Constitutional Crack-Up: Canada and The Coming Showdown With Quebec

The book was released on a beautiful Monday morning in spring of 1994, and 5,000 copies had “sold out” by Wednesday night. Québecois journalists flew to Toronto to interview Gairdner, whom they assumed was a maudit anglais (accursed Englishman), but who surprised them by doing the entire interview in fluent French – which he really enjoyed, especially when told that this book got him labelled “Public enemy #1 in Quebec!” That’s how he knew the harpoon was in!


For the information of readers, 5,000 copies of this book were initially printed. The book was released on a Monday morning, and sold out by the same Wednesday evening. It triggered a landslide of panicky press reaction – some of which is given below – to a reasonable warning in the book that any unilateral declaration of independence could lead to strife and bloodshed.

“CIVIL WAR IN QUEBEC? – That’s what this conservative author predicts if separatists win … Gairdner said that if Quebec votes to separate with a simple majority vote, the federal government will have a political, moral and legal obligation to protect the interests and property of millions of Quebecers who want to remain in Canada.” Toronto Sun

“BLOODY, ARMED CONFLICT FORECAST IF QUEBEC DECIDES TO SEPARATE FROM CANADA” – Gairdner says: “The federation, if anything, should have the referendum, not the complaining part.” Vancouver Sun