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Quebec and Canada or French-English Relations

Quebec and Canada or French-English Relations.

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Quebec and Canada or French-English Relations

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  1. Quebec and Canada or French-English Relations

  2. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, fought September 13, 1759, was a decisive battle of the North American theatre of the Seven Years’ War (the Americans call it the French and Indian War). It was fought on a plateau just outside the city walls of Quebec City in New France, on the land of Abraham Martin dit L'Écossais. Combat lasted only 30 minutes, ending a three-month siege of Quebec City. With Wolfe’s victory, the Treaty of Paris gave North America to Britain. New France becomes Quebec in 1763. The goal is to populate Quebec with Anglophones, but the American Revolution will interfere. In 1774, fearful that the French-speaking population of Quebec would side with the rebels of the Thirteen Colonies to the south in the American Revolution, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act (1775) that paved the way to official recognition of the French Language and Culture. The Act allowed Canadiens to maintain French civil law and sanctioned the freedom of religious choice, allowing the Roman Catholic Church to remain.

  3. Je me souviens = I will remember French-Canadians (Canadiens) have had a history of: 1. Being given up by France (Treaty of Paris) 2. Seized by Britain in 1759 (they call it The Conquest) 3. Wanted by the USA 4. Promised protection of rights by Britain 5. Surrounded by 100s of millions of Anglophones 6. Criticized over two conscription crises

  4. Post-War Quebec Jean Lesage Maurice Duplessis 1936-1939/1944-1959– Premier Maurice Duplessis --“The Great Darkness” -- strong Quebec nationalist -- thought Quebec was a “distinct society”, not just a province -- avoided English influence –conservative/traditionalist -- supporter of the Roman Catholic Church– used it to defend Quebec culture -- hated unions (believed they were communists) – supported business owners – had a corrupt government –took bribes (money) for contracts

  5. Quiet Revolution 1960-1969 –The Quiet Revolution–period of change in Quebec – movement to modernize the province’s economy, politics, education, and culture e.g. 1960 – Premier Jean Lesage -- “Time for a Change” – move to secularize(take the Roman Catholic Church out of politics) -- stopped corruption, legalized unions, raised pensions and wages --“Maitres chez nous”–“masters of our own house”– wanted Quebec to control their own future and economy -- ex. bought out hydro-electric plants in Quebec to form -- Hydro Quebec -- wanted special status for Quebec to protect the French language and culture **Result– people started to feel pride (nationalism) in being Quebecois Quebeckers became angry about treatment by Anglo-Canadians.

  6. The Birth of Separatism -- 2 different separatist groups 1. 1969 – Rene Levesque left the Liberal Party and formed the Parti Quebecois -- believed Quebec and Canada would do better to divorce (separate) peacefully than continue a marriage of two cultures. 2. FLQ – Front de Liberation du Quebec -- committed to using violent action to achieve their goals of separation (terrorists) -- used firebombs and explosives on English Canadian symbols of power – (attacked Royal Mailboxes, Canadian National Railway Building, McGill University, and robbed banks.)

  7. The October Crisis October 5, 1970–British Trade Commissioner James Cross is kidnapped -- FLQ demands ransom, safe passage to Cuba and release of jailed members. October 10, 1970–Que. Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour – Pierre Laporte kidnapped. October 16, 1970 -- PM Trudeau’s was worried that Quebec was close to a violent revolution, so he imposed the War Measures Act: –civil rights were suspended – anyone could be arrested and detained without being charged – became a crime to be a part of the FLQ -- 400 arrests made – hundreds of searches -- Federal troops were sent to patrol the street of Montreal and Ottawa -- When asked how far he would go Trudeau said “Just watch me.” October 17, 1970–Laporte’s dead body is found in the trunk of a car. Result -- James Cross was located and his captives were given safe passage (political asylum) to Cuba. Crisis over and no more FLQ

  8. Bill 101– 1977 -- Premier Rene Levesque passed the Charter of French Language Bill/Law-- French would be the only official language in Quebec -- used by governments, courts, and businesses -- business signs displayed had to be in French. Referendum -- 1980 -- Premier Rene Levesque proposed a sovereignty associationthat Quebec have political independence, but have close economic ties to Canada. -- PM Trudeau promised to negotiate a new constitution if Quebeckers voted no. Result:60% voted non.

  9. Constitution Act of 1982 Goal -- PM Trudeau wanted to repatriate (bring home) Canada’s constitution from Britain so that Canadian government would have the authority to make changes, plus he wanted to include the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Problem: provinces worried the Charter would make the courts more powerful than the legislature Solution–“notwithstanding clause”–allowed federal or provincial govt to opt out of parts of the charter and the“amending formula”–must have support of 7/10 provinces or 50% of Canada’s population to change constitution. – 9 premiers, except Quebec’s (Rene Levesque) were woken up in the middle of the night and asked to approve the last minute changes. Result– April 17, 1982, Constitution Act was signed by Queen Elizabeth II and PM Trudeau, but Quebec felt betrayed and would not sign the new constitution.

  10. 1. Meech Lake Accord -- 1987 PM Brian Mulroney –attempted to again get Quebec to sign constitution – constitution would include a clause that recognized Quebec as a “distinct society.” Result– failure -- English Canadians and aboriginals (like Elijah Harper of Manitoba) did not feel Quebec should be given special status. 2. Charlottetown Accord – 1992 -- made provisions for Aboriginal Self government, Senate reform, universal health care, worker’s rights and environmental protection, plus a “distinct society clause for Quebec” Result–failure – only 4 of 10 provinces approved. 3. Referendum – 1995 -- Should Quebec separate from Canada? Result:50.6% voted non

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