Quebec Nationalism

Quebec Nationalism
• Maurice Duplessis
• The Quiet
• Pierre Trudeau
• Rene Levesque
• The Charter of
Rights and
• Robert Bourassa
and the Meech
Lake Accord
St-Jean Baptiste Parade in Montreal
The Quiet Revolution
• In 1959, Quebec
premier Maurice
Duplessis dies.
• While he was the
premier of Quebec, the
Roman Catholic
church ran the
educational system
and the health care
Maurice Duplessis
The Quiet Revolution
• In 1960, Jean Lesage
became the premier of
• He “secularized” Quebec
society by having the health
care and educational systems
reformed. These systems
would now be run by the
• Quebec was becoming a lot
more modern. This change
was called the “Quiet
• Their slogan was “Maitres
Chez Nous” or “masters in
our own house”.
Jean Lesage
The Three Wise Men
• In the 1960s, support
for Quebec
independence was
• As a result, the federal
government tried to
get more Quebecers
into the federal
government. Their
main politician from
Quebec was Pierre
Elliot Trudeau
Trudeau, Marchand and Pelletier
• Pierre Trudeau was
young, bilingual and
intelligent (he was a
university law
• He won the 1968
election and
became Prime
Minister of Canada.
Trudeau was popular!
Even John Lennon paid a visit!
Trudeau’s Just Society
• In order to address the issues that
Canada was facing in the late 1960searly 1970s, Trudeau introduced:
• Department of Regional Economic
Expansion (DREE) to promote
economic conditions in Canada’s
poorer regions
• Foreign Investment Review Agency
(FIRA) to limit American control of the
Canadian Economy
• The Official languages Act (1969):
Made Canada an officially bilingual
country (French and English). (Used to
stop Quebec independence)
• Multicultarism Act (1971): Emphasized
that all ethnic groups are equal.
Trudeau the
“Philosopher King”
Quebec Independence
• Despite Trudeau’s efforts,
many Quebecers still felt
frustrated with the federal
government. They felt that
the province of Quebec was
the only government that
could protect and promote
the unique French language
and culture in North America.
• Many Quebecois felt that the
English language was
threatening the survival of
the French language and
culture. They looked to the
Quebec government to do
this. Their solution?
• Quebec Independence
Support for Rene Levesque’s
Separatist Parti Quebecois and
Independence was increasing
Rene Levesque
• Levesque was very different
from Trudeau. Trudeau was
wealthy, bilingual, rational and
detested ethnic nationalism.
Levesque was emotional with
numerous imperfections.
However, he appealed to the
“common man” as was very
popular. He endorsed ethnic
(French) nationalism through his
famous Bill 101 (1977)
He was a smoker!
Bill 101
Bill 101 (1977):
• The law banned the
usage of English on
outdoor signs.
• Restricted access to
English schools.
• The law was designed
to make French the
only official language of
Quebec. This was a
direct challenge to
Trudeau’s vision of a
bilingual Canada
Quebec: A “Distinct” Society
The Parti Quebecois
The Parti Quebecois was
formed By Rene Levesque in
the early 1970s.
In 1976, they won the Quebec
Provincial Election. As a result,
Rene Levesque became
premier of Quebec.
The Parti Quebecois believed
that Quebec independence
was a necessary step because
Canadian federalism could not
address and protect the
Unique French Language
and culture.
Rene Levesque wins the 1976
Quebec Election
The Parti Quebecois
• The Parti Quebecois was
committed to achieving
Quebec independence.
• However, unlike the FLQ,
the Parti Quebecois
believed that any change
in Quebec’s constitutional
status should be made
democratically through an
election (referendum), not
through violent means
• As a result, a referendum
on Quebec Independence
was held
Trudeau vs Levesque
• Pierre Trudeau was
head of the federalist
forces and fought to
keep Quebec in
• Levesque was head of
the separatist forces
and made a passionate
plea to vote for
independence. It would
be a good fight!
Impact on Quebec’s Society
Independence: Yes or No?
Neighbours, relatives and friends were divided
The Result?
The Referendum was held on
May 20th, 1980:
The Result?
60% for the Non
40% for the Oui
The Constitution Act (1982)
• After Trudeau won the
Quebec Referendum, he
proceeded to give
Canada its own
constitution and Charter
of Rights.
• The Charter of Rights
was popular in English
Canada but was
unpopular in Quebec.
• As a result, Quebec to
this day remains the only
province that has not
signed the Canadian
The Queen Signs the Constitution Act
The Constitution Act (1982)
Robert Bourassa
• When Brian Mulroney (from
Baie Comeau, Quebec)
became Prime Minister of
Canada he sought to gain
Quebec’s signature on the
Canadian Constitution.
• Quebec Premier Robert
Bourassa stated that he
would only sign the
constitution if it was
amended with a “distinct
society” clause so that
Quebec would have the
powers to “protect and
promote its distinct
language and culture”
Brian Mulroney and Robert Bourassa
What Happened?
• The Provinces agreed to sign
the Meech Lake Accord in
1987. However, the Accord
needed to be ratified within
three years by the provinces.
There would be elections in
New Brunswick and
Newfoundland. Manitoba
would find issues with the
• Many Aboriginal Canadians
were upset with their lack of
recognition. Were they not
The Meech Lake Accord
Meech Lake Accord
• Canadians were upset due
to the general lack of
public consultation
• Then the Quebec
government passed Bill
178 in 1989 which banned
the usage of English on all
outdoor signs.
• Many Canadians believed
that the Meech Lake
Accord would be used by
future Quebec
governments to infringe on
linguistic minorities.
Meech Lake Accord
• The Accord died in June
• MLA Elijah Harper
prevented the Manitoba
Legislature from ratifying
the Accord
• Nfld Premier Clyde Wells
(a constitutional law
expert) did the same.
Manitoba MLA
Elijah Harper
• There were implications
for nation unity
Nfld Premier Clyde Wells
Growth in Quebec Separatism
• Support for Quebec
Separatism grew as
many Quebeckers felt
that English Canada did
not understand them
• Many Quebeckers felt
that independence was
necessary as a means of
protecting the future of
the French language and
• There is thus a tension
between collective and
individual rights.
St Jean Baptiste Parade
Pierre Trudeau
• Trudeau felt that
Canada’s current
framework from
the BNA Act with
the division of
powers between
the provinces and
the federal
government was
• Many Quebekers
disagree. What’s
your opinion?
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