LETTER: Aftermath of the Quebec referendum

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The Independent Online
From Mr Dean Rivando

Sir: Canadians who choose exile (Section Two; "Dear Canadians", 1 November) fall into two main categories: those who seek fame and fortune (mainly to the US) and those who seek a richer cultural life (mainly to the UK).

Although I fall into the latter category as much by accident as choice (I fell in love with a British girl), the idea of returning to a Canada fractured by a narrow, anachronistic nationalism (with an underlying current of racism if Jacques Parizeau's comments after losing the "Yes" vote reflect his supporters' views) is extremely unappealing.

The irony for me is that Britain is becoming the Quebec of Europe, retrenching behind a nostalgic nationalism for an era that never was.

The fracture caused by the Quebec referendum between English and French, and within Quebec society itself, is so great that Canadians and Quebeckers will not be able to wait another 15 years for this matter to be resolved.

Let's hope that the British Government's attitude to Europe, particularly in view of the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference, does not set Britain on the same road to political turmoil and economic decline.

Yours faithfully,

Dean Rivando

London, N15

1 November