Small Quebec town torn over Canadian flag
Published Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:31PM EST
In a province where the fleur-de-lis flies proudly, there is one small town in Quebec's eastern townships where some residents are rallying around a flag of a different colour – the red Maple Leaf.
The battle over the Canadian flag actually began two years ago when former Parti Quebecois MNA Claude Boucher was elected mayor of Saint-Denis-de-Brompton. The mayor quickly removed the Canadian flag from outside the town hall and from inside the council chamber.
About 100 residents packed the council chamber last week to demand the mayor return the flags. He said he would consider it and hasn't been available for comment since.
"A lot of people died for that flag," said resident Gerry Buzzell. "That flag should stand right back up there."
Others are in agreement among the 3,200 people in the community, located 45 kilometres east of Montreal.
"He doesn't respect anybody," said Jean Samson, who claims the mayor's separatist views are behind the decision to remove the flags.
Added Willie Larochelle, a former mayor who sat on council for 20 years: "The Canadian flag is part of our town's past."
The mayor refused to speak to CTV News about the issue, although he did tell the local newspaper La Tribune that he didn't see what all the fuss was about.
"I didn't know the flag could stir so much passion," he told the paper.
"We're not separated yet," countered Buzzell. "When we get separated, he can do what he wants."
With files from CTV's Genevieve Beauchemin in Montreal