Tolerance is one of Canada’s greatest virtues. For this reason, any accusation that our country is riven with hatred is profoundly troubling to all fair-minded Canadians. One of the loudest voices levelling accusations of systemic hate is the Muslim Association of Canada; it’s also a major beneficiary of government anti-hate funding. But can a group that has invited speakers who approve of the death penalty for gays or the extermination of the Jews and that denounces nearly any criticism of its positions as “Islamophobia” really be defending the Canadian values of (in its own words) “justice, mercy, peace, respect, security, equity, dignity and equality”? Frédéric Bastien takes a close look.
Slavery is an outrage, pure and simple, truly one where it is accurate to say “even one is too many”. But even slavery requires context. Out of the more than 12 million Africans captured and shipped across the Atlantic, by the year 1700 precisely six were held in what would later become Quebec. So how and why did La Belle Province decide to upend the truth of its past? In this version of an essay that appeared originally in the Dorchester Review, Frédéric Bastien chronicles Quebec’s bizarre orgy of “historical correctness” and the damage it is doing to memory, truth and perspective.