L'identité canadienne selon Wilfrid Laurier LAURIER

Ce discours fut prononcé par Wilfrid Laurier (Premier ministre du Canada de 1896 à 1911) devant le Young Men's Liberal Club de Toronto, le 10 décembre 1886. Je vous en présente ici un long extrait dans sa version originale anglaise.

You see, gentlemen, this is the extent of my imputation. I fully admit that the English language is bound to be the language of this country, and no man in his senses will deny it. For I simply confine myself to say that we are the French race and have certain duties, and have to fulfil those duties and nothing more. Certainly there is nothing in this to which any Canadian can take exception. I will say this, that we are Canadians. Below the island of Montreal the water that comes from the north from Ottawa unites with the waters that come from the western lakes, but uniting they do not mix. There they run parallel - separate. Distinguishable, and yet are one stream, flowing within the same banks, the mighty St. Lawrence, and rolling on toward the sea bearing the commerce of a nation upon its bosom - a perfect image of our nation.

We may not assimilate, we may not blend, but for all that we are the component parts of the same country. We may be French in our origin - and I do not deny my origin I admit that I pride myself on it. We may be English, or Scotch or whatever it may be, but we are Canadians; one in aim and purpose; and not only Canadians, but we are also members of the same British Empire. This fact, that we are all Canadians, one in our objects, members of the British Empire, proud of being British subjects and Canadian, is evidence that we can keep pride of race without any detriment to the nation.

As Canadians, we have feelings in common with each other that are not shared by our fellow-countrymen on the other side of the water. As Canadians, we are affected by local and national considerations, which bind us together and so we are led to look back to the land of our ancestors and feel, with all that, to be no less good Canadians. These are the feelings of the race to which I belong, and on this question I am true to my race, I am true to Canada. I am true to England. And last, and for this, I have often been reproached with being a traitor. I am above all true to the cause of liberty and justice.

Des Québécois à la tête du pays

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