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WHAT DOES QUEBEC WANT? November 13, 2001. Issues... federalism what level of autonomy should Quebec have? asymmetrical federalism –should Quebec have.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT DOES QUEBEC WANT? November 13, 2001. Issues... federalism what level of autonomy should Quebec have? asymmetrical federalism –should Quebec have."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT DOES QUEBEC WANT? November 13, 2001

2 Issues... federalism what level of autonomy should Quebec have? asymmetrical federalism –should Quebec have greater responsibilities than other provincial governments language unilingual territoriality pan-Canadian bilingualism

3 POSSIBLE SCENARIOS: Complete Independence (Landry) Sovereignty of Quebec with links to Canada (Bouchard) Quebec as a Distinct Society within Canada (Chretien, Charest) all provinces equal, strong central government, national bilingualism (Trudeau) all provinces equal, strong provinces, no bilingualism outside Quebec (Reform/Canadian Alliance)

4 The Quebec Issue and... the constitutional context the political-cultural context the international context

5 Quebec and the Constitutional Context: The History of Accommodation the Constitutional Deal And No One Cheered Reconciliation...the Meech Lake Accord, 1987 Reconciliation...the Charlottetown Accord, 1991 the reaction to Referendum 1995

6 The 1982 Constitution...and No One Cheered the 1980 referendum and promise of constitutional renewal Quebec’s Constitutional Veto, Unilateral Patriation, and the Supreme Court of Canada Splitting the “Gang of Eight” “The Night of the Long Knives” the Aftermath

7 The Aftermath Quebec not a signatory the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – wedge between Quebec and the Rest of Canada without political legitimacy in Quebec gaining political legitimacy and support outside of Quebec the Charter and Distinct Society – litmus test of distinct society

8 The Meech Lake Accord -- The Quebec Round Quebec’s minimum demands: – recognition of distinct society – increased jurisdiction over immigration – participation in Supreme Court appointments – veto on constitutional amendments – opting out, with compensation, of national programs within provincial jurisdiction

9 The Death of Meech Lake the changing context Bill 178 in Quebec the recalcitrants Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland the aftermath the rise of Bloc Quebecois

10 Charlottetown Accord scheduled Quebec referendum 1992 “the Canada round” Meech Plus plus aboriginal self-government plus Triple-E Senate failure of the Charlottetown referendum

11 Charlottetown – The Failure the aftermath – interpretation in Quebec of failure of Charlottetown English Canada would never agree to Quebec minimum demands – set the stage for Quebec referendum 1995

12 Quebec Referumdum 1995 election of PQ government in 1994 referendum – October 1995 outcome – No50.6% – Yes49.4%

13 The Federal Response PLAN A -- ensure there are no future referendums – non-constitutional recognition of distinct society – informal recognition of Quebec’s constitutional veto – restraining the federal spending power PLAN B -- defeat any future referendums – Supreme Court reference case required majority territorial integrity

14 The Response of the Other Provinces the “Calgary Declaration” (1997) – all provinces and citizens are equal – recognizes Quebec “unique character” – if any constitutional amendment confers powers on one province, these powers must be available to all provinces – commitment to federal-provincial partnership Quebec’s response to the Calgary Declaration – negative!

15 Possible Avenues for Accommodation


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