The Rise of Quebec Nationalism The Duplessis Era Duplessis and his Union Nationale Party controlled Quebec from 1936 to 1959. During this era, Quebec was: Traditional Religious Economically controlled by English-Canadians The Roman Catholic Church had a lot of power and it acted as the protector of French Canadian culture. It encouraged people to reject materialism. It praised traditions such as farming, faith, and family. It controlled schools where French Canadian children were given only a basic education. It controlled hospitals. How important would education be to him? Duplessis allowed English Canadians and Americans to take over most of Quebec’s economy: Duplessis encouraged foreign investment as a way of creating jobs in Quebec. He offered businesses from Ontario and the USA Cheap labour (unions were discouraged) Low taxes In return, he expected that these businesses would reward him by giving “kickbacks” or gifts to his Union Nationale Party. Results: People in Quebec became increasingly unhappy with the Duplessis government. After he died in 1960, the Liberals took over the government of Quebec, under the leadership of Jean Lesage. The Liberals announced that it was “time for a change”. Jean Lesage had one main goal: To modernize Quebec His efforts to change Quebec became known as The Quiet Revolution. The Quiet Revolution •The government took control over education, medical care, and social services away from the Catholic Church. •The government decided to make the Quebecois “Masters in their Own House” by taking over (nationalizing) important businesses that had been owned by English Canadians. •The most significant example of this, was the creation of Hydro Quebec after the take over of several private hydropower companies. Results •Quebec became more modern. •French Canadians became more educated. •French Canadians now had control over their own economy. •Quebecers were now more confident in their ability to take care of themselves. •The French in Quebec now began to focus their anger on the injustices they believed they were suffering at the hands of the English Canadians. The Birth of Separatism •During the 1960s , French Canadians began to notice that they were being treated unfairly: •Our capital city, Ottawa, was English speaking. •Politicians from Quebec were almost never appointed to the cabinet. •English Canadians had English schools in Quebec, but French Canadians did not have French schools outside of Quebec. •English was the language of business, even in Montreal! Consequences: •For many, the only solution was a Quebec that was separate from Canada •Two organizations were formed with the hope of achieving Quebec independence: •FLQ: Formed by young radicals. They used methods such as fire bombings, kidnappings and murder to achieve their aims! •Parti Quebecois: A provincial political party formed by Rene Levesque. Its goal was to become the government of Quebec and to hold a referendum in which people would be given a choice: •Stay with Canada or become independent! Canadian Response: •Lester Pearson took two steps to try and stop to separatist movement: •His government created the new Canadian flag, so that Quebecers wouldn’t complain that our symbols were too British. •He put together the Bi and Bi Commission, whose purpose was to find a way to make Canada a bilingual and bicultural country. Canadian Response: •When Trudeau came to power in 1968, the Bi and Bi Commission was ready with its proposals, and he acted on them: • Official Languages Act: This law made French and English equal in every province across Canada! •Canada was now a bilingual country from coast to coast! •Both languages were treated the same way in every province! How did People Respond? •People in Quebec still preferred their provincial flag to the maple leaf flag. •English Canadians were angered by the new flag. •Canadians outside of Quebec felt that French was being forced on them to satisfy Quebec. •French Canadians in Quebec were angered by the Official Languages Act because ... •They believed that French should have special status in Quebec (it should not be equal but more important than English). The Consequences •All the anger and tension eventually resulted in the October Crisis of 1970: •Members of the FLQ kidnapped a British diplomat named James Cross. •In exchange for his release, they demanded the release of FLQ members being held in prison. •The Trudeau government refused to do this. •What do you think the FLQ did next? The October Crisis •Five days later, the FLQ kidnapped a second person: Quebec Cabinet Minister, Pierre Laporte. •Alarmed at the situation, Pierre Trudeau passed the War Measures Act: •Civil rights were suspended. •Membership in the FLQ became a crime. •People were searched and arrested without being charged with a crime. •The army was sent into Montreal and Ottawa to protect politicians and public buildings. Result: •Many people were worried about the future of Canada. •When asked how far he was willing to go to defeat the FLQ, Pierre Trudeau responded, “Just watch me.” •One day later, the body of Pierre Laporte was found in the trunk of a car! •This horrified Canadians and increased support for Trudeau. •Two months later, the house where James Cross was being held was surrounded by police. The kidnappers released him in return for safe passage to Cuba. The Crisis Ends •After the release of James Cross, the crisis ended. •The FLQ died as an organization, because its actions were not accepted by the vast majority of Quebec separatists. •After 1970, all efforts to bring independence to Quebec have been peaceful and democratic.