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Exploring Canadian Perspectives

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1 Exploring Canadian Perspectives
Nationalism in Quebec Exploring Canadian Perspectives

2 A Nation of Language The term Quebecois emerged in the 20th century as a political and linguistic distinction from the Anglophone population in Canada and from Francophones elsewhere. Canadien/Francophone = old term used to define French speakers

3 Quebecois "English Canada must clearly understand that, whatever is said or done, Québec is, today and forever, a distinct society, that is free and able to assume [the control of] its destiny and its development." - Robert Bourassa, Premier of Québec in the 1970’s and 1980’s

4 Up until the 1950’s…ish The economy of Quebec was largely controlled by the English-speaking minority. Business and industry encouraged the English-Canadian and American companies to establish their markets in Quebec… this led to a marginal amount of French-speaking people in higher level jobs and lower levels of income.

5 Profitability Job and earning potential was much higher if you could communicate fluently in English. Majority of Francophones were left out because of this. Decades of resentment had grown, and change was imminent.

6 How did this affect nationalism among the Canadiens?
"Colonialism is a genocide that never ends." - André D'Allemagne, founder of the RIN

7 Maitres chez nous “Masters in our own house”
1960 – the liberal government, under Jean Lesage, was elected into Quebec’s provincial government. Led to a series of reforms in Quebec Greater economic opportunities and political control were seen as possible under Lesage’s government.

Lesage instituted the following reforms: The modernization of Quebec’s industries The nationalization of the hydroelectric industry Reforms to the education system The establishment of social programs and public institutions to offer services in French. HOW DID THIS AFFECT QUEBECOIS NATIONALISM???

9 The Quiet Revolution There was a shift in the Quebecois collective identity under Lesage. Quebecois nationalism grew. It united people who had, for decades, been ostracized from their own province. As their collective identity grew, the influence of Anglophone identity lessened.

10 Jean Lesage His reforms led a new generation of young and educated Francophones to forge for themselves a new identity. Constitutional change regarding Quebec’s status in Canada were discussed. These ideas included co-operative federalism, special status, sovereignty association and complete separation.

11 Proposed Changes… 1960s Special Complete Status Separation MODERATE
RADICAL CHANGE Sovereignty Association Co-operative Federalism

12 A Varied Nation To some, the proposed changes were too moderate – some wanted more radical changes (i.e. Complete separation) Politics began to branch out in Quebec, creating several different versions of separatist parties.

13 Separatist Parties Rassemblement pour l’indépendence nationale (RIN) was founded in 1960. Parti républicain du Quebec in 1962. Mouvement Souveraineté-Association (MSA) founded by Rene Levesque in 1967. The Parti Québecois (PQ) in 1968 (created by combining the RIN and the MSA)

14 The October Crises The PQ only received 7 out of 108 seats in the National Assembly in the 1970 election, although their percentage of the popular vote was rated at 23%. This, combined with other grievances, led to the FLQ to kidnap two government officials. CBC ARCHIVES

15 FLQ Crisis One of the two officials was murdered by a radical faction of the FLQ. Trudeau enacted the War Measures Act, in an effort to quell the violent protests. Resulted in the suspension of civil rights, and the arrests of over 400 Quebecois without any charges formally laid. This created a lot of division not only among Quebecois, but also with the rest of Canada.





20 During the Quiet Revolution
Lester B. Pearson, in 1963, had set up the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism to respond to the proposed changes being discussed. The biggest recommendation to come out of this commission was to declare Canada officially bilingual. This led to the Official Languages Act.

21 Trudeau Adopted the Official Languages Act in 1969, and further distinguished Quebec as an important part of the Canadian make-up in the Constitution Act of 1982. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms would guarantee a future for Francophones in Quebec and elsewhere because their language and culture was now protected by law.

22 Parti Québécois Led by René Lévesque, the Parti Québécois was elected in Quebec. They offered a sovereignty-association plan with the federal government. Under this arrangement, Quebec would have complete sovereignty from Canada, but would still be tied economically to Canada (through free trade agreements, tariffs, a common currency, etc.)

23 Referendum In 1980, Lévesque asked Quebec citizens if they should pursue this idea with the federal government. 60% of Quebec voters opted to NOT pursue sovereignty. Lévesque did not ratify the Constitution Act in 1982, as he felt that it offered little to the province and their goals. Lévesque did not achieve his nationalistic dream of having an independent Quebec. He died in 1987.

24 Meech Lake Accord, 1987 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney called for an amendment to the constitution to include the interests of Quebec. Premiers met at Meech Lake to draft the details. Goal was to include a ‘distinct society’ status in the Constitution.


26 Failed Accord Provinces had until June of 1990 to ratify the change in their legislative assemblies, but Manitoba and Newfoundland did not meet the deadline, thus, Quebec was not given the special status. This only furthered Quebec isolation from Canada and their desire to separate.

27 Bloc Quebecois Formed As a result of the failed Accord, French PC members quit Mulroney’s party and formed the Bloc. Their mandate was, and still is to this day, is to create a sovereign Quebec.

28 The Charlottetown Accord
The same idea as the Meech Lake Accord. A second attempt by Mulroney’s PC government to give ‘distinct society’ status to Quebec. Also failed. The decision was then put to a national referendum.

29 Results… The national referendum did not bring any final result.
The nation-state of Canada, as well as the nation of Quebecois was, and still are, very much split on whether or not they should separate. In recent years, the push for sovereignty has declined, but the presence of separatists is still found within the province.

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