February 14, 2009

Quebec separatists win 18th century fight

Plans to re-enact the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec have been modified, which may be a polite term for canceled, an official said Saturday.

The battle in 1759 ended French hopes of an empire in what is now Canada. Patrick Bourgeois, leader of Le Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, a separatist group, had threatened to disrupt the re-enactment with thousands of protesters, the Montreal Gazette reported.

Alfred Juneau, head of the National Battlefields Commission, said at a news conference in Quebec that he would announce specific changes Tuesday. He said there would be a modified program that will take into consideration the entirety of all the recriminations that we have received, and that will take into consideration "¦ certain threats.

Juneau said the resistance to a re-enactment as part of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the battle was a shock. The battle has been restaged before, most recently in 2004, attracting thousands of tourists and few or no protests.