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Michaelle Jean: Making two statements -- one for the English, and one for the French [updated]

From her written statement:

I am deeply touched and wish to thank all those who have so warmly greeted the news of my recent nomination to the office of Governor General of Canada. Others have questioned my attachment to Canada and that of my husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond.

I want to tell you unequivocally that both he and I are proud to be Canadians and that we have the greatest respect for the institutions of our country. We are fully committed to Canada. I would not have accepted this position otherwise.

We are equally proud of the attachment to Quebec that we have always shown beyond any partisan considerations. Let me be clear: we have never belong to a political party or the separatist movement.

Not bad. But it could have been better. For instance, the word "loyalty" is never used, just "attachment" and "commitment".

Also, for some reason, she focuses on membership to a party, as if not ever having a PQ card is a guarantee of loyalty.

It isn't.

The question is this: Have you supported the separatist cause, and did you vote "Yes" in the referendum of 1980, or in the referendum of 1995? And how about your husband?

I don't expect we'll get a straight answer to that question, one way or the other. We're stuck with her.

Curiously, there is an extra paragraph in the French text of her statement that does not appear in the English text:

Committed to the values of respect, tolerance and openess which we so cherish, I am very eager to meet the men, the women and the children of this country from one end to the other.

My translation is probably crummy, but I think I got the gist of it. Now why wouldn't she tell English Canadians about her intention to meet with all of us? Is she not planning to meet with us?

Here's my paranoid answer.

The French language text makes a commitment to French Canadians (ie, Quebec) to visit all of them only. Note that she is not going from coast to coast, but from end to end. To many French nationalists, "this country" is Quebec, and the careful use of the word "end" and not "coast" is designed to deliver that message to a province that is essentially landlocked (certainly no one thinks of Quebec's twin coasts).

I still think she's a lousy choice, and this mealy-mouthed statement just makes me more nervous.

Update: A new version of the statement is available with the final paragraph now appearing in both English and French.  Curiously, the English version is explicit about the new Governor General visiting "every part" of "Canada", while the French version still speaks of visiting "from one end to the other" of "this country". The French text still seems a bit ambiguous to me, given French Canadian sensibilities about what "country" means.

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