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Another Coffee from the North Shore News ‘Spiritually Speaking’ Column

Will Quebec be Sovereign with 1,000 Days?

‘Quebec Sovereignty within 1,000 Days!’, promises Premier Bernard Landry.  As someone who lived in Montreal during the time of Expo 67, I love the people and province of Quebec.  I love their flair and passion for life, their joie de vivre.  Canada would be a much weaker country without our francophone neighbours.

One day before the infamous 1995 Quebec referendum, David Richardson of African Enterprise spoke in North Vancouver on the topic of Canada and Reconciliation.  David was born in Geraldton, Ontario, and, at age 10, went to spend over 40 years of his life in South Africa.  David mentioned: "I have lived as a Canadian in a foreign land, and yet in many ways have returned to Canada as a foreigner...a strange paradox that I should feel like that.  But I do."  When David came back to Canada, he felt a very clear calling to come back: "I didn’t come back because of Canada or because of South Africa.  I came very clearly because the Lord called me to go home...because of lostness.  I felt God say ‘I want you to be part of my Church in Canada to deal with the lostness of Canada’.

David sensed that in returning to Canada, he has been given two basic messages to share: 1) The message of reconciliation & 2) The message of accountability.  David intuitively feels that Canadian reconciliation can be best lived out by following the pattern of 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land."  He emphasized that it is not finally in the hands of the Quebec government or the federal government or the provincial government to bring about the healing of this land.  It is in the hands of God’s people.  "I don’t think that any of us have any doubt that our land needs healing.  We could take a referendum on it if you like, but I don’t think it’s necessary..."

I don’t believe that there will ever be healing between francophones and anglophones in Canada, until we face our lostness as a nation.  We have forgotten who we are.  We have forgotten where we came from.  We have forgotten how to love and forgive our neighbours as ourselves.  Reconciliation with Quebec is not a matter of tolerating each other and using each other economically.  Reconciliation is about repenting over how we have so often crushed each other’s culture and treated each other like dirt.  Reconciliation is about turning from our endless regional grumbling and learning to fall in love with the amazing gift that God has given us in Canada.  Quebec is not a problem to be solved.  Quebec is a sibling to be embraced and treasured. Reconciliation is not about mere tolerance; it is about learning to love and embrace one another.

Click for more on how this reconcilation can actually happen….


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Contact Rev. Ed Hird
St. Simon's Anglican Church 
North Vancouver, B.C.