As I Recall | Si je me souviens bien


IRPP (ed.)
1999 | 449 pages

If a shared past often serves to unite communities large and small, in multinational states it is sometimes a source of acrimony and misunderstanding. Divergent assessments of historical events stir up powerful emotions and exacerbate current-day political tensions.

Canada's history may be relatively placid compared to that of other countries divided on linguistic or ethnic lines, but it too suffers the effects of a past in dispute. In English Canada there is often one common understanding of any given episode or event; in French Canada, and Quebec in particular, another prevails. Misapprehension and discord are the result.

This collection seeks to bridge the divide, not by finding common ground, but by bringing to light the distinctive viewpoints of each side. It chronicles 34 events that have marked political relations between the two linguistic communities, from the arrival of the British in 1759 to the 1995 Quebec referendum. The originality of this work lies in its conceptual framework: each event is summarized from the viewpoint of both Anglophones and Francophones under the headings "As I Recall" and "Si je me souviens bien".

This book is meant to encourage constructive dialogue between the two communities. Readers will discover new perspectives on our common past and come away with a fresh appreciation of the historical roots of Canadian diversity and difference.

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