It was Fernand Dumont who wrote: "We currently speak of the 'Quebec nation.' This is a mistake, if not a fiction. If our English fellow citizens in Quebec do not feel that they belong to our nation, if many Allophones are repelled by it, if the Aboriginals reject it, can I make them a part of it with some sort of magic vocabulary?" (Raisons communes, 1995, p.63) [translation]. In response to this question, I answer that very few of our fellow citizens are repelled by being Quebecers. It is not belonging to Quebec that is the problem, it is renouncing Canada.
It is not Quebec nationalism that cannot be civic, it is secessionism. You can find many arguments to convince human beings of all origins to become Quebecers. But you will come up short when it is a matter of convincing them to cease to be Canadians as well.
If we had to break up a country because "the others" were more numerous than "we," how could we ask our own minorities to trust us as the majority? In any event, we could not offer them as extensive an autonomy as that which we had deemed to be insufficient for ourselves within Canada, because no one is talking of making an independent Quebec a decentralized federation. Renouncing Canadian solidarity means accepting a principle of rupture and a mistrust of others which run counter to the solidarity among Quebecers.
Secession is an exercise whereby one chooses one's fellow citizens: you choose whom you want to keep and whom you want to transform into foreigners. There is no civic reason for doing so in a democratic country such as Canada. On the contrary, democracy calls upon us to show solidarity toward all our fellow citizens.