Register file photo.

My Quebec is for all

By 
  • February 27, 2014

It was one of those almost-invisible gestures that defy a seemingly impregnable political fixation.

It took place on a metro car in Montreal. A man, apparently mentally ill and homeless, began shouting at shadows to give him money. The eyes of other riders averted in silent recitation of that common urban prayer: “Please don’t let me be the one he sees.”

There was shuffling to create a wide space around him, marking a boundary of fear. It held until a young woman wearing a beautiful fuchsia hijab, ignoring the protective conventions of public spaces, pressed money gently into his hand.

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