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A Montrealer from the Bas-du-Fleuve

A Montrealer from the Bas-du-Fleuve

Writing from Quebec. Translated by Melissa Bull.

I don’t want to pit the régions, the countryside, against Montreal. We do it a lot in Quebec, particularly since the Hérouxville affair in 2007, when the village’s municipal council infamously adopted a code of conduct banning immigrants from stoning people and burning women, as if they were trying to do either. 

I consider the argument moot. Every day, I watch as we debate which of the two will give rise to the next “real” Québécois, and I’m bored out of my skull. 

This dialectic between the so-called “urbanites”—invariably left-wing, Montreal-­centred, multi­culturalist anglo­philes—and the so-called campagnards or “townies”—lovers of the French language and heritage, conservationists, proud descendants of the Patriots who fought British forces from 1837 to 1838—rests, in my opinion, on expired assumptions. 

Montreal isn’t a freestanding, fixed thing. I lived in Montreal for twenty-five years, and among ...

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