Robert Libman: On the night before Christmas, a wish for Quebec

A classic poem reimagined.

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Quebec Premier Legault was ready for bed,
but thoughts of poll numbers danced in his head.

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He tossed and he turned wondering what to do,
trying to figure out how to slow down the PQ.

He had an idea as his eyes started to close,
maybe a few more kicks at those maudit anglos.

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But when he awoke on Christmas morning,
he couldn’t believe what happened while he’d been snoring.

A Christmas miracle swept across Montreal,
no more English, not anywhere at all.

Anglophones and allophones had just had enough,
so during the dark wintry night, they called Legault’s bluff.

They took off by car, by plane, by train and by bus,
off to Ontario and into the U.S.

Jolin-Barrette and Roberge danced in the street,
“We did it, we did it, 96 accomplished its feat!”

So many empty homes now west of the Main,
the housing shortage and rentals no longer a pain.

No need for bilingualism in hospitals, schools or city halls,
we can live only in French now, let’s build up those walls.

No English universities, CEGEPs or the like,
English TV and radio stations turned off their mics.

The CAQ government was as happy as can be,
as our federal leaders pretended not to see.


But as time went on, things started to unhinge,
unleashing anger and fear, making everyone cringe.

Fighting broke out to divide all the spoils,
with tensions among francos reaching a boil.

Finances and our economy started to regress,
leading to new levels of heightened stress.

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Fewer doctors, fewer nurses, clerks and researchers,
worsened the crisis of finding workers.

The Habs and the Als lost nearly half their fans,
the teams would eventually have to disband.

Fewer taxes and buyers and tourists, less money,
the collapse of public services was anything but funny.

Plunging headlong into a downward spiral,
Quebec’s darkened reputation began to go viral.

Families broken, anglo friends and co-workers gone,
it no longer felt to nationalists like they had won.

As the city and province became poorer and poorer,
Legault’s legacy and Quebec seemed gloomier for sure.

So Legault looked up and asked what he could do.
The angel of Christmas said “it’s up to you.”

Maybe protecting French can be done in a positive way,
without a stick and insisting “my way or the highway.”


Legault suddenly awoke and realized it was all a dream,
and maybe anglos should be part of the team.

They’ve been part of Quebec for so very long,
why treat them as if they don’t belong?

They speak French, they contribute, they are our friend,
they’ve built Quebec with us, this scapegoating must end.

From winter to summer to spring and through fall,
anglos just maybe aren’t so bad after all.

Whatever your ethnicity or the language you speak,
happy holidays to all — and success in all you seek.

Robert Libman is an architect and planning consultant who has served as Equality Party leader and MNA, as mayor of Côte-St-Luc and as a member of the Montreal executive committee. He was a Conservative candidate in the 2015 federal election. X @robertlibman

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