Garneau compares separatism to war in Iraq
Date: Saturday, January 07 2006
By TU THANH HA AND DANIEL LEBLANC
MONTREAL, OTTAWA -- Quebec separation is like the American invasion of Iraq, Liberal star candidate Marc Garneau said yesterday, adding that he would leave his home province if it split from Canada.
The former astronaut said at a press conference that separatist politicians are like the American military in Iraq, getting themselves into a messy situation without thinking ahead about the consequences.
And in an interview afterward with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Garneau, a former navy officer, kept up the comparison.
"I will never abandon my Canadian citizenship, and I say it very clearly. For me, it's war. We're no longer fooling around here and talking about hypothetical things. It's war and I take it very seriously," he said.
He said he is confident that Quebeckers will never take the path toward sovereignty, but added he would leave the province if it happened.
"Unless you tell me that one could live as a Canadian citizen in a sovereign Quebec . . . I haven't imagined that scenario so far," he said.
He said sovereignty would cause "chaos for at least a generation," saying that the standard of living in Canada and in Quebec would "sink."
"I think that when you say you're a sovereigntist you have to think it through. I don't think a lot of Quebeckers have thought it through. If they did they'd realize that what they really want to do is to stay in Canada because it is a much better arrangement for them."
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 9, 2006]