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Trudeau and Québec

Trudeau and Québec

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Trudeau and Québec

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  1. Trudeau and Québec Ms. Campbell Socials 11

  2. Trudeau & Québec • Pierre Trudeau succeeded Pearson as Prime Minister in 1968 • Believed Quebec’s future lay with Canada • Acted on the “Bi and Bi Commission” • Official Languages Act  Canada became bilingual and all federal agencies would now provide service in both official languages • Many Canadians embraced bilingualism, but: • Western provinces resented having French forced upon them and felt ignored by Ottawa • Quebec thought Trudeau wasn’t doing enough Quebec is a province just like any other – no “special status” required

  3. The October Crisis 1970 • October 5: The FLQ kidnapped British diplomat James Cross from his home • For his release the FLQ wanted FLQ members released from prison • Federal and Quebec authorities refused • October 10: The FLQ kidnapped Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte • Trudeau is worried things in Quebec will get out of control and decides to take drastic measures by asking parliament to impose…

  4. The War Measures Act • Trudeau believed Quebec was on the verge of a violent revolution • The War Measures Act had only been used during the two world wars • Civil rights would be suspended • Anyone could be arrested and detained without being charged with an offence • Membership in the FLQ became a crime • October 16: hundreds of pro-separatist Quebeckers arrested without charge “How far will you go to defeat the FLQ?” “Just watch me”

  5. October 17, 1970 • Pierre Laporte’s body was discovered in the trunk of a car • He had been strangled with his rosary beads

  6. The October Crisis • Canadians were horrified and pressured the police to crackdown on the FLQ • Two months later the group holding James Cross was tracked to a Montreal house • In return for his safe release, the kidnappers were permitted safe passage to Cuba for political asylum • The 450 people detained under the War Measures Act were released and the October Crisis was over  only 25 charged


  8. Parti Québécois in Power • 1976 Québec voters elected the PQ • A stunning victory for Lévesque (who had only won 7 of 110 seats in 1970) • In 1976, Lévesque reassured voters that a vote for the PQ didn’t mean automatic separation from Canada  a referendum! Stronger status for the French Language was the top priority of the PQ This is the FIRST time Quebec had voted in a party dedicated to the ultimate goal of separating from Canada!

  9. Bill 101: “The Charter of the French Language” • French became the only official language in Quebec • Government employees had to work in French • Commercial outdoor signs had to be in French • Children of immigrants would go to French speaking schools • Bill 101 divided Francophone and non-Francophone Quebeckers • Many outside of Quebec believed the PQ was too extreme

  10. 1980 Referendum • YES vote: PQ would negotiate a new agreement with Canada • Sovereignty-Association • Politically Independent • Economically tied • NO vote: Trudeau would negotiate a new constitution • Equal Partner • Distinct Society YES: 40% NO: 60%

  11. Patriating the Constitution • British North America Act (BNA) had been Canada’s Constitution since 1867  no changes could be made without the approval of the British Parliament • Trudeau announced a plan to patriate (bring home to Canada) the Constitution and create a Charter of Rights and Freedoms • An amending formula was needed • How many provinces had to agree before a change could be made? Could Quebec veto?

  12. Provincial Opposition • All provinces wanted more influence The west thought they might finally get a say in affairs that affected them • Provincial premiers feared the Charter would make the courts more powerful than their legislatures • Lévesque feared the Charter would override legislation to protect Quebec’s distinct society

  13. Kitchen Compromise: November 4, 1981 • Finally the National Justice Minister (Jean Chrétien) hammered out the “Kitchen Compromise” with the Justice Ministers from Saskatchewan and Ontario • Nine of ten provincial premiers were awakened toapprovethe deal

  14. Kitchen Compromise • Premiers agree to accept Charter if an “escape clause”was added • The “notwithstanding clause” allowed for opting out • An amending formula was also reached • 7/10 provinces representing 50% of Canada’s population

  15. Exclusion of Québec • Réné Lévesque was staying at a different hotel and was notincluded  he was furious • Trudeau chose to accept the agreement • Quebec felt betrayed • Québec refused to sign Constitution • Trudeau went ahead without Quebec • April 17, 1982 the new Constitution Actwas signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Trudeau

  16. Independence • Canada became a completely independent nation at last • Cracks in national unity were revealed • Flags in Quebec flew at half mast • The rest of Canada celebrated

  17. Debate

  18. What Now? Write a persuasive paragraph examining the OTHER side of the Separatism Debate from what you argued in the debate AKA: If you argued “NO” in class, you must argue “YES” in your paragraph! Due: Next Class