Canada

Canada’s Struggle with a National Identity and separatism.

Quebec Separatism in 2013

What it looks like: Joel Balsam

He says "Quebec's separatism movement has always hit home for me." In 1995 Quebec came within 1% of separating from the rest of Canada. Today, the Canadian government and mainstream dailies treat separatism like a “when pigs fly…” argument or something that could only happen in outer space. It’s no surprise that 61% of Canadians think Quebec has enough sovereignty within Canada and that number is only so low because 42% of Quebecers want to separate according to an Angus Reid poll.

Opinion 1: Jean-Claude Sylvain Guay; 40

Difference between now and and in 1960

It was a dream in 1960 of the Quebecer who wanted to take back their territory,economy, politics, and culture. Today, it's more mature independence; more economic, with rhetoric more focused on rational and logical economic ideas.


The Anglophones (English- speaking) fit in to a separate Quebec

The Anglophones are also Quebecers, what’s important is that they feel Quebecois. There are people that feel Canadian and that’s fine. I feel that many Anglophones are feeling less and less Canadian. We can’t force people to love Quebec. There’s a lot of Anglophone media that are using fear. They say an independent Quebec is racist, xenophobic (showing a dislike) and wants to exterminate the English.

Opinion 2: Melanie Hotchkiss; 27

Why does Quebec need to Separate?

When you look at the politics in Quebec and the people here, I think we're just so different than the rest of Canada. You see the last federal elections the way that Quebec voted completely different than the rest of Canada is a huge indicator of Separatism.


What about the Natives up north and the other Anglophones, how do they fit in to a separate Quebec?

I think that if they are already against sovereignty it could cause problems if people are not content with the result of separation occurring.

Opinion 3: Leo Bureau-Blouin; 21

What’s the difference between separatism now and in 1960?

The main difference between now and let’s say thirty years ago is that people in Quebec are more proud of who they are, they have the conviction that we can do our things and be a powerful nation.

Opinion 4: Nicolas Moran; 23

Why are you a separatist?

I don’t feel that the people who live in Quebec are part of the Canadian people. We are definitely different. And the thing that’s really sad about it is we’re gonna lose. The people who speak French in Canada are a minority and faced to a language like English we will disappear.


What’s different about separatism today?

The difference today is that we’re still a minority, but the thing is, our will to fight has disappeared with the fact that some Francophones (French- speaking) have integrated the bourgeoisie and they agree with the fact that (whether they try to lie or not) English is the international language and that personal human rights must be placed before group rights.

Opinion 5: Catherine Dorion; 30

Is Quebec separatism popular right now?

It’s not popular, but it is changing really fast.

Canada in 2014: Separatist issue looms

The Biggest Challenge

It’s the same one that has threatened Canadian unity since the country’s genesis: the status of the majority-French province of Quebec within Canada’s majority-Anglo confederation. But due to a series of political gambits recently launched by Quebec separatists, this age-old issue now comes with a new and disturbing post.

Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviours, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles. While the United States embraces a “melting pot” approach to immigration, and Canada has embedded the principle of “multiculturalism” in its constitution, many Québécois are deeply protective of the cultural and linguistic character of their province, a largely Catholic (or lapsed Catholic) island of French in a North American Anglo Protestant sea.

Canadian Cultural Identity

Census Canada 2011: Is Canada a ‘country without a core culture’?

Canada is a multicultural country. We know that. We are taught it in school and, for Canadians, especially those living in big cities, we see and hear it around us everyday; written on restaurant signs, advertising delectable ethnic cuisine, and on crowded subway cars and buses where chatter abounds in a multiplicity of tongues.

English. French. Chinese. Russian. Spanish. Tagalog. Creole. Just name it, and we have it here, in Canada, the land of 200 languages — including the two official ones. No matter where people are originally from, nearly 90% of us primarily speak English or French at home.more than two million speak neither English or French at home, while some 6.6 million people, more than the number of people in greater Toronto, most often speak something other than French or English at home.

Salim Mansur is a political scientist at the University of Western Ontario.

“Numerous languages spoken inside a country is only a problem, and a lethal problem, when the core identity of that country comes to be increasingly disputed — as is happening in Canada.” Professor Mansur claims that we aren’t on our way to becoming “Balkanized” as a nation, but that we are already there.

Sources

Canadian Separatism: According to the Quebecois

On the link on Mr. Lowe’s Website


Biggest Problems Facing Canada in 2014: Separatism

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/20/canada-in-2014-separatist-issue-looms/


Canadian Cultural Identity

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/24/multiculturalism-in-its-controversial-glory-is-canada-a-country-without-a-core-culture/


Chapter 8 Section 3: Canada Today