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The Case of Quebec and Canada





Soltair
Hello,

I have been on a trip recently in the United States. While two women were looking at my dog, they started asking me questions about the "dispute" between Quebec and Canada, and even between residents of Quebec. They wanted to know if it had settled down or not. I told them a bit about this, but it is a complex question.

I wondered if any of you here on this forum, wherever you come from, have heard about this thing and how far your knowledge of the question goes. (Of course, I guess that canadians will quite well know what I am talking about). If you wish, I might also make a few posts to clarify the situation for foreigners, trying to be as objective as possible (I am not currently emotionnally implied in the debate, but could be someday). There is a whole history in this (the whole thing goes back prior to the creation of Canada) and I guess some people might be interested to learn more about it. It might also bring a better comprehension of the internal relationships between canadians and quebecers.

Let's hear what you have to say!
tijn01
To be honest with you I don't know much about the conflict. What I do know is that I have quite a few french canadian friends and all of them are very passionate about Quebec and its fight for independence. GO QUEBEC!
ciureanuc
Quebec and Canada... My aunt is in Quebec for more than 20 years now. She said if the quebecois are stop fighting and they will try to think about peace, a lot of good things will happen.
There is so much energy waste in this stupid conflict... If they will use the energy to do something useful than war, a lot of good things will happen. Plus, Quebec is poorer than the English part, why they want separation. Plus, small countries don't have the power to say something regarding the global politics.

Europe want to become "The United States of Europe" and BIG countries wants to separate?? How strange, don't you think?
ThePolemistis
VIVA LA QUEBEC LIBRA!!! I SAY!!
Coclus
I did not hear about that quarrel or whatever at all. Any more details?[/code]
MaxStirner
I resisted the urge to quickly google this subject so as to give you my non-representative, unqualified and subjective view:
All I am aware of is an animus between French- and English-speaking Canadians which very probably goes way back to colonial times and, if I recall correctly, culminated in a Quebec referendum sometime in the 90ies which only narrowly missed a majority for a secession.
Without much more background than the one stated above, I would tend to file this conflict with similar (?) ones in Belgium or a host of countries in the Middle East and Africa where "nation-building" by colonial powers have created political entities which do not have much in common except their more or less arbitrarily drawn borders.

Max
Frankfurt, Germany
gtherockgod
MaxStirner wrote:
I resisted the urge to quickly google this subject so as to give you my non-representative, unqualified and subjective view:
All I am aware of is an animus between French- and English-speaking Canadians which very probably goes way back to colonial times and, if I recall correctly, culminated in a Quebec referendum sometime in the 90ies which only narrowly missed a majority for a secession.
Without much more background than the one stated above, I would tend to file this conflict with similar (?) ones in Belgium or a host of countries in the Middle East and Africa where "nation-building" by colonial powers have created political entities which do not have much in common except their more or less arbitrarily drawn borders.

Max
Frankfurt, Germany


There have been multiple referendums (2 or 3? I cant recall at the moment) and yes, the last one was rejected with 51% of votes. Im a Canadian, i dont believe Quebec should separate. The French culture and language are a part of Canadian history, and most Anglophone Canadians realize it and embrace it.
gandalfthegrey
Most Quebecois do not want to seperate anymore. The maximum the seperatists poll now-a-days is in the mid 30s percentile.

With more and more immigration to Canada and to Quebec, the numbers will just never be there for Quebec to seperate (as immigrants overwhelmingly support Quebec to stay within Canada.)

I find most seperatists I know are on the far left of the political spectrum. They've become indoctrinated at university by their university professors and peers, who are largely socialists or communists.

Only some are on the centre-right of the political spectrum. They tend to have a romantic image of French Nationalism.
steveo-08
I myself am a 23 yearold from the maritimes, I have been hearing about quebec wanting to seperate for as long as I can remember, I even remember watching the refferendum years ago when I was younger. It was decided then by a majority of quebecers that they did not want to seperate from Canada. Years later the same complaints are being said, I harver no bad feelings towards Quebecers but I dont know what they are complaining about, they have different laws, taxes, lottery and many more differences. Quebec recieves alot of special treatment at the federal level, I just dont understand why they are always complaing, they are not treated badly by the rest of the country for speaking another language or having other customs. If they wanna seperate then hold one more refferendum, let the people of the province decide one more time if they want to form an independent country, if so then fine, if not then let it rest. I have heard on the news that Quebec politicians were taking the statement from the Canadian government recognising the independence of Kosovo and hoping they could use it as a precidence, WTF ??? The conditions of Kosovo are 5 million times worse then quebec, quebec is a wonderful province, I have been there a few times but I feel that if they seperate they will only be hurting them selves by isolating them and reducing thier economy.
czc587
From an outsiders perspective it seem like a dumb idea and gives politicans something to talk and argue about (I hope I am not offending in politicians here). I understand that the province gets much money for the canadian government just to keep them happy and without it they would be in a financal mess (they are already a poor state ouside of the big areas), but they dont want to talk about that. I dont see the point especially if you consider how the rest of the world is grouping. I think the opposite should happen, all the north american countries join into one, and create the country of north america, similar to europe. All NA sould have one currency, such as the US dollar, similar to the euro.
deanhills
I am from Western Canada and when you live in the West of Canada, most people are very little bothered by what goes on in the East. Almost the same as someone who lives in Los Angeles vs. New York. Western Canada has mostly English speaking citizens and French speaking citizens are in the minority. The issues surrounding Quebec are mostly located in the East. I am sure those who ask Canadians about Quebec could be puzzled, as depending who the Canadian is who is answering the question the answer may vary from very intense, to almost disassociated. And this is the reason for it.

Canada has about 32-million citizens, 23-million (70%) live in the East of Canada (New Foundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario). 10-million (30%) of Canadians live in the West (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia). If one wants to break it down further most of the political issues are centred in Quebec (7.7 million - 23% of total population) and spill over to neighbouring Ontario (13-million - 39% of total Canadian population). Ottawa in Ontario is where the Federal Government is housed, and has quite a large number of French speaking Canadians. About a third of the total population of 1-million in Ottawa have French as first language. Contrast this with Toronto with a total population of 5-million and only 58,590 Canadians with French as first language (1%).

So what I am getting at here is that if someone from the States should ask this question to a Canadian from Quebec, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, or Vancouver, that that person may get completely different responses.

When legislation is passed in Ottawa on Quebec issues, such as language etc. that impact the West, it can be irritating to Canadians in the West. However most Canadians are evenly keeled and when it gets to the stage where a law has been passed would accept it as a matter of course and abide by it. In Quebec it is a little different. They may get very hot and bothered about issues. I sometimes wonder whether their issues have to be kept alive as it is being funded and has created a lot of jobs for people who serve in organizations and Government Departments by virtue of the issues they serve. If someone calculates the number of jobs and cost to the country that would be an interesting exercise in statistics.

All and all by virtue of my location furthest away in the West of Canada, I cannot consider myself a legitimate source of insights into the conflict. There is a whole history attached to this, almost like in Ireland. It goes back right to the beginning of the history in Canada and when the British loyalists fled the United States. Interesting to note that there is some connection between New Orleans and those first French in Canada. A very rich culture with very interesting people. Sometimes think the French in Quebec are more French than the French in France Smile

Like my fellow Canadians I cannot imagine Quebec ever separating from Canada. They are Canadian and in Canada there is a great tolerance for different cultures. Think most Canadians are fond of their Quebec brothers and sisters. At least they make for a very interesting part in our history and politics.

Source of Canada population statistics is Statistics Canada at the link below:

http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/demo02a.htm?sdi=population%20province
deanhills
I found an interesting article on how the French came to explore the United States Mid-West, originating with explorers in Montreal, Quebec and ending up with colonizing Louisiana, which was finally sold back to the United States in 1803, with little acrimony.

Makes for interesting reading at this Link:

http://www.lib.niu.edu/1999/ihwt9904.html
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