Remembering Denise Bombardier: A Tribute to a Defender of the French Language

2023-07-15 01:16:23

A silent procession, dozens of fans and media and political personalities, a palpable emotion: it was in sobriety and meditation that the funeral of columnist and writer Denise Bombardier took place, Friday afternoon, at the Saint-Viateur Church in Outremont.

At the head of the procession, her husband, James Jackson, seemed shaken. “I have just lost my wife, with whom I lived for 20 years, every day, we did not leave each other, he affirmed with emotion in front of the church. I have a huge void in my life. »

The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, was also present. “We pay tribute to a great Quebecer,” he said. “She clearly explained that we shouldn’t be shy about defending French and ensuring that new immigrants integrate into the Quebec nation. »

Ms. Bombardier’s son, Guillaume Sylvestre, delivered a speech at the start of the ceremony, which lasted less than an hour. The Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal then sang cantatas under the respectful silence of the crowd.

Defender of the French language

Many public figures met in front of the Saint-Viateur church honored the memory of Ms. Bombardier, remembering her passion and her outspokenness. ” I wish that [son] legacy is one of open intellectual debate, where people are willing to disagree, with respect […] “, affirmed the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister of Justice, for his part claimed to have “consulted on a few occasions” Ms. Bombardier, suggesting that these consultations concerned the French language. “We had the truth with her, she did not use the language of wood. »

The president of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, also underlined the passion of the columnist for the language. “She wanted this culture conveyed by the French language to remain. »

The former Liberal minister Christine St-Pierre, for her part, underlined her character as a go-getter. “For me and the women of my generation, it was really a model. A woman older than us who broke down doors, who had succeeded, who gave us the example. »

She remembered her last conversation with the deceased, held five or six weeks ago. “In that conversation, she told me that she had lost weight. I remember saying to her: “Come on, Denise, you’re going to live to be 100…” That was the last conversation we had. »

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The theater woman Louise Latraverse wiped a discreet tear from the corner of her eye on the church square before the ceremony. “We have known each other forever. She had come to pay homage to her great friend. “We saw each other a lot, we laughed a lot, because she was very funny, Denise. »

intellectual and polemicist

The death of Ms. Bombardier aroused emotion in Quebec, her passion and her sometimes strong opinions to the point of creating controversy that marked everyone.

Born into a working-class family in the Villeray district of Montreal, Ms. Bombardier has carved out a place for herself as an outstanding intellectual figure in the recent history of Quebec. She obtained a doctorate in sociology from the Sorbonne in Paris, before becoming the first woman to host a public affairs program in Quebec in the 1980s.

She has also authored several books, which have earned her recognition both at home and in France. Her participation in the literary program Apostrophes, in 1990, marked the spirits: she then firmly apostrophized the author and pedophile Gabriel Matzneff, who prided himself on having sexual relations with minors.

Ms. Bombardier had been a columnist for the Journal de Montréal since 2014, where she forcefully expressed convictions that could create controversy. From time to time, she showed her disagreement with themes specific to progressivism, such as drag queens or multiculturalism.

With Adrien Banville and Aziz Mestiri

To see in video

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