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“Vive le Québec Libre!”: Quebecois Identity from 1980 to 1997.

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Presentation on theme: "“Vive le Québec Libre!”: Quebecois Identity from 1980 to 1997."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Vive le Québec Libre!”: Quebecois Identity from 1980 to 1997

2 The Constitution Act in Quebec Trudeau’s primary goal in his last term as PM was for Canada to patriate the Constitution Lévesque and PQ did not support Constitution, and they argued that Quebec had been “left out” of process Quebec’s National Assembly (under PQ rule) did not ratify the Canada Act But evidence shows Quebec did support it: –PM + Justice Minister (Chrétien) were French –72 of 75 Quebec MPs supported Constitution –60 % of Quebec’s representatives (federal and provincial) approved of Constitution

3 Changes in the mid-1980s Lévesque retired in 1985 PQ was defeated by Robert Bourassa and Liberal party after nine years of PQ rule Brian Mulroney, Progressive Conservative anglophone from Quebec, was now PM Bourassa and Mulroney began to work together to have Quebec sign Canada Act Mulroney met with provincial Premiers and formulated an amendment to Constitution called the Meech Lake Accord

4 Meech Lake Accord (1987) Meech Lake identified five main modifications to the Canadian constitution: – Recognition of Quebec as a “distinct society” – Constitutional veto for Quebec – Increased provincial powers toward immigration – Financial compensation to any province that chooses to opt out of any future federal programs – Provincial input in appointing senators and Supreme Court judges Accord needed to be ratified by all ten provinces to take effect

5 Meech Lake Accord (cont.) Public debate on Accord for three years Accord factored into provincial politics Accord initially supported by all provinces and federal parties, except western-based Reform party New governments in New Brunswick and Newfoundland then rejected Accord Mulroney forced to make additional amendments to Accord to bring all provinces on again – also guaranteed future discussions

6 Amendments to Meech Lake Commitment to Senate reform by July 1, 1995 Guarantee to not weaken gender equality Give the Territories (in addition to provinces) the power to nominate Senators and Supreme Court justices – why is this an issue? Future conferences on Aboriginal and minority language issues Later discussions on a “Canada Clause”, how new provinces would be formed, and a new amending procedure – Premiers were not happy with this method why?

7 The End of Meech Lake All provinces needed to ratify the Accord by June 1990 Manitoba needed unanimous consent from MLAs to discuss the motion of whether to support Accord Cree MLA Elijah Harper opposed the discussion because Aboriginal people had not been consulted Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells used Harper’s objection to justify his own, and Newfoundland did not vote Meech Lake died on June 23, 1990

8 The significance of Meech Lake Demonstrated problems with amendment process of Constitution – only premiers involved in discussions Bourassa lost popularity in Quebec because the Accord did not pass Quebec still not signed onto Constitution Public opinion affected government policy Aboriginal issues came to forefront Separatist movement gained more momentum in Quebec

9 Bloc Québecois Some federal Liberal and Conservative MPs were unhappy with Meech Lake Accord They realized the need to represent Quebec sovereignty issues on a national level New party was formed under Lucien Bouchard: Bloc Québecois BQ was initially intended as temporary solution

10 Charlottetown Accord (1992) Mulroney was still determined to amend Constitution, even after failure of Meech Lake Response to formation of Bloc Quebecois was to appease Quebec separatism with a new proposal to amend the Constitution Negotiations for new amendments between federal, provincial, territorial, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis governments were held in Charlottetown in 1992, and the Charlottetown Accord was produced

11 Charlottetown Accord (cont.) The Charlottetown Accord included: Redefinition of division of powers + responsibilities between provinces + federal govt. Senate Reform Supreme Court elections “Canada Clause” – definition of Canadian character Increased recognition of Aboriginal self- government and authority A ratification process that required a referendum

12 Charlottetown Accord fails! All provinces, federal government, Aboriginal leaders, and most parties supported Accord PQ, BQ, Reform, and Trudeau were all opposed National referendum was held on October 26, 1992 Yes – 45.7%; No – 54.3 % Accord failed!

13 Significance of Charlottetown Accord Resurgence of regionalism in West and Quebec Preceded demise of established political parties (PC, NDP) – considered “out of touch” No further major attempts to amend Constitution (some small legislation since) Even though Quebec also voted “No,” feeling of resentment toward English Canada remained Quebec still not fully signed on to Constitution

14 1993 Federal Election First test of BQ in an election First election with more than three viable federal parties: (elected seats in parentheses) –PC party in shambles after Mulroney (2) –NDP lost support after loss of old leader (9) –Reform party emerged in West (52) –Liberals strong under Jean Chrétien (177) BQ won 54 seats in Quebec – enough to be Official Opposition Momentum for sovereignty movement

15 Parizeau and the 1994 election Jacques Parizeau was now leader of Parti Quebecois Ran in 1994 provincial election on platform of “Three Periods” Plan for Quebec to achieve sovereignty PQ won election handily, defeating Bourassa’s Liberals Parizeau planned immediately for referendum

16 1995 Referendum Parizeau, the BQ’s Lucien Bouchard, and Mario Dumont, leader of ADQ political party, all sovereigntists, signed Tripartite Agreement in June 1995 Led to referendum in fall 1995 The question read: “Do you agree that Québec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Québec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?”

17 1995 Referendum (cont.) Some unclarity of what referendum actually means – would it make Quebec independent? Heated battle between federalists and sovereigntists during referendum campaign Native and Inuit in Quebec held their own referendum a week before the full referendum and voted overwhelmingly to stay in Canada Referendum was held on October 30, 1995 94% voter turnout in Quebec: “Oui” 49.42 %; “Non” 50.58 % - Referendum failed!

18 Results of 1995 Referendum Parizeau resigned shortly after referendum and was replaced by Bouchard Separatism was denied in Quebec Federal government used Supreme Court and legislation (“Clarity Act”) to define terms of any future referenda on secession Quebec is firmly entrenched in Canada Separatist movement died down significantly BQ still in Parliament under Gilles Duceppe – Though they only run candidates in Quebec

19 Review time René Lévesque Sovereignty Separatism Parti Quebecois Robert Bourassa Bill 101 1980 Referendum Sovereignty- association Constitution Act, 1982 Brian Mulroney Meech Lake Accord Elijah Harper Bloc Quebecois Lucien Bouchard Charlottetown Accord Referendum Jacques Parizeau 1993 federal election 1995 Referendum

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