Fighting for Canada


190 pages
ISBN 1-55013-796-4
DDC 971.064'8





Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein is a professor of history at York University, the
co-author of the Dictionary of Canadian Military History and Empire to
Umpire: Canada and the World to the 1990s, and the author of The Good


The editor of The Financial Post and a well-known columnist, Diane
Francis here turns her guns on the separatist menace. American-born, she
has lived in Canada for 30 years, but this book demonstrates that
Francis remains American still. Her vigor and venom are distinctly
un-Canadian, and this is not a moderate book. Indeed, it plays directly
to those anglophones in Quebec who advocate partition in the event of
Quebec secession. But if this is no call for moderation, Francis’s
book nonetheless raises important points. To her, the Péquistes are
racist bigots, ruthless, undemocratic, and dangerous—and she presents
some evidence to bolster that case. She focuses on the small group of
key figures in the media and politics who run Quebec, and she makes the
point that their influence extends into the provincial (and federal)
Liberals. All play the nationalist game, she suggests, and federalist
prime ministers let them continue to do so. She sees a unilateral
declaration of independence as illegal, she sees secession as
unconstitutional, and she points to seditious attempts to undermine the
loyalty of the military.

This is an angry book, one that does nothing to calm zealots or appeal
to the moderation of Quebeckers and Canadians. Perhaps it takes a former
American, one who has read about the Civil War, to point out that the
issues at stake here are important and emotional ones and to remind us
that breaking up a country is very unlikely to be accomplished without


Francis, Diane., “Fighting for Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,