Quebec Referendas - Ms Tolliday's Classroom Website
Quebec 1980 to today Review The FLQ and the October Crisis Bill 22 and 101 Strange Bedfellows 1980 Referendum In 1980, Premier Rene Levesque proposes that Quebec become a sovereign nation This pits the Premier against the opposition leader Robert Bourassa, a
federalist 1980 Referendum Late into the campaign, PM Trudeau promises Quebec a new constitution The results of the vote: 40% oui, 60% non 1980 Referendum Votes Francophones = Oui 60% Non 40% Anglophones = Oui 9% Non 91%
Immigrants = Oui 16% Non 84% 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms Part of the Canada Act Guaranteed Rights and Freedoms to the people of Canada including: Fundamental freedoms Democratic rights Mobility rights Legal rights Equality rights Language rights
1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms Quebec unhappy with the outcome Opposed mobility and minority language rights Because they were still a part of Canada, it was made into law in Quebec 1987 Bourassas demands Distinct society status. A veto for Quebec on any
future constitutional amendments. More power over immigration to Quebec. The right to opt out of cost sharing programs with the federal government. The right to nominate Supreme Court judges. Distinct Society What did this term mean? Was Quebec to be considered different or special?
If Quebec was to be special did this mean that additional powers would be given to the Quebec government? Discuss in groups and we will share as a class 1987 - Meech Lake Accord Meech Lake was an effort to complete the constitutional process and meet some of Quebecs demands. It included The confirmation of distinct society status for Quebec in order to bring the province into the constitution. The right to allow provinces to nominate
Supreme Court judges. The accord was not ratified by all ten provinces and failed. The Bloc Quebecois Formed in 1991 This party attracted support only in Quebec but won enough seats in 1993 to become the official opposition party in Ottawa. The first leader of the
Bloc was Lucien Bouchard. 1992 The Charlottetown Accord This was the second attempt to amend the constitution. It promised 1. Distinct society status for Quebec. 2. Aboriginal self-government. 3. Senate reform. It failed to pass a national referendum in October 1992 when a large majority of Canadians voted no.
Results Jurisdiction Alberta Yes No Turnout 39.8 60.2
72.6 British Columbi 31.7 a Manitoba 38.4 68.3 76.7 61.6 70.6
New Brunswick 61.8 38.2 72.2 Newfoundland 63.2 36.8 53.3
Nova Scotia 48.8 51.2 67.8 Ontario 50.1 49.9
71.9 Prince Edward Island Quebec1 73.9 26.2 70.5 43.3
71.8 45.7 1995 Referendum In 1995 the people of Quebec voted on the question of sovereignty. Jacques Parizeau, the premier, led the Yes forces in Quebec but the question was defeated by a narrow margin. The No side won by 50.6% to 49.4% There was shock in
the rest of Canada but no immediate solution. 1998 Supreme Court Ruling The federal government asked the Supreme Court three questions in 1996: 1. Can Quebec secede unilaterally from Canada under the constitution? 2. Does it have the right to secede unilaterally under international law? 3. If there is a conflict
between Canadian and international law, which takes precedence? The Constitutional Right to Secede (Question 1) The Constitution (guarantees) order and stability, and accordingly secession of a province under the Constitution could not be achieved unilaterally Negotiation with the other provinces within the terms of the constitution would be required for Quebec to secede.
International Law and the Right to Secede (Question 2) The court decided that the right to secede exists but not at the expense of the stability and integrity of Canada. Only if a people were colonized or oppressed would the court consider unilateral secession acceptable. This, clearly, does not apply to Quebec. General Conclusions of the Supreme Court (Question 3) The court ruled that there was no conflict between Canadian and International law.
The Supreme Courts ruling was open to interpretation by both sides but offered little comfort to the separatist movement in Quebec. Quebec can hold another referendum on a clear question and if it wins this referendum Canada and Quebec must negotiate the terms of secession. Problems Associated with Quebec Separation What happens to the large French speaking population outside of Quebec? What happens to the anglophone
population inside of Quebec? How do we divide the economic resources and the national debt of the country? How does the rest of Canada remain united? The Clarity Act Question from the 1995 referendum: "Do you agree that Quebec 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 Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?
Is this very clear? The Clarity Act Passed in 2000 Created in response to the judgments from the Supreme Court and to calls from federalists in Quebec. It said: House of Commons ensures the referendum question is clear The majority for separation has to be clear Provinces and aboriginal groups would be a part of the separation negotiations House of Commons could override referendum
results if they violated the Clarity Act Secession would require an amendment to the Constitution A 2009 Angus Reid Poll Asked: "Do you believe that Quebec should become a country separate from Canada?" 34% replied yes, 54% said no, and 13% were unsure. To the less clear question of "Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within a scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec?" support for separation increased to
40% yes, the no vote still led with 41%, and the unsure increased to 19%. A Nation in a Nation? Liberal leadership candidates and a Conservative Prime Minister both supported public statements to this effect. In late 2006 a number of people suggested that the circle could be squared by declaring Quebec a
nation within a nation. A Nation in a Nation? In a Parliamentary motion, only 16 voted against the motion (21 were absent and 2 seats were vacant). Is anything really changed? What does this mean for Canadian nationhood? Quebec today
Still strong separatist sentiment Low post-secondary tuition costs High political activism Increased bilingualism Political Cartoon
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