Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Part 2: 1995 Quebec Referendum

An issue we've focussed on the semester was the relationship between the French and English Canadians and how much of an impact the 1995 Quebec Referendum had on the citizens of Quebec and Canada as a whole.

1. This issue was significant for Canada as a whole but also it was even more significant for the people who lived in Quebec. All of Canada would have been affected because if Quebec had separated into their own country then Canada would have been divided. Also many Canadians said that they wanted Canada to remain the same because they want their children to have the same Canada they did while they were growing up. However, residents of Quebec were impacted the most by this. The opinions were diverse and both sides felt very strongly about the idea. If Quebec had split into it’s own country the citizens would have been impacted heavily. They would have had to elect their own government, make their own laws and the day to day life for regular people would have changed.

2. This issue shed light on the many problems between the French Canadians and English Canadians over the years. People living in Quebec (and more specifically French-Canadians) were forced to speak English while at work and the pay between English people and French people living in Quebec was over $1500. The Quiet Revolution took place over many years. After many years, Canada finally became a bilingual country. However, soon afterward Bill “22” was passed which state that French was the only official language in Quebec. Finally in 1995 Rene Levesque held a Referendum to see if Quebec would support him in the separation of Quebec from Canada.  The people in Quebec decided against it but the votes were so close together. Even to this day there are many people who want to see Quebec separate from Canada including the people of the Bloc Quebecois and Parti Quebecois parties and the people who support them.

3. I think this event will still be significant for Canadians in 10 years. Knowing that there are still parties and people fighting for the separation leads me to believe that this event will be relevant for many years to come. Especially if something of that nature were to happen again. Seeing how close the vote was means that it could have gone either way and it may happen again sometime in the future. I think this event will be significant until all the people in Quebec are happy or until they separate if that were to ever happen.

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