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					                                             World War 1 was an event that increased
French-English relations                     the distance between French-Canadians
                                             and the rest of Canada.
in Canada 1900-2000

                                             Union Nationale
World War 1
                                             Like all Canadians, French-Canadians
French-Canadians were living mainly in       had a difficult time during the Great
Quebec, and made up about one quarter        Depression. They felt that the traditional
of the Canadian population. They came        political parties, Liberal and
to enjoy living in Canada and being a        Conservative were not doing a good job.
part of Canada.                              A third party, the Union Nationale
                                             formed under the leadership of Maurice
When World War 1 came, French people         Duplessis. The Union Nationale gave
did not want to fight. They felt no          French-Canadians hope.
loyalty to Britain the way English
speaking Canadians did. They also felt       The new political party supported
no loyalty to France, because they felt      Quebec nationalism. They were against
France had abandoned them many years         the domination of business by English
ago in the Seven Years War.                  speaking Canadians. They believed that
                                             by making French-Canadians in charge
The French did not sign up to serve in       of Quebec, French-Canadians would
the Canadian military in large numbers.      have more jobs.
The few French-Canadians who signed
up were integrated into the largely          They got into power in Quebec in 1936,
English-speaking forces. They were           and except for a brief time during World
denied the chance to work in their native    War 2, stayed in power until 1959.
language, and French-Canadians
protested. As a result, the “Van-doos”or
the 22nd Infantry Battalion was formed, a    World War 2
regiment of only French speakers.
                                             For French-Canadians, World War 2 was
By 1917, so many Canadian soldiers had
                                             almost like World War 1. They were not
been killed in World War 1, that there
                                             interested in joining the war, because
were not enough men. Prime Minister
                                             they did not want to help Britain or
Robert Borden wanted to have
conscription. Since they were against
Canada being in the war, French-
                                             During World War 2, the question of
Canadians were also against conscription,
                                             conscription came up again. Again,
which meant that they would have no
                                             Quebec opposed it. However, this time,
choice but to fight in the war. Public and
                                             Prime Minister Mackenzie King also
political reaction was very strong, and
                                             opposed conscription. He avoided it for
there were many protests. But in the end,
                                             as long as he could. In the end,
conscription happened.
                                             conscription was necessary. Even though
                                             they hated the idea of conscription, the
French-Canadians forgave King because        as it was as good as or better than the
he tried so hard to avoid it. In the end,    federal health care plan.
very few conscripted soldiers actually
fought on the front lines.                   There were several ideas about how
                                             Quebec should protect its culture.
                                             Throughout its history, Quebec has been
Quiet Revolution                             afraid of losing its language and culture
                                             to the English speaking majority. To
In 1960, the Quebec government               protect it, there were three main ideas:
changed from Union Nationale (led by              Quebec to have special status in
Maurice Duplessis) to Liberal (led by                 Canada to protect the culture and
Jean Lesage). The Liberals made big                   language
changes, so big that it was called a              Quebec to have more influence
revolution. They wanted to end                        in the federal government by
corruption and patronage, modernize                   electing better Quebec
Quebec, decrease the influence of the                 representatives
Church, and increase French nationalism.          Quebec to separate from Canada
                                                      and become independent
Many Quebec businesses were owned by
Anglophones. The new government              During this time, the word French-
wanted to see more being owned by            Canadian was replaced by Quebecois, to
Francophones. In this way, French            express their Quebec nationalism.
would become the language of business
rather than English. One of the ways
they did this was by nationalizing           Bilingualism
electricity, by creating Hydro-Quebec.
                                             One of the reasons why French-
A modern welfare state was set up in         Canadians had such problems was that
Quebec that included new hospitals,          they didn’t feel that the French language
health care, old age pension, free dental    was protected enough. Language is a big
care, and better working conditions.         part of culture, and once they lost the
                                             language, they would lose the culture.
Education changed from being
controlled by the Church to being            Prime Minister Lester Pearson ordered a
controlled by government.                    Royal Commission (a report) on this
                                             issue in 1963. The report suggested that
The new government wanted to change          the language problem had reached a very
their relationship with the federal          high level. It recommended that
government. They wanted more power           government should provide services in
and more money. The federal                  French everywhere in Canada, that
government gave them the ability to          government jobs were equally open to
make taxes and make social programs as       French and English speakers, and that
long as they were up to federal standards.   more French had to be taught in schools.
In other words, there was already a
federal health care plan, but a provincial   Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau decided
health care plan could replace it as long    that French and English should officially
be the two languages of Canada. Canada       believed that the English minority had
should become bilingual. To do this, he      all of the money and power, while the
passed the Official Languages Act in         French majority had little money and
1969.                                        power.

Some people thought the new law was          In the 1960s, the FLQ did many terrorist
unfair. They thought that making             acts, such as bombing people and
government services in French was a          stealing things. The terrorist group was
waste of money, since everywhere             made up of many small cells, each one
except Quebec, they would be very            had only a few people. This way, most
rarely used. They thought that Quebec        people in the FLQ did not know what
was getting special treatment.               other FLQ people were doing.

In 1977, Quebec declared that French         In 1970, the FLQ kidnapped James
was the only official language in that       Cross, the British trade commissioner.
province, rather than both French and        They threatened to kill him if the
English. This made English people            government did not release some FLQ
unhappy, since it seemed like Quebec         members who were in prison. The
was getting special treatment.               Quebec government refused to release
                                             the prisoners. Instead, they offered the
In 1988, the Official Languages Act was      kidnappers safe passage to another
changed in the following ways                country if they released Cross. Instead,
     Parliament and courts are all          the FLQ kidnapped another important
        bilingual                            person, Pierre Laporte, who was the
     Services of the government to          minister of labour in the Quebec
        people are all bilingual             government.
     French speaking people can
        have good jobs in the federal        The Quebec government was ineffective
        government, as good as English       because they were afraid of being
        speaking people                      kidnapped themselves. The federal
     Federal government hiring will         government came in, under Prime
        be in proportion to the language     Minister Pierre Trudeau. They invoked
        distribution in Canada               the War Measures Act. The War
     Government workers can work            Measures Act is usually only used in war
        in English or French                 time, and gives the government the
                                             power to do almost anything they want.

October Crisis                               The Trudeau government sent the
                                             military in and arrested anyone who they
People who believed Quebec should            thought might be related to FLQ. They
separate from Canada were called             discovered Laporte’s dead body in a car.
separatists. Most of them joined political   The FLQ members who killed him were
parties that tried to encourage Quebec to    arrested and convicted. The FLQ
become independent. Some of them             members who kidnapped Cross made the
became terrorists, joining the Front de      exchange to give him up and went to
Liberation du Quebec (FLQ). The FLQ          another country.
                                              and banking system, but Quebec would
It has often been asked was invoking the      be independent enough to make their
War Measures Act justified? It                own laws and taxes.
suspended civil liberties and many
people were arrested for no reason. But       Some separatists thought it did not go far
at the time, most people supported            enough because it was not complete
Trudeau’s decision to invoke the War          independence. Non-separatists did not
Measures Act.                                 like it because they thought the PQ was
                                              trying to have a referendum on
                                              independence without mentioning the
Referendum                                    word independence.

The separatist party in Quebec was            Canadian Prime Minister led the
called Parti Quebecois (PQ). It was led       campaign for the “no” side, and Rene
by Rene Levesque, and supported an            Levesque led the campaign for the “yes”
independent Quebec. They were elected         side. The result of the election was “no”
as the Quebec government in 1976.             independence, about 60% “no” and 40%
Another word for an independent
country is sovereign country. So              In 1995, there was another referendum.
separatists are sometimes called              By this time, separatists had gained a lot
sovereigntists.                               of power. There was now a federal
                                              political party called the Bloc Quebecois
The first thing they did was pass Bill 101.   (BQ) that was the Official Opposition in
This law was designed to protect the          Parliament. The PQ was led by Jacques
French language. French was declining         Parizeau, and wanted independence.
because the birth rate of French speakers     Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien
was low, and new immigrants to Quebec         led the “no” campaign. This time, the
were not learning French. Bill 101 made       vote was 50.5% “no” and 49.5% “yes”.
French the only official language in          Quebec came very close to separating.
 All public services must be in
 Most business to be done in French
 Most children go to French language
 Signs must be in French only

Many English speakers felt it was unfair,
and many of them left Quebec.

In 1980, the PQ held a referendum to
decide Quebec’s independence. Their
idea was not complete independence, but
a close partnership. Quebec and Canada
would share many things, like military

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