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Qu ébec “nationalism”?

Qu ébec “nationalism”?

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Qu ébec “nationalism”?

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  1. Québec “nationalism”? April 1968: PM Pearson retired Liberal minister of justice, Pierre Trudeau became PM He would hold this position, with an interlude in 1979, until 1984 1969: Parliament passed the Official Languages Act English and French were established as coequal languages within the federal gov’t; where 10% of the population spoke one of the languages the gov’t would provide services in that language

  2. Québec “nationalism”? • The act only applied to federal agencies • Therefore, the provinces did not have to follow suit • Only New Brunswick with French speaking Acadians accounting for 30% of the population became an official bilingual province • Why is the act controversial? • The Act was passed to help quell a rising sense of French separatism in Québec

  3. Provincial election of 1960 • Conservatives that ran Québec for years lost the election to the Liberals led by Jean Lesage, radically transformed Québec. • Journalists named this transformation la révolution tranquille • What does that translate to? • This revolution laid the foundation for the Québec separatist movement that was coming soon

  4. Québec Gov’t • Primary goal of the provincial gov’t was to limit the federal gov’ts presence in Québec • The Catholic church handled social welfare issues and education • Lesage realized that he had to modernize the province’s education system by secularizing it • What did this mean Lesage would have to do? • What was his issue? (If he did what he had to, for the secularization of education, what would he have to battle against?)

  5. Québec Gov’t • Lesage was successful in improving the educational system in Québec • Where other provincial leaders would reject federal provincial programs, Lesage would welcome the programs, but demand more federal tax revenue and greater provincial autonomy • How did other provinces react to Lesage and his politics? • How did French speaking citizens of Québec react to Lesage’s politics?

  6. Québec Gov’t • All these changes took place in a decade. Québec changed from religion to a secular province. • French Canadians living in Québec stopped calling themselves un Canadian and started identifying themselves as un Québécois

  7. Québec Separatists • PM Trudeau stated that his goal was linguistic equality without a reduction in federal authority • This, of course, did not sit well with many Québécois and the separatist movement grew • 1963: the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) was formed • Main goal: an independent, socialist Québec • Conducted bank robberies and bombings (mostly mailboxes) • the inhabitants of Québec did not like them

  8. October Crisis • October 1970: the FLQ kidnapped James Cross, the British Trade Commissioner • The gov’t did not give in to ransom demands, rather than kill Cross, they kidnapped another official, Pierre LaPorte, Québec’s Minister of Labor. • The Québec gov’t asked PM Trudeau for troops to help with this issue, Trudeau introduced the War Measures Act on 16 October (even though it was technically peace time, its only use during peace time in Canada) • Trudeau used the Act to outlaw the FLQ, suspend civil liberties, and send 1000’s of soldiers into Québec

  9. October Crisis • Two days after the War Measures Act, LaPorte’s body was found in the trunk of a car • Cross was found alive and negotiated his release • This led the Québécois to believe that the only way enact change was through politics and not violence “The question arises: what had the government accomplished by declaring martial law?” • Finlay and Sprague. Structure of Canadian History. Prentice Hall-Canada; Scarborough, Ontario, 2000. Page 490 Turn to page 490 and look as what the historian Bothwell has to say and what the critics of the War Measures Act say.

  10. Language Issues • 1974: Québec provincial assembly passed a law that stated that French would be the official language of the workplace and that non-French speaking children could only go to a non-French speaking school if they could demonstrate competency in another language • Francophones wanted? • Anglophones (minority in Québec) believed? During the time of Confederation the protection of Catholicism had been the major concern, now the major concern was preservation of Québec culture through the protection of the French language.

  11. Parti Québécois (PQ) • PQ was based on the idea of an independent Québec • PQ gained control of the provincial gov’t in 1976 • 1977: the provincial assembly passed the Charter of the French Language Act • Forced immigrants to the province • Caused about 15% of English speakers to leave Québec • It also drove the trans- and multi-national corporations away which directly affected the economy • 5/1980: provincial PM René Lévesque put forth a ballot where voters could vote yes or no on the following:

  12. Parti Québécois (PQ) • Giving the Québec gov’t the authority to “negotiate” with the federal gov’t on the issue of Québec sovereignty • Outcome of negotiations: this would be out to another vote • The referendum was voted down with 60% voting no. • Non-French speakers were against this and the French-speakers were split • PM Trudeau had a plan to defuse the idea of Québec separatism • A new Canadian constitution to replace the British North America Act. • After considerable debate the Constitution Act of 1982 was enacted

  13. New Happenings in the 1980’s • Québec was still bound by the constitution but has never signed it because it did not safeguard Québec’s distinct characteristics • The defeat of the 1980 Lévesque referendum did not remove the issue of an independent Québec from the nat’l debate • An attempt to resolve the matter by constitutional amendment (1987 Meech Lake Accord) and by nat’l referendum (1992 Charlottetown Accord) both failed for a variety of reasons. • The PQ lost control to the liberals in 1985 and did not regain the seats until 1994

  14. Québec separatism • 10/1995: the electorate of Québec voted in a provincial referendum on the question of establishing a sovereign Québec with a “new economic and political partnership” with Canada. • The question failed by less than one percent of the vote • In 1998, the Canadian Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a province could not separate from Canada without Parliament’s permission. • The issue is currently sleeping, but who knows when it will wake again.