Canada and Quebec's Conflict
Canada and Quebec have always been in conflict from the confederation of 1867 to the Supreme court judgement on the secession of Quebec in 1998. Quebec faces several challenges in terms of constitutional relations with the rest of Canada. Quebec is seeking a special status to preserve and protect its culture and language, while the rest of English-speaking Canada accepts the view of provincial equality. There have been attempts to recognize Quebec's concerns through constitutional amendments, but these attempts have not lived up to Quebec's expectations and for the most parts have failed. Quebec has threatened Canada throughout history with separation from Canada. These threats have not been ignored, the rest of Canada realizes the devastating impact economically and politically if Quebec did separate but they cannot reach a compromise. Canada has as tried to encourage Quebec not to separate from Canada. In 1995 Quebec held its second referendum on sovereignly and the separatists narrowly lost the province wide. The province brought the case to the Supreme court of Canada to rule on the legal guidelines of unilateral secession under Canadian and international law, in the end some say the federalists (those not wanting to separate) came out on top. In this essay I will discuss the various historical attempts made by government to keep Quebec a part of Canada. I will also attempt to explain the impact of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Quebec secession. Many argue that the federalist won in the decision but that statement is debatable. Both Quebec and the rest of Canada won in the ruling. I believe that English Canadians should spend some time getting to know their French neighbors and vice versa. Lets get started with the never ending tale of Quebec quest for sovereignty. Quebec is Canada only French speaking province. The conflict Canada and Quebec's search for sovereignty started in the early days of American settlement. In the 1800s the united colonies of Canada, Canada east (French speaking) and Canada west ( English speaking) was in constitutional deadlock. The only way out of this deadlock was to separate or to bring more colonies into confederation.
There was much immigration into both Canada east and Canada west, these new immigrants were primarily English which added to the problem of linguistics groups. As Canada east grew in population "it remained tied to Canada east by a constitution that shared power equally between the two." The arrangement was becoming ever more difficult because of the difference in sizes and political power between the two Canada. English speakers called for "representation by population, in other words, each group of people deserved political power that was equivalent to its proportion to the population." While the French language survived, it had gone from majority to minority of the population due to immigration.
The confederation agreement of 1867, which included...