What lay behind Charles de Gaulle's "Vive le Quebec libre!" speech in Montreal on 24 July 1967, Philippe Rossillon's activities in New Brunswick, Belgium, and Africa, and the sinking of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand in 1985? J.F. Bosher argues that the motivation behind all these incidents was a policy of underhanded imperial ambition on the part of France. In The Gaullist Attack on Canada, he contends that French nationalists have been at work behind the screen of harmless fraternising of international francophonie in order to stimulate French revolutionary nationalism in Quebec and elsewhere, and that the Gaullist ideology behind these attempts rests on a set of myths about past events, age-old resentment of the English-speaking nations, and a deep-rooted belief in the superiority of France, its language, and its culture. The Gaullist Attack on Canada reveals a phase of French imperialism that poses a threat to Canadian Confederation. Since the 1960s, Bosher argues, de Gaulle and his followers have conspired to stimulate Quebec separatism as part of their larger goal to revive France's role as a great power.
He bases his case on the evidence of France's actions in other former French colonies, especially in Africa, as well as the writings of such leading Gaullist conspirators as Bernard Dorin, Pierre-Claude Mallen, Pierre de Menthon, and Philippe Rossillon, who have boasted about their efforts to win Quebec away from Canada for France. Bosher criticises the Canadian government for its failure to respond to, or even to recognise, the Gaullist threat. The Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs in the 1960s, Marcel Cadieux, wanted to take vigorous steps against the Gaullist mafia but was overruled by his political superiors. Bosher argues that, even now, by standing up to French aggression the government might weaken the separatist movement in Quebec, or at least turn the tide of political support for it.