Yesterday we received news that sums up the particularly Québécois challenges we face as a pro-life group here in Quebec.
The other day, a pollster was commenting on how Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) was rising in the polls everywhere across the country but not yet in Quebec, where the CPC is still behind the Bloc and the Liberal Party.
The pollster then remarked that the Conservatives have strong potential in Quebec, but that they needed a good “Quebec lieutenant,” a person who could sell the CPC brand to Quebecers, translating policy not only into French, but presenting it in a manner they understand and empathize with.
Immediately I thought to myself: “this is a big slap in the face of the current, official CPC Quebec lieutenant, MP Pierre-Paul Hus” who obviously isn’t doing his job, according to the pollster. I thought to myself that the CPC, if they got the pollster’s message, must be looking for someone other than Pierre-Paul Hus, someone Montreal-centric, someone who could speak to new demographics.
And right on cue, just yesterday, out comes Anaida Poilievre, Pierre Poilievre’s wife (who had grown up in Montreal’s east end, having emigrated from Venezuela to Canada with her family), on Quebec television, selling the CPC to Quebecers. Here was a younger, darker-skinned, Montreal-raised woman as a CPC Quebec “lieutenant,” exactly what the pollster had called for a few days before.
And now: what was her message? How was she going to sell the CPC to Quebecers?
She declared the following: “We [she and her husband Pierre] are pro-choice. We have spoken out on this. I am a woman from Quebec, I grew up here. And it’s part of my values.”
This interview was conducted by TVA, one of Quebec’s most-watched news channels (a QC equivalent of CTV). And if you watch the clip, the video editors, when Anaida mentions abortion, cut to an alternate shot (what in the industry is called b-roll) where you see Anaida’s face under a cross mounted on the exterior wall of what looks like a nearby school (most of Quebec’s schools, when they were originally built, were Catholic and had crosses mounted on their exterior walls. They’ve since abolished the Catholic school system in Quebec, but many schools have kept the crosses, for reasons which remain mysterious).
The message was clear: Anaida and Pierre Poilievre aren’t “religious zealot pro-lifers”, the kind that “oppressed” Quebecers in the past during what is commonly called in the province La Grande noirceur (“the Great darkness”), that period from 1944 until 1960 where government was Christian and families typically had multiple children.
That, in a nutshell, is the problem pro-lifers face in Quebec: a culture that has forsaken key elements of its past, those very things that made it possible for it to exist today. For if it weren’t for the very large families populating Quebec, and their piety and tenacity over the decades, there would simply be no francophone Quebec to speak of today.
In that video, we see in all its ugliness the adolescent and narcissistic ingratitude towards all the blessings God has conferred to the Québécois nation until 1960 when, like the Prodigal Son, Quebec decided collectively to “leave the Father’s house”, that is, to live without God, as if He didn’t exist.
Today, with a fertility rate of 1.49 children per woman (and the figure is most certainly much lower if you leave out the children had by mothers who have recently immigrated to Quebec) and 20 to 25 thousand yearly abortions, are Quebecers finally going to admit their spiritual and moral poverty and their need of God? Or are they going to persevere in their prideful, stubborn denial of reality, until they become extinct or largely irrelevant?
This is where Quebec Life Coalition comes in.
In a few weeks time, on January 18, I will be heading to Washington D. C. with two producers of Théovox, a Quebec alternative-media group. We will be soaking up the pro-life atmosphere of the annual D.C. March for Life which yearly draws hundreds of thousands of marchers. This annual March has undeniably played a role in the stunning and historical reversal of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that in 1973 forced U.S. States to allow most abortions.
The main reason for our visit is simple: we want to bring to Quebec the spirit that enabled the U.S. to overcome a major obstacle towards making their country abortion-free. Put simply, we believe that we must start a March for Life in Quebec, and this process begins by seeing how the gold-standard of such marches is conducted.
Incidentally, as I mentioned previously, Quebec public television will be filming a documentary on the reversal of the Roe decision and its possible impact on Quebec. I just received a call this morning confirming that they will be at the D.C. March and will be interviewing us and other pro-lifers at the D.C. March.
And what I told the Quebec public television researcher I will tell you now: Our experiences gathered during the D. C. March will enable us to put on the FIRST EVER Quebec March for Life, which, God willing, will be taking place in Quebec City on Saturday, June 1, 2024.
Making a moribund, abortion-stricken culture into a Culture of Life requires events that literally breath life into the body politic. Quebecers need to see that Pro-Life is the future, and not only the Past. They need to see that God is ahead of them, calling them forth to a fulfilling, bright familial, social, and national life, not somehow behind them, calling them back to the so-called “great darkness” they hear propagandized so often in their atheistic state-funded public schools.
My question to you is, will you help us? Will you first pray that the hearts of Quebecers will become receptive to our message of life and hope? Will you pray that our very First March for Life in Quebec is a success? Finally, will you give us the means to continue working in Quebec for Life, day in and day out, by donating to this advent’s Fundraiser?
P.S.: Even if you are from out of province, Quebec City is a wonderful place to visit. Pencil-in June 1st 2024 on your calendar as a possible vacation date and make it a point to participate in the first ever Quebec March for Life. This is literally a historical event, one that may mark a true first step in exorcising Quebec’s resentment of its Christian, pro-life past.