I was born when René Lévesque began his second year as Québec Premier, a few months after the National Assembly passed the Charter of the French Language. Today, at the age of 44, I still wonder how my life, like that of all Quebecers, would have been different if a fundamentally sovereign party had not profoundly changed the political face of the Québec people of the time by changing the status of a Canadian minority to a majority population at home.
I grew up with the disappointments of the 1980 referendum defeat and the dashed hopes that followed. I was only 2 years old when René Lévesque invited us next time! The years have left me with this indelible will to tirelessly pursue this dream, for the rest of the world.
In 1995 I was finally able to appreciate the concreteness of the sovereignist project, which until then had seemed very abstract to me. Yes, the world could change. The people of Quebec could afford to emerge from dormant talk to finally embrace the reality of their emancipation. I understood that the power to unite together for a common project can move mountains. That the desire for emancipation and control of our collective destiny is the vehicle of an inclusive project to ensure full control over the levers of our collective destiny.
Since then, defeats and betrayed promises to restore Canadian order have only perpetuated the erosion of Quebec’s power. Quebec has long tried everything to integrate with Canada with dignity, without success. As writer Rita Mae Brown sums it up: “The madness keeps doing the same thing but expecting a different result.” Please do not accept this madness of repeating the same mistakes in hopes of reform that today’s Canada will never achieve.
Quebec’s independence is more necessary than ever. Because it is high time for our people to speak with their own voice to the nations of the earth; that we finally share in the challenges of humanity without having to seek permission from another oil state whose interests dominate ours. Because our language is losing ground every moment and our dependence on Canada is the cause. Because we must have more than enough to justify our laws, duly passed in the National Assembly, before a foreign crown, which may, at its ideological whims, invalidate them.
Over time, my work as an artist has allowed me to meet people from all over Quebec, French Canada and around the world. I was fascinated by listening to what people had to say about their stories, their dreams, their peoples and their political context. Above all, the need for small nations to control the levers of the state in order to develop their collective wealth and nurture their cultures.
I’m running for the Parti Québécois in Rosemont because I fundamentally believe that independence is the only political option that can allow Quebecers to thrive as a people. I am running to proudly represent a major party that has shaped Quebec’s cultural, socio-economic and identity development.
This project must stay alive
I am committed to following the aspirations of the people of my country to care about the realization of their concrete needs, their deep aspirations and their dreams, both individually and collectively. In the current global turmoil – from the climate crisis to growing social and economic inequalities – the crucial actions and changes we must make together can only be realized through an inspiring and unifying project that captures the vitality and influence of Quebec’s culture ensures: Independence.
This project must, at all costs, remain alive and evolve over time so that when the time comes, it can regain strength to show Quebecers of all origins and all affiliations that there is nothing more resistant in the countryside than the will to Freedom. As we celebrate René Lévesque’s 100th birthday, it is our duty to revitalize the party he founded to continue this unfinished project. I am willing to take on the responsibility of contributing with all of you.
Pierre Luc Brilliant
Actor, musician and candidate for the Parti Québécois in Rosemont