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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 05.09.05

RICKY BLUE

West Quebec? Bring on the next referendum.

Opposition parties are complaining that the federal Liberals are already in election mode. This may well be true. But separatists in Quebec are getting excited as well. They see a perfect storm on the horizon. So they are already getting into pre-referendum mode.

Because of the Canadian Clarity Act, the next Quebec referendum would necessitate a very clever question indeed. For Quebec separatists, that would be the trick. And when I say: "trick," those of you who had to read the last two referendum questions would fully know what I mean.

But in the interests of bringing together both communities, federalist and separatist, I submit this proposal: here's how we both can have our cake and eat it. Let the next referendum ask this question:

"Being as it is completely rational to let those people who wish to leave Canada to do so; but being that Canada has the right and duty to protect Canadians from being forced to live in a new nation-state of which they want no part; would you agree that Quebec should be partitioned into two new provinces; Quebec and West Quebec, Quebec being the province that wishes to secede from Canada and West Quebec being the province that wishes to remain in Canada? Yes or No?"

    Our problem has never been that of a divided Canada. It has always been that of a divided Quebec.

    And if Canada is divisible, so is Quebec.

    Let's admit this once and for all and deal with it.

Think of it: the glassy-eyed dreamers of a glorious new Quebec nation in North America would finally get their wish. Surely this would make them happy.

So, they probably wouldn't get Montreal. Separatists have always considered Quebec City their national capital and given it all the money and power anyway.

And for those of us in West Quebec: a great sense of relief. At last, an end to being the hostage in this nasty custody battle between two sides of the Quebec elite: those who squander our taxes in Ottawa and those who squander our taxes in Quebec City.

And once Canadians could live safely in West Quebec, free from the constant threat of separatism, we could actually consider voting for someone other than the federal Liberals, like normal citizens in the rest of our country.

We Canadians have no wish to force people to live within our borders if they do not wish to do so. It is therefore only right that Quebec nationalists extend the same courtesy to us.

We have said it so many times so many ways for years: We don't want your nationalist dream. So take the Saguenay - please!

I really don't understand how anyone can be against this. It is fair. It is just. It will allow us all to get on with our lives. It will allow Montreal to grow as a true North American metropolis, unfettered by the continual clouds of political uncertainty. Come back, Shriners!

So come on, Mr. Charest. This is a new era. The era of the pre-emptive strike. Call a referendum while you have control of the agenda. Then finally we can create a new and prosperous future together.

And because premiers of Quebec have historically dreamed of becoming either the man who saves Canada or the man who creates the new independent State of Quebec, just think of this: you could become the man who does both!

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