By William Markiewicz
Lets face it; Canada cannot stick to Quebec and its referendums indefinitely. Never in history has an independence movement died a natural death, so there will never be a reason for the Bloc/Parti Quebecois to disappear. As long as they remain on the political scene Quebec will remain an open sore on Canada's body. That's what the BQ claims openly and I'm sorry to say they are right. There cannot be a place in Canada for a province where roughly 50% of the population is anti-Canadian. On the other hand, Canada has a duty toward the remaining 50% who want to remain Canadian Quebeckers. For this population, Canada has an obligation to keep a fraction of Quebec in Canada.
Technically speaking, after a separatist referendum victory followed by Quebec's declaration of independence, the division of Quebec will be next to impossible. Practically the next day after this declaration, France and other francophone countries will recognize a sovereign Quebec and all attempts to seize any of its territory will be decried as "Canadian imperialism." France will certainly offer all the support Quebec may require. But, if Canada acts while Quebec is still Canadian, in the eyes of the world Canada will only be making decisions about its own territory. In practice, this means that Canada itself, without awaiting the result of referendums, should initiate separation from Quebec. It is not so unheard of; this is the way the UK separated from Canada, the Czechs from Slovakia, and that's how the USSR dismembered. The situation in Quebec on the Canadian side will never degenerate to what we see in Northern Ireland. Even if some of the anti-Canadian element remains there, they will always be outnumbered enough to discourage trouble-making.
I didn't mention the issue of the Natives who would rather separate from Quebec than from Canada, because as much as I sympathize with them, their cause remains legally shaky. First, lets remember that the Serbian population, strong in number, was not allowed to separate from Bosnia and practically forced to go away and abandon everything. The Natives represent a small group in a territory too huge for them to populate and administrate. They can't even dream of separating all their territory from an independent Quebec. A part of it, yes, but again only if it is done before those pain-in-the-neck referendums with their uncertainty start again.