Canada: Minding His Tongue

Minding His Tongue

Canadians, especially those outside French-speaking Quebec, were understandably irate back in 1967 when French President Charles de Gaulle stood on a balcony at Montreal's city hall and encouraged the province's then violent separatist movement with his cry of "Vive le Quebec libre ((Long live free Quebec))." Until President Francois Mitterrand arrived last week, no French chief of state had set foot on Canadian soil since then.

During his five days in Canada, Mitterrand went out of his way to be a good guest. He made it a point to arrive in Ottawa, the English-speaking federal capital, rather than Quebec, as De...