Who Belongs in Quebec? Identity Politics in a Changing Society

Raquel Fletcher

March 2020

Are Quebecers less tolerant than other Canadians? Ongoing debate about secularism and religious symbols has led many observers to ask that very question. Premier François Legault denied that racism or Islamophobia exists in Quebec, even after a gunman opened fire in a Quebec City mosque in 2017, killing six people and wounding 19 others. The Quebec government has now established a religious symbols ban for some public employees. The increasingly diverse new reality is sometimes embraced and sometimes met with hostility from alt-right groups and emboldened anti-immigrant sentiment. One of the biggest questions Quebecers will have to face is: What does this new reality mean for the Quebec identity? And who gets to consider themselves a Quebecer?

The author, a young journalist who moved to Quebec City from Saskatchewan, has some critical questions for the adopted province she loves.

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Raquel Fletcher is the Quebec National Assembly reporter for Global News. She was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is a graduate of the University of Regina School of Journalism. She is a world traveler, proud francophile, and dog lover. She lives in Quebec City.

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Format: Trade paper

Size: 8.5 x 5.5 in.

Pages: 120

What they say
All Lit Up

Raquel Fletcher, the National Assembly reporter for Global News, has some critical questions for Quebec, the place she calls home since 2016. In her new book, Who Belongs in Quebec?, Raquel takes a look at identity politics in Quebec's national identity, posing the question "what does it mean to be a Quebecer?" Below, she talks a little about moving to Quebec City from Saskatchewan and the changing politics in her adopted province....

I don’t know why exactly, but it has always been my dream to live in Quebec. Something about living in a place where my children could grow up perfectly bilingual, where the winters were warmer than they are in the prairies, but where there is just as much snow. Or maybe it was something about the way it called itself a nation and fiercely protected its culture and arts sector. All of this appealed to this Francophile writer from Saskatchewan who desperately wanted to belong somewhere she could earn a living and work in a creative industry.

It might have taken me over a year to get my health card—the time it took to learn to navigate Quebec bureaucracy in my second language. When native Quebecers hear my accent, they still ask where I’m from. I might still look at them blankly when they talk about a famous Quebec personality I should know but have never heard of. And I admit I might have driven my new Quebec City friends crazy with all my questions about renting here (everyone moves on July 1?) or finding a family doctor (I felt like I’d won the lottery when I finally succeeded) or traveling to Montreal (obstacles include any number of things from ice storms to detours because of construction). I might have once squealed in delight the first time I saw one of those recycling machine that accept bottles and cans in a grocery store. I might not be from here originally, but I totally belong here.
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March 2020, All Lit Up


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