allegiance to "values," whether "Canadian" or "Quebecois." This policy was not introduced in Quebec by a so-called nationalist or xenophobic government but by the Jean Charest Liberal government. Its reply to the 2008 Bouchard-Taylor report on cultural and religious accommodation was to take up "reasonable accommodation," the empire-builders' slogan at the time of the British conquest, during the Rebellion and throughout the creation of the so-called democratic institutions in Quebec. The content of this policy has always been the accommodation of all the elements that oppose the people taking power. This is the history of Quebec's democratic institutions, which represents the block that refuses to respond to the real needs of society on the basis of a modern definition of rights. Such a policy cannot develop the fraternal unity of the people, which is a necessary condition for society's progress.

This subversion is reflected in the political parties in power and in opposition in Quebec that make language, "reasonable accommodation," "ethnocultural diversity" and "Quebec values" the subjects of perpetual and passionate debate, while the people lack the means to address these problems and find a solution on a modern basis. So the questions of language and values are all they have to offer. In the name of an identity crisis, everything is proposed except for a nation-building project in the image of the working class -- to whom history has assigned the task of vesting sovereign power in the people -- and with its aims. Other forces are also swept away by the current because of their refusal to take a stand, their refusal to see that political parties and the electoral system as a means for the people to give others a so-called mandate to govern in their name are outdated. They are deluded that ruling parties can or want to solve problems on a modern basis.

In the course of fighting for the defence of the rights of all it is important to analyze the content and form of the so-called democratic institutions that were imposed with the crushing of the Rebellion and to look at the empire-builders' definition of rights, which these institutions defend.

In the course of our inquiry, we realized that in Canada everything is a matter of so-called reasonable accommodation, and more specifically, it is all about accommodating the working class to what the bourgeoisie considers reasonable and overcoming disputes between factions of the ruling class and its agencies by accommodating each other. Obviously, today, because of neo-liberalism and making the most powerful monopolies competitive in world markets, the crisis of reasonable accommodation is mainly to blame the people, to accuse them of racism, xenophobia, wanting extreme right solutions, etc.

In studying the question, we realized that this crisis was in fact the old policy of divide and rule in a new package, but with a new label, that of fighting for an identity of our own.

Identity politics was the policy used by colonialists and British empire-builders since the 18th century to divide the people and sow hatred and tensions in order to break the fraternal unity of the people and thus block them from achieving sovereign power and resolving the problem of the subjugation of the Indigenous peoples and the nation of Quebec. In Quebec and Canada since then, this policy has taken different historical forms according to the needs of the time. It is at the heart of Canadian history and ensues from all constitutional Acts -- from the Quebec Act of 1774, through the British North America Act of 1867, to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982. In addition, it is precisely the reactionary policy underlying the so-called bilingualism and multiculturalism of Justin Trudeau's government with its slogan "Unity in diversity."

Maps show (left) Territory of the province of Quebec after the Quebec Act of 1774 and (right) Division of territory after the Constitution Act 1791. (Click image to enlarge)

It is essential to approach this history as science demands and as historical materialism teaches -- according to the development of class struggle and in light of the historical need to harmonize the individual interests with the collective interest, in the context of the general interests of society as defined by the working class and the people themselves. A first task is to recognize that it is only as members of the body politic that all are equal. We must get rid of this practice of so-called representative democracies in which citizens' only role is to mark a ballot to hand over their decision-making power to people who govern on their behalf but do not represent them.

The highlights of Canadian constitutional history during which the so-called democratic institutions were developed and established are, in fact, periods of high treason on the part of the elite.

Today we will present a brief overview of some historical facts that allow us to see the development of the forms of the divide-and-rule policy of the British colonialists in Canada and then the Catholic Church and all the elites representing the Anglo-Canadian state or its counterpart in Quebec.

Definition of Rights Following Conquest

Right after their victory over France in 1763, the British realized that military victory alone was not enough. Note that the American Revolution started in 1765, scarcely two years after the adoption of the Treaty of Paris through which France surrendered New France to England. Scarcely three months after British conquest, His Majesty's soldiers faced the dangers that followed in the United States -- an Indigenous uprising led by Pontiac, Chief of the Outaouais. The British found themselves in a situation where they had to rule a recently conquered territory while revolt was also brewing in their more southern colonies. They needed a submissive population to serve their interests in Quebec and on the world scale in their rivalry with the European colonial powers.

The British colonial oppressors adopted a series of measures which would later be characterized in their Empire in North America as the policy of reasonable accommodation, which was fundamentally the policy of divide et impera (divide and rule).

James Murray, having played a predominant role in the military conquest of New France, in particular under the command of James Wolfe, became the first Governor of the Province of Quebec following the end of the military administration in 1764. Murray understood, better than the British Crown, the need to win the support of certain French seigneurs and Catholic clergy to help pacify the rest of the population. Considering that the colony's conditions demanded suppression of the people, His Majesty imposed the "test oath." The "test oath" had been in effect in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The basic aim of the oath was to exclude Roman Catholics from all administrative and judiciary offices. In exchange for the privilege of holding certain positions, a Catholic had to renounce the Pope as well as certain Catholic dogmas such as the Immaculate Conception and transubstantiation. It was only later, faced with the instability of the colonial situation in North America, with the adoption of the Quebec Act in 1774, that the "test oath" would be abolished.

Guy Carleton, the second governor of the new British colony, also recognized the need to win the support of the seigneurial and clerical elites. He ordered that several of them be appointed to the council in service of the government, and that the sons of certain seigneurs be appointed as army officers. Carleton considered it necessary to take these measures and accommodate the French-speaking elites, especially the clergy, notably putting these elites into positions of power by accepting the Catholic religion, the French language and certain customs. He assessed that "as long as the Canadians are deprived of all positions of confidence and profitable places, they will not be able to forget that they are no longer under the domination of their natural sovereign."

The preservation of the French language, Catholic religion and French civil law and the rights of the feudal seigneurs was also tied to the need of the British to restructure the economy. Many French capitalists, merchants and entrepreneurs had returned to France after the conquest. A large number of Catholic clergy, as well as administrators, judges and others, had also left. The British wanted the entrepreneurs and landowners who remained in the country to become a new administration. The ruling class could use a deeply-rooted Catholic clergy that preached acceptance of the status quo and was closely tied to the feudal aristocracy. These higher strata of the Quebec nation were more than happy to accept the offer of the British colonialists. Thus, the great "accommodation" by the British colonial elites of the French-speaking elites was born.

This policy took a concrete form with the Quebec Act of 1774, under Carleton's administration. The Quebec Act assured the continuation of the Catholic clergy, the seigneurial system, old French civil law and other customs and traditions that posed no threat to the power of the conquerors. However, the Act did not guarantee the establishment of a representative government nor any real rights for the people. This issue would become the rallying call of the Patriots during the 1837 Rebellion. In exchange for the right to preserve their customs and religion, the Quebec habitants would pledge an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. While preparing this Act, two British colonialists, York and Grey, wrote that "the wise conquerors, after having assured themselves of the possession of their conquest, act with gentleness and permit their conquered subjects to conserve all their local customs that are by nature inoffensive."


Quebec Patriots in the trenches at the Battle of St. Charles, November 25, 1837

Article V of the Act of 1774 grants Catholics the right to practise their religion and declares full rights for the clergy. Article VI does the same with respect to the Protestant religion and its clergy. Article VII states that, in exchange, all Quebec inhabitants must pledge the following oath:

"I, A.B., solemnly promise and affirm by this oath, that I will be faithful, and that I will bring true faith and fidelity to His Majesty King George and that I will make every effort to discover and inform His Majesty of all treason, perfidious conspiracies, and all attempts, which I may learn about against him."

The Constitution Act of 1791 would keep the same oath for all people wishing to be elected to the newly created Legislative Assembly. Very accommodatingly, His Majesty authorized that the oath "may be pledged in English or in French, as the case may be." The Act also assured the protection of the title deeds of the seigneurial properties in Lower Canada and created what became known as the clergy reserves in Upper Canada. It was effectively the Act of 1791 that divided Canada for the first time between Upper and Lower Canada. The aim was to open the territory to the Loyalists who had deserted the 13 colonies after the American Revolution. But, above all, the Act aimed to consolidate colonial power by restructuring the colony's administration. It created an elected Legislative Assembly without any real power. It strengthened the role and power of the Governor and of the Legislative Council appointed by the governor to the detriment of the elected Legislative Assembly, all of whose laws had to be approved by the Governor and his council.

Thus, the "Château Clique," a reference to the Château Saint-Louis, residence of the Governor and seat of the government, was born. It would bring together the English merchant bourgeoisie of Lower Canada and dominate political, judicial and commercial affairs until the 1830s, the start of the Patriot movement.

It is important to note that the British did not feel obligated to abolish French. The French language was in effect one of the "inoffensive customs" that they permitted the population to preserve. For example, the Legislative Council had the right to hold its deliberations in French, while the minutes had to be written in English. Proclamations and bylaws were written in English and French. The British were perfectly satisfied with exercising their power in either language, as long as their ends were served. Despite everything, the language question was not specifically debated during this period. It remained unresolved. Under the tutelage of the British colonialists, the new leading Quebec elite quickly became a part of the royal family. The issue is that when it is a matter of profits, language and religion no longer have the same importance. The ruling classes in all the countries of the world speak the language of money and the law of the jungle, and believe in the status quo. These are their only true language and religion.

Definition of Rights Given by the Patriots'
Struggle for Their Nation-Building Project


A British officer reads the order of expulsion after the defeat of the Patriots' rebellion,
to which the Patriots clenched their fists and cried out, "Treachery!"

Today, once more, the Establishment and its historians are following in Lord Durham's footsteps, reducing the struggle waged by the Patriots to an inter-ethnic conflict between French- and English-speaking peoples. It is precisely the Crown institutions, which did not live up to the people's aspirations nor the demands of the times, that the Patriots defied.

A quotation from the famous Durham Report issued after the bloody suppression of the Patriots' Rebellion of 1837-38 against the power of the British Crown in Upper and Lower Canada, declared that this was a matter of "races":

"I expected to find a contest between a government and a people: I found two nations warring in the bosom of a single state: I found a struggle, not of principles, but of races; and I perceived that it would be idle to attempt any amelioration of laws or institutions, until we could first succeed in terminating the deadly animosity that now separates the inhabitants of Lower Canada into the hostile divisions of French and English."

Nonetheless, two things jump out when we study this period of history. First, it is striking to see how the Patriots were able to identify the social forms of the period as the block to development and to develop a nation-building project that was based on the most advanced ideals of the time and that responded to the problems as they posed themselves at that time. Second, today we can see that the social forms and the so-called democratic institutions that are blocking society's advance are directly inherited from these empire-builders who fought the Patriots and built Canada by negating the Quebec nation -- and all the Indigenous peoples -- and by fomenting racism and sowing divisions.

When we say the Patriots knew how to identify the block to development posed by the social forms of the period, this means they knew they had to defeat colonialism and abolish the seigneurial system so that on its ruins they could build a nation-state that responded to the aspirations of the period. The Patriots in Quebec, like others throughout America at that time, were republicans against a colonial regime. This can be seen in the 92 resolutions of 1834 that affirmed, among other things, the aim to create arrangements that conformed to the interests of each inhabitant "without distinction as to origin or belief." It can also be seen in all the resolutions adopted during the wave of people's assemblies in the summer of 1837 and the declaration of independence that followed.

In the winter of 1838, at the centre of this great expression of the popular will, the Patriots proclaimed "by order of the provisional government," an important manifesto called the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Lower Canada that lists the principles and democratic rights that belong to a republic. Article 3 called for the defence of the rights of all: "Under the free government of Lower Canada, all individuals will enjoy the same rights: the natives will no longer be submitted to any civil disqualification and will enjoy the same rights as all other citizens of Lower Canada." Article 15 proclaimed that it was the people who would write their constitution: "At the earliest occasion the people must choose delegates according to the present division of the country in counties, cities and boroughs who will form a convention or legislative body to draft a constitution according to the needs of the country, in accordance with the provisions of this Declaration, subject to modification according to the will of the people."

This struggle had nothing to do with an inter-ethnic struggle. The Patriots' symbols and the Patriot flag symbolizing the unity of the people of Lower Canada show this. Different battles waged by the Patriot Party also show this. For instance, the Patriot Party defended the full recognition of civil rights of the Jewish community in Lower Canada. In 1807, Ezekiel Hart, a Jew elected in the French-speaking riding of Trois-Rivières, was refused his seat in the Assembly. This situation was ended in 1832 through the adoption of a law -- tabled by John Neilson of the Patriot Party -- which abolished all discrimination against Jews regarding civil rights.

The hatred of the people of Lower Canada was not directed against English-speaking Canadians, nor against the British people. On the contrary, the people of Lower Canada and the English people shared the same hatred for the British imperialists and exploiters. The exchanges between the working class organizations of London, England and the Patriot committees testify to this. After holding a protest meeting in support of the demands of the Canadians, the London Workingmen's Association, founded by Karl Marx, sent a message to the Central Committee of the Patriots in which they wrote: "May you see the sun of independence shine on your growing cities, on your happy homes, your thick forests and frozen lakes!" The Central Committee of the Patriots replied: "We have no quarrel with the people of England. We are waging war solely against the aggression of tyrannical oppressors that oppress you as well as us."

It is even an anachronism to speak of a struggle between French-Canadians and English-Canadians, because during that period, everyone was a Canadian, period! A spokesman for the Patriots explained as much before a committee of the [British] House of Commons: "In written documents, everyone who is on the side of Canada is called a Canadian, and everyone who is against the Canadian people is called non-Canadian." Once again, the division between French-speaking and English-speaking Canadians is nothing short of an invention of the colonial exploiters serving their policy of divide and rule.

Despite this evidence, the British colonialists continued to spread the notion, through Lord Durham, that 1837-38 was a struggle between French-speaking and English-speaking people. These slanders perpetuated the 19th century empire-builders' policy of divide-and-rule and served to obscure the essence of the problem. Like today, the essence of the problem was the outmoded so-called democratic institutions and the block to development through social forms. Rather than respond to the demands of the period and renew these institutions, the colonialists defended the status quo by bloodily repressing the 1837-38 Rebellion. The Rebellion was crushed through the force of arms, the suspension of civil liberties, mass arrests, burning of homes, the hanging of 12 Patriots and the forced exile of 64 others. More than 1,700 people were thrown into prison. In Montreal alone, 816 people were arrested in 1838, out of a population of 30,000 -- as a proportion of Montreal's present-day population, this is the equivalent of 40,000 people. Of these, 108 were court-martialled. These figures do not account for the hundreds who fled to the United States to avoid persecution, including 10 accused of "murder" who faced the death sentence if they returned to the country, nor do they account for the villages in the Richelieu Valley that were burned to the ground. These events marked the suppression of the nascent Quebec nation whose existence continues to be negated to this very day by depriving Quebec of its right to self-determination as a legal independent entity, free to create a union with the rest of Canada if it so desires.

Next issue: Definition of Rights in the Act of Union, 1840

About Joseph Montferrand


Carving of Joseph Montferrand in Mattawa

The Joseph Montferrand Collective, based in the Outaouais, is named after Joseph Montferrand (1802-1864), a raftsman and logger who worked throughout Lower Canada, particularly in the Ottawa Valley. Known also as Joe Mufferaw, Montferrand is considered a hero by the working people, both for his renowned strength and courage and, especially, for opposing the brutal treatment meted out to the Quebec workers by their British employers. Jos Montferrand's exploits took place for the most part in the years preceding the Rebellions of 1837-1838. He first came to fame in 1818 at 16 years of age, when he stood 6' 4" and weighed 240 lbs. At that time, the British military organized boxing tournaments around the world on their gunboats, declaring the winner "World Boxing Champion." In Canada, stationed in the Montreal Harbour, the British marines would taunt and humiliate the crowds of Canadians, ridiculing them that they were too inept to face their "World Champion." That year, young Jos Montferrand took up the challenge, felling the "world champion" with a single punch. He was declared "World Champion" and given prize money, but Jos refused the title and gave the money "to those poor folks who need it." He is immortalized in the songs "Johnny Monfarleau" by La Bolduc, "Jos Montferrand" by Gilles Vigneault and "Big Joe Mufferaw" by Stompin' Tom Connors, and many other cultural works.

(Translation from the original French by The Marxist-Leninist (TML). Illustrations taken from l'Esprit révolutionnaire dans l'art québécois, Robert-Lionel Séguin (1972))

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Calendar of Events for National Patriots' Day


Alma / Saint-Félicien

Friday, May 19
Evening in honour of former PQ MNA Benoît Laprise
.
Hôtel du Jardin, Saint-Félicien at 5:00 p.m.

Supper, ceremonial period, speeches and testimonials from various individuals interspersed with video footage and archival material, such as photographs and newspaper clippings. 
Contact: France Gagnon at 418 668-2357  Email: snqalma@cgocable.ca 


Châteauguay

Monday, May 22

Visit and conference with Marcel Labelle, journalist, researcher and author of  "L'insurrection des Patriotes à Beauharnois en 1838 -- Une révolte oubliée" 

Maison LePailleur, 54 Salaberry Boulevard  at 10:00 a.m.  

Snack, Tribute to the Tree of Liberty, speeches, wine reception and ceremonial salvo to wrap up the event. 

Contact: Nathalie Tremblay at 450 698-3193  Email: klanderman@smgc.qc.ca 


Drummondville

Monday, May 22

Le chemin des Patriotes 

From Drummondville to Saint-Denis (round trip), from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. 

Bus trip from Drummondville to Saint-Denis with a guide recounting the history of the Patriots. Tour of la Maison des Patriotes in Saint-Denis.
Contact: Robert Poisson at 819 472-4659  Email: robertpoisson@cgocable.ca

Gatineau

Sunday, May 21 

Public patriotic rally

Au Minotaure, 3 Kent Street, Old Hull at 5:00 p.m. 

The event will be held after the Patriots’ March. Speeches and interventions from the floor, participants' "open" mike, DJ and traditional music by local group, "Beer Reception" brewed up by la Brasserie du Bas-Canada and buffet.

Contact: Gabriel Bernier at 819 773-2221  Email: snqoutaouais@gmail.com 


Joliette

Monday, May 22 

Patriots’ Picnic 

Downtown Joliette at noon. 

Family picnic in downtown Joliette accompanied by traditional music (by Yves Lambert et Véronique Place), inflatables and face-painting, patriotic speeches (by Pascal Parent and Annie-Claude Gagnon, etc.)

Contact: Gabriel Ste-Marie at 450 752-1940  Email: gabriel.ste-marie@parl.gc.ca


Mascouche

Saturday, May 20 

Mots lires - Parole au peuple

On the square outside of Saint-Henri de Mascouche Church, 3000 chemin Sainte-Marie at 11:00 a.m. 

Presentations on the church square: poetry and historical readings - exchange with the audience 

Contact: François-René L'Écuyer at  514 677-3745  Email: info@francoisrene.com


Montreal

Monday, May 22 

Patriots’ March at 1:00 p.m. 

Canada Place, renamed "Independence Place" since 2011 and located at the corner of Peel and  René-Lévesque, near métro Bonaventure

Murdochville

Saturday, May 27 

Commemoration of the Murdochville Strike of 1957. 

Town of Murdochville at 1:00 p.m.

Commemoration of the strike, with the assistance of a historian and participants in the strike that played a significant role in improving working conditions in Quebec. The floor will be open to former workers and union leaders.
Contact: Michel Landry at 418 364-3075   Email: snatgim.msp@gmail.com 


Notre-Dame-du-Portage / Rivière-du-Loup

Monday, May 22

Visit by Patriot Louis-Antoine Dessaulles. 

Super Bar, 414 Lafontaine Street at 5:00 p.m. 
Speeches, music and animation, decorations with the colours of the Patriots’ flag, history lesson by actor impersonating Patriot Louis-Antoine Dessaulles, musicians playing Quebec songs. 

Contact: Hugues Belzile at 418 862-6561  Email: hugues.belzile@gmail.com


Pierreville / St-François-du-Lac

Monday, May 22 

Dinner-Conference on the Patriots.

Restaurant Comme chez soi, 123 Marie-Victorin Street at 6:00 p.m.

Dinner and conference on the patriots followed by discussion with participants. 

Contact: Bertrand Allard at 450 568-2078   Email: gis.cart@hotmail.com 


Pointe-aux-Trembles

Saturday, May 20 

Large Public Get-Together 

Place du Village in Old Pointe-aux-Trembles and at St-Enfant-Jésus Church
11 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street at 10:30 a.m. 

Regional Patriot activity: activities and games for the entire family, historical and cultural activities, Patriots’ Choir, folklore animation by la Chasse-Galerie, tour of PAT History Workshop and Museum, Filles du Roy, Moulin à paroles Louis-Riel, drawing and contest, theatre, thematic workshops.  

Contact: Jean-Pierre Émond at 514 776-8597  Email: jpemond@sympatico.ca 


Québec City

Monday, May 22  

2017 Awards in Memory of the Patriots.
Le Cercle -- Lab Vivant, 228 Saint-Joseph Street East, 3:30 p.m. 

The aim of the event is to "revive" the Memory of the Patriots among the youth to make this national day an annual "moment of history," at which two Patriot Awards of the year will be awarded on the basis of male/female parity. 

Contact: Réjean Savard at 418 640-0799  Email: info@snqc.quebec


Rimouski

Wednesday, May 25
Commemorative March
Parc de la Gare, Évêchée Street East, Rimouski and COOP-PARADIS 274 Michaud Avenue. Refreshments for marchers, family activities, speeches, concert by singer Marc Bélanger, presentation in memory of the Patriots, awarding of History Scholarships, nomination for Patriot of the Year. 
Contact: Richard Corbin at 418 723-9259

Saint-Constant

Monday, May 22
National Patriot's Day
Behind the Saint-Constant church 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Historical speeches, kiosks with local and other products, children's activities: face-painting, inflatables, activities featuring artists dressed in historical costumes, historical presentations and reenactments by the group Reconstitution du Bas Canada, traditional music, selected readings from work of Chevalier De Lorimier, official ceremony with the Mayor and elected representatives.
Contact: Nathalie Laberge at 450 346-1141  Email: nathalie.laberge@asnqrsl.quebec

Saint-Denis

Monday, May 22
Festive day organized by la Maison nationale des Patriotes to highlight the history of the Patriots. 610 chemin des Patriotes, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu
Patriot camp reenactment presented by la Société de reconstitution du Bas-Canada, demonstrations of trades of the times, kiosks of Patriot products, historical presentations, guided tours and more!

Saint-Hubert

Monday, May 22
Homage to the memory of the Patriots.
Patriote-Joseph-Vincent park and at la Maison du citoyen, 1906 rue Martineau at 1:30 p.m.
Homage to the memory of the Patriots, salute to the flag, exposition of Quebecois flags at la Maison du citoyen. Alcohol-free cocktail. Entree fee.
Contact: 450 678-6364  Email: lepageandre@videotron.ca

Saint-Hyacinthe

Monday, May 22
National Patriots' day
Parc des Patriotes and the Centre des loisirs Bourg-Joli at 11:00 
Gathering at the Parc des patriotes, picnic near l'Arche de l'Espace maskoutain, weather permitting, flag ceremony, march through the streets of Saint-Hyacinthe bearing the names of the 1837-1838 Patriots.
Contact: Rémi Drapeau at 450 773-9317  Email: ssjb@maskatel.net

Saint-Jean-Port-Joli

Sunday, May 21
2017 Patriots' Dinner / Étienne-Chartier SNQCA Award
Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-La-Pocatière at 5:30 p.m. 
Description: An historical overview of the events of 1837-1838 in memory of the 100,000 people from the Chaudière-Appalaches and Bas Saint-Laurent regions. The dinner aims to revive the memory of the Patriots and honour the SNQCA Patriot of the Year. Conference on Augustin-Magloire Blanchet by Gaston Deschênes. Distribution of the book "Le mouvement patriote sur la Côte-du-Sud."
Contact: Arsène Pelletier at 418 598-7899  Email: arsenepelletier@videotron.ca

Saint-Roch-de-Richelieu

Monday, May 22
Exposition: Louis-Joseph Papineau
Parc des Patriotes de Saint-Roch and Maison de la culture de Saint-Roch, 886 rue St-Pierre at 1:00 p.m.
Patriotic speech by our elected officials (provincial MNA and federal MP followed by the Mayor) at the Parc des Patriotes. You are invited to join us at la Maison de la culture for a wine reception and to admire the exposition.
Contact: Liliane Pelletier at 450 846-2285  Email: info@maisondelaculturesaint-roch-de-richelieu.org

Sherbrooke

Sunday, May 21
Contest on the democratic ideals of the 1837-1838 Patriots
Richard-Gingras Centre, 4503 chemin Saint-Roch Nord at 9:00 a.m.
Annual breakfast celebrating National Patriot's Day. Reenactment of a "skirmish" between the Patriots and British soldiers. Guests can admire the works of student contestants.
Contact: Luc Guay at 819 864-9298  Emai: luc.guay@usherbrooke.ca

Sorel-Tracy

Sunday, May 21
Patriot commemoration at 3:30 p.m.
Tour of different Patriot landmarks in the region of Sorel-Tracy, notably Saint-Ours. The parade will be peppered with several speaches. Everything will culminate at the pub La Verrière where the Patriots of the year will be honoured. Singer and keynote speaker will present.
Contact: Jean-Yves Langlois at 450 773-8535  Email: ssjb@maskatel.net

Thetford Mines

Monday, May 22
National Patriots' Day
Thetford Golf Club, 1 rue du Golf  at 5:00 p.m.
Opening words from the President, cocktail, student readings of an extract of "Patriotes à la grandeur du Québec," awarding of History achievement scholarship
Contact: Gaston St-Jacques at 418 755-1251  Email: gastonstjac@hotmail.com

Trois-Rivières

Sunday, May 21
Evening in Celebration of the Patriots -- 6th edition
Le Zénob, Café-bar et spectacle at 6:00 p.m.
Evening of artistic performances, speeches, poetry, traditional music, storytelling and more, with the theme "in memory of the Patriots"
Contact: Jean-François Veilleux at 819 375-4883 ext 2306  Email: jbreton@ssjb.quebec

Monday, May 22
In Memory of the Patriots
Taverne St-Philippe and Place des Patriotes from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
Opening remarks, conference by Yvam Carmel with question period, salute to the flag at Place des Patriotes, presentation, patriotic songs by Félix Leclerc sung by Gaétan Leclerc (Félix Leclerc's nephew).
Contact: Jean Breton at 819 375-4883 ext 2306  Email: jbreton@ssjb.quebec

Vaudreuil-Dorion

Monday, May 22
2017 Historical achievement gala - performance by Alexandre Bélliard
Opticentre Vaudreuil-Dorion at 5:00 p.m. 
Awarding of Historical achievement certificates, draw for scholarships and prizes, presentation by Alexandre Bélliard, songs and texts by our Patriot ancestors.
Contact: Madeleine Boulanger at 450 455-3636  Email: madeleine.boulanger@videotron.ca

Verchères

Monday, May 22
In memory of the Patriots: "Les Patriotes du Bas-Canada : un peuple en résistance" by Anne-Marie Sicotte
Verchères city hall for the raising of the flag and Église Saint-François-Xavier de Verchères at 10 a.m.
Raising of the Patriot flag in front of Verchères city hall and a minute of silence. Speeches from the mayor and elected representatives and SSJBRY president at the church, conference on "Les Patriotes du Bas-Canada : un peuple en résistance" by Anne-Marie Sicotte.
Contact: Paul Brisebois at 450 583-3083  Email: paulbrisebois@videotron.ca

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