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Inside Quebec’s – and Canada’s – Replicant Culture

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 5: Dystopian Science Fiction

The doomed antiheroes Spawn (created by a Canadian) and Wolverine (who is Canadian) show that to separate from Canada carries with it a grave penalty, even the loss of one’s soul to Hell itself. And yet there is a region of Canada that has nevertheless flirted, dangerously closely, with separatism. I speak of course of La Belle Province – Quebec.

As this is a series on Canadian culture, I will not delve too deeply into Quebec’s history or politics. Any discussion of Quebec culture, however, must reference the year 1759 and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, just outside modern-day Quebec City, where British forces established themselves as the sole power in what was then Canada.

An obscure and quite short battle in the much larger Seven Years War, this event created the pretext for French-speaking Canadians to view themselves as a conquered and colonized people. To this day, Quebecois display “Je Me Souviens” (I remember) on the license plates of their cars, and antipathy towards the English royal family is common throughout the province while the Queen remains (mostly) beloved everywhere else. This is the result of the Quiet Revolution, a cultural and religious shift two hundred years after the French defeat at the hands of the British. The Catholic Church may have lost most of its power, but a giant cross still stands atop Mount Royal and adorns the Quebec National Assembly, the provincial seat of power, and Quebecers curse each other with religious epithets (Tabarnak! Va a diable! Crisse!).