Francophone vs Anglophone Quebec

Francophone vs Anglophone Quebec

Francophone vs Anglophone Quebec Lenka Fojtíková Bachelor Thesis 2009 ABSTRAKT V této bakalářské práci se zaměřuji na problematiku kanadské provin...

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Francophone vs Anglophone Quebec

Lenka Fojtíková

Bachelor Thesis 2009

ABSTRAKT V této bakalářské práci se zaměřuji na problematiku kanadské provincie Québec. Tato provincie je známá jako výlučně frankofonní uvnitř anglofonní Kanady. Nejdříve jsou zmíněny historické souvislosti včetně podrobnějšího popisu separatistického hnutí ve dvacátém století a dále se zabývám otázkami bilingvismu a multikulturalismu. Poslední částí práce je srovnání těchto dvou kultur s vlastním popisem významu slova Québec.

Klíčová slova: frankofonní, anglofonní, rovnost, separatismus, nezávislost, bilingvismus, multikulturalismus

ABSTRACT This bachelor thesis is aimed at the issue of Québec, one of the Canadian provinces. This province is known for its Francophone characteristics inside Anglophone Canada. First of all, I mentioned historical events connected with this issue including detailed description of separatist movement in the twentieth century. Consequently I specialized in the matter of bilingualism and multiculturalism. The last part of my thesis contains comparison of these two cultures containing my own meaning of the word Québec.

Keywords: Francophone, Anglophone, equality, separatism, independence, bilingualism, multiculturalism

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank you Mgr. Radka Sedláčková, the supervisor of my bachelor thesis. She was very helpful giving me advice how to deal with this topic and providing me with literature I have used in my thesis. I would like to thank my family for support during my studies on Thomas Bata University.

DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY I hereby declare that the work presented in this thesis is my own and certify that any secondary material used has been acknowledged in the text and listed in the bibliography.

April 22, 2009


CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 10 1

QUÉBEC IN FACTS .................................................................................................. 11


HISTORICAL LINKS ............................................................................................... 13 2.1

The origins of New World.....................................................................................13


New France or La France nouvelle ? .....................................................................14

2.2.1 Seigneurial system ..........................................................................................15 2.3

The sovereignty of British .....................................................................................15

2.3.1 Relationship with the Native people...............................................................16



The Québec Act .....................................................................................................16


The Constitutional Act and the Act of Union........................................................17


Confederation of Canada .......................................................................................19


The early twentieth century ...................................................................................20

QUÉBEC SEPARATIST MOVEMENT.................................................................. 21 3.1

Quiet Revolution....................................................................................................21


Separatism .............................................................................................................22


The 1980 referendum.............................................................................................24


The 1995 referendum.............................................................................................25


The Calgary Declaration ........................................................................................26


THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON BILINGUALISM AND BICULTURALISM.................................................................................................. 27


BILINGUALISM........................................................................................................ 29 5.1

Language and religion, religion and language .......................................................30


Demographic balance between French and English Canadians ............................30

5.2.1 Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory .....31 5.2.2 Population by knowledge of official language, by metropolitan area ...........33 6

MULTICULTURAL QUÉBEC ................................................................................ 36


FRANCOPHONE VS ANGLOPHONE QUÉBEC ................................................. 38 7.1

Québec City vs Montréal .......................................................................................38


Québec as an acronym ...........................................................................................39


Future Vista ...........................................................................................................40

CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................. 42 BIBLIOGRAPHY.............................................................................................................. 43

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INTRODUCTION I am very interested in literature concerning geographical or historical development of the countries. I decided to write about the issue of Québec because I found this topic persisting till present time. And what is more, French language, history and culture have attracted me since my secondary school, when I started to learn French. Québec is represented in the world as Francophone community within Anglophone Canada, as a French society within one of English countries of the Commonwealth. Québec became the symbol for bilingualism as well as multiculturalism, the symbol for separatism and independence. On the one hand this province could be seen as an outsider of all Canada’s provinces because of its resistance to government of whole Canada which is dependent on the reign of the United Kingdom; on the other hand Québec holds a strong position of sovereignty. There were many books specialized in history and geography of Canada and Québec, which I drew from, nonetheless I had to look for some current information on the internet as well. From the linguistic point of view geographical names differs in the books I used as sources for my bachelor thesis. Quebec or Québec, Quebec City or Québec City, Quebecois or Québécois, Montreal or Montréal, seigniorial or seigneurial system, all of them are found variously in my sources. The former of each pair refers to English language, the latter is written in French way. I decided to use the latter ones because of Québec official unilingualism. As the topic says, the aim of this thesis is to describe and compare Francophone and Anglophone Québec. I will try to deal with its historical development to understand better the issue of conflict between two different nations inside one country. I will focus on the matter of bilingualism concerning both languages in the province and including the tendency of Francophones to institute the French language the only official language in Québec. I would like to summarize it by comparing both Francophone and Anglophone cultures in Québec. I would like to conclude it with describing their position in Quebec and possible vista to future.

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Québec has the status of Canada’s largest province with 1,542,056 sq. km. It is the only province of Canada where French became the population’s first language by passing the law Billi 101. Québec is also a member of La Francophonie, the alignment of countries, provinces or dominions using the French language as the official language or one of them. Québec is still dominant member of La Francophonie. Capital of the province of Québec is Québec City. It is not the largest city, nonetheless among Francophones it is the most famous one. Québec City is the core of its history. The biggest city of Québec and the economic capital of the province became Montréal. I will focus on both cities later in my thesis. Last provincial elections were held last year, in 2008 and Québec has liberal government with its premier Jean Charest, a Francophone politician. Concerning economy, Québec is specialized in mining industry, transportation, energy, agriculture and manufacturing. The crucial industries are forestry and paper industry and Québec holds its leading position in production of maple syrup.1 Due to its strategic position on the east coast of North America Québec’s business is oriented either on the United States or European market which means that Québec stands on international sphere. Due to its membership in La Francophonie Québec has also close ties with many African states that are former provinces or territories of France. Québec is the second largest province in population, following Ontario. According to population census from 2006 Quebec has 7,435,905 inhabitants and more than 80% of them consider French to be their mother tongue. These people are known as Québécois (Francophones), not Quebecers. Quebecers include the remaining minorities – Aboriginals, English-speaking people (Anglophones) and people whose mother tongue is another foreign language (Allophones).2 Since North America was discovered there are tensions between two European nations and age-long rivals – French and British. In the Province of Québec these struggles arose from political and cultural reasons. Francophones were always struggling for the very strong position of their mother tongue in the province and they were sure it could be

1 2

See “Quebec Facts”, Canada Online, See Robert M. Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2002), 277.

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realized without separation of Québec from Canada. Therefore we can recognize two main problems related to each other. Francophone Québécois wanted the sovereignty of the French language at first, followed by attempts on the independence of the province. Anglophone Quebecers are supposed to resist at least one of these struggles. And Québec government always played a role in that “battles”. On the one hand we could say that Québec became independent in the way of freedom of policy and linguistic point of view, on the other hand the borders are so thin that Québec will stay inside Canada. But there are still two nations varied from each other. They should coexist together. How did and still do French-speaking Québécois and English-speaking Quebecers influence each other?

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European expeditions during the period of discovering the Earth were generally concerned on gold and other minerals, fishing, spices from the Orient etc. They were French explorers who first came and saw the coast of North America, today Québec. But later British took control over the new land. These two rivals have changed their roles of sovereignty throughout the whole history and tensions still occur between French-speaking Québécois and English-speaking Quebecers. The following crucial historical events will make this matter more clear.


The origins of New World

While the southern part of North America was occupied mainly by British people, the northern part of this continent was discovered by French. First man who arrived to the New World was Jacques Cartier.3 In 1534 he landed on the coast of today’s Québec, nevertheless he continued to explore inland more as far west as Montreal. Jacques Cartier gave this New World the name “Canada” meaning “village”, as he had heard it from Aboriginal people.4 Later he came back to France and brought gold and other minerals but its value was not so high. As a result there was just a little interest to move oversea. The other significant French explorer Samuel de Champlain is especially known as “The Founder of New France” or “The Father of New France”, not only for the establishment of first French settlement in today’s Acadia in 1605 but also for the foundation of Québec City which has an unique sense for its citizens.5 It is a heart of the whole Province of Québec, of French-speaking Québécois especially, of their culture, language and sense of being. At the same time of Québec City foundation in 1608, fur trading begun and the concern about Québec increased again. The French settlement could begin. Europeans were strongly interested in this territory and took expeditions to the New World mainly because of fur trading already mentioned, because of gold and other


See “History”, Québec Portal, 4 See Brett McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2006), 123. 5 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 283.

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minerals, and because of fishing in North America as well.6 It is obvious that all kind of diseases were coming along with Europeans wherever they explored new land and settled there. Québec was one of those territories. The Native people were becoming more and more dependent on guns, alcohol and food from Europe.7 All these factors caused reduction in Aboriginal population; on the other hand French settlement and population were growing rapidly.


New France or La France nouvelle ?

In the contrary to British explorers who had to face the Appalachian Mountains, their French counterparts could pierce into the interior easily due to the St Lawrence River. As a result, French were able to expand their territory and during the whole 17th century they had control over large area of North America with the heartland lying in St Lawrence Lowlands.8 They were interested mainly in fur trading and lived together with Native people. The more successful returned to home, the others stay in New France dealing with fur trade and as follows Québec became their home. New France was developing and people who were born in the new territory were Canadians, not Europeans anymore. Based on the records of the first administrator of New France, Jean Talon, who encountered the population of New France in 1665, there were only 3,000 inhabitants, most of whom were men.9 He was supposed to create a feudal agricultural society according to that one in France. Having done three steps he managed to meet the objective and realize the task from the French king Louis XIV. First of all, he sent for peasants from France to work on land in the new territory. Secondly, Talon sent for young girls or women of poor parents or without families to provide single men from the colonies with wives to develop society and to maintain increasing population. These young women are called “filles du roi” (McGillivray 2006, 125) in the French language which means the girls from the king, as they were sent directly from the French king. Another attempt to grow population rate in New France was to reduce taxes and as follows to lure new immigrants. Finally he established seigneurial system in agriculture. 6

See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 122. See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 124. 8 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 284. 9 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 284. 7

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Seigneurial system

Fur trade was working as raison d’être of New France. But the increasing lack of animals forced it to move to the west to Montréal. And from the economic point of view it was not as crucial as farming which became number one reason of being. The origin of seigneurial system came from France. France had a lack of agricultural land so that this system was better to move to Canada where there were just few people for such a great area of land intended for farming.10 What was the purpose of this system and both its advantages and disadvantages? The king divided the agricultural land for aristocracy, the religious institutions, the officers and others with whom he had a close relationship. The owner of the land was called the seigneur or the lord and he did not work on the land himself. Each seigneur had his tenants working on the land. They were paid yearly and their lords usually provided them with mills not just to store harvest and mill the grains but also to protect them.11 The establishment of seigneurial system helped to create agricultural society and this of course encouraged immigration from European countries to New France. To compare this system with the other one in France, the feudal system in New France was established in better way. Nevertheless the agricultural land divided into smaller and smaller parts was sold and the soil became unsuitable soon and all these factors consequently caused its abolishment in 1854.12


The sovereignty of British

British and French were fighting for the sovereignty of North America since they stepped in its territory. However the French hold the triumph of discovering the land and ruled New France since that time. After the battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 when British defeated French tribes the situation changed.13 Even in 1760 they had control over the whole east part of today’s Canada and their sovereignty last more than 100 years. And their population was increasing


See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 125. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 285. 12 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 132. 13 See “History”, Québec Portal, 11

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highly as British immigrants began to move to Canada. It was the beginning of the real tensions between these two rivals. And since this time French Canadians has never gained sovereignty as before. 2.3.1

Relationship with the Native people

When ruling New France, French-speaking people respected Aboriginals as their partners. Their relationship was based on a kind of a merger. The native people depended on European goods. On the contrary the French inhabitants of New France needed Aboriginals when exploring inland of the North America. After the British conquest Native people lost their power and the Indian Territory was set for them. It was a place where non Natives were not allowed to settle. It belongs to Aboriginal people and only the British Crown had the right to purchase the land from them.14


The Québec Act

By the Treaty of Paris from 1763 France ceded New France to Britain.15 While the British lived mostly in cities dealing with economy of the whole Canada, French Canadians lived mainly in the villages and continued to work in agriculture. Some of them also moved to south or tried to evolve an upraising but British had a real power over the country. With Québec Act in 1774 French Québécois seemed to keep their individual position and loyalty within British Canada. The Québec Act provide a good reason to support British rulers because it ensure a strong position for the Roman Catholic Church and by this Act Britain retained continuation of seigneurial system.16 But what were the real advantages of the Québec Act? It guaranteed French Canadians the right to keep using their language - French language, their religion – the Roman Catholic religion and the French civil law. Due to Québec Act French culture survived. In his book with the title Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories, Robert Bothwell said: “From the conquest of 1760, Quebec has been defined by the French language, the language of majority inside the province and the language of the minority within Canada. Seen from inside the province, the survival of the French language in an English-speaking sea has been little short of


See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 128. See “History”, Québec Portal, 16 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 136. 15

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miraculous. The motto of Quebec is ‘Je me souviens’ – I remember – and what is remembered, above all, is the French language.” 17

French Québécois are proud of their French language and threat of its disappearance would lead to destruction of their sense of life, reason for being. There is no chance of nation survival whether you prohibit people to speak their own language. Indeed the Québec Act had strong meaning in the matter of French nationalism within British territory. French-speaking Canadians were given possibility to survive within strongly English society, to maintain their culture, and they were also given possibility to change the recent events some time.


The Constitutional Act and the Act of Union

British were not the only English-speaking immigrants who were lured to move to Canada after British conquest and their sovereignty over the whole country. When American rebels gained independence in 1783, Loyalists of the US were strongly discontent with the political situation and ruling of the country.18 They are similar example as French-speaking people situated in Canada. They were born in the New World outside Europe and American continent became their home. After the American War of Independence they lost their home and had to move. Since British were their allies in the war, they offer them land so that American Loyalists moved and settled in North America. This caused another great immigration wave to Canada.19 As population of English-speaking settlers grew, they felt independent from the rest of Québec inhabitants. They demanded for separation. In the Constitutional Act from 1791 the Province of Québec was divided into two parts – Upper and Lower Canada.20 Upper Canada (today’s Ontario) was the home of English-speaking Quebecers; on the other hand French-speaking Québécois lived in Lower Canada (today’s Québec). Each province was ruled by a British governor.21 In that time Lower Canada had a much larger population rate than Upper Canada; most of Lower Canada’s inhabitants were French Canadians. It may be the main factor that led to massive movement of English-speaking people to this province. 17

Robert Bothwell, Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1995), 138. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 136-137. 19 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 129. 20 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 137. 18

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To create English majority there as well, English Canadians were very welcomed to Lower Canada. The richer ones moved to Montréal which became financial and trade centre from the beginning of 18th century.22 And even by 1820 Montréal’s population got over that of Québec City.23 An effort to destroy French culture by assimilation to English culture was not successful and French withstood. In this time the crucial point was that French Canadians remained in Canada East and did not move different ways even though the Constitutional Act enfeebled its position that was not strong enough after British conquest at all. This national continuity helped them to resist British assimilation. Also due to separation itself from British who lived mainly in big cities, their influx on Frenchspeaking Québécois was not so much considerable. The French-English tensions lasted even by separating these two cultures. One of the reasons is considered to be not real separation of these two cultures. British wanted to be independent, nevertheless they did not let French lived separately in their own society. There were rebellions in each province and their inhabitants were calling for political reforms. To solve this problem Lord Durham from Britain, a politician, a diplomat and last but not least a colonial administrator, was sent to Canada to help with meeting the objective.24 Lord Durham said that French Canadians were “people with no literature and no history” (Bone 2002, 288). For he was sent by British government, he did not Canada with its background as well people who had lived there for years. It could be said that English Canadians are on the same level, people without no literature and no history. Both of them arrived to North America continent as explorers and they had to create own history from that time. Even though after British became sovereign and moved to big cities to deal with economical and political situation of the country, it does not mean they had more education degree. He was absolutely wrong with such a statement because every nation has history since its existence. What kind of report did Lord Durham make? He strongly recommended establishing English the only official language. From the political point of view his proposal was to give


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 287. See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 131. 23 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 135. 24 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 132. 22

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more power to colonists, to reunite both provinces of Québec and to attempt of French Canadians assimilation.25 In 1841 British passed the Act of Union and Upper and Lower Canada became the Province of Canada.26 Few years later, in 1854 seigneurial system was abolished. After the British conquest they maintain using this system only from political, not economical reasons. It ensures them support mainly from French-speaking inhabitants. As it has been already mentioned before, the agricultural land became divided into smaller and smaller parts. In addition because of not practicing a crop rotation, the soil got poor soon. British strove for more efficient agricultural system in English Canada.27


Confederation of Canada

Young history of Canada itself began in 1867 through passing the British North America Act. Canada was established by confederation of the Province of Canada together with the colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Two different cultures were consolidated within one country under one political system, the British system and so that Anglophones still dominated in Québec.28 For Britain, the establishment of Canada had many advantages. Firstly, English Canadians felt politically stronger, as they lived in the Union their political power increased. Secondly, real economical boom of the country could begin and it created a large market of North America. Thirdly, having been united into one country they could also better defend as the one country. And finally the sovereignty of British strengthened, they ruled the whole Canada. French Canadians were becoming a minority within British Canada. However Québec stayed in position of a little independent province with majority of French-speaking Québécois. They had a freedom of language and education which was a consequence of support of French language by Ottawa.29 The establishment of Canada influence economical situation in a good way. Agriculture experiences the real boom and many other productive activities connected with 25

See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 132. See “History”, Québec Portal, 27 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 132. 28 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 289. 26

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agriculture as well as manufacturing were developed at the same time. This influenced urbanization and immigration in the Province of Québec. The heartland of Québec, St Lawrence Valley lost their function of economical, financial and cultural centre of Québec. People moved to its surrounding or Montréal. Nevertheless St Lawrence River continued to work as a transportation system between these two cities till building of CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) and CNR (Canadian National Railway) when Montréal became the national rail centre in the beginning of 20th century. Montréal became the financial centre, ruled by Anglophones. On the contrary economical growth of Québec City was slow as one of the consequences of little or no investment to regions where there were just few English-speaking people within the majority of French-speaking Québécois.30


The early twentieth century

French Canadians were rather farmers and English Canadians had powerful political position. The lack of the land for agricultural purpose caused massive out-migration of French Québécois and actually growing of English-speaking population through the period of the half of 19th century till the half of 20th century. By 1930 about one million of Frenchspeaking people left Québec and settled either in the US or in one of others provinces of Canada.31 Wherever they moved, they still kept their language and religion.


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 289. See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 135. 31 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 287. 30

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From the 1960’s Québec separatist movement began 32 and I decided to write an individual chapter about it. This period of Québec’s history is quite complex but finally very favorable for French-speaking Québécois. From the economical point of view this period was the time of transformation of Québec into a modern industrial society. But this was not the only transformation. During the second half of the 20th century Québec faced many challenges for change. And with Quiet Revolution Québec separatist movement began. In the beginning of 1960s Prime Minister Pearson announced the statement that distinguishes Québec as an individual: “While Québec is a province in the national confederation, it is more than a province because it is the heartland of a people: in a very real sense it is a nation within a nation.” 33

In my opinion it is necessary to emphasize that the Province of Québec is seen as the heartland of Francophones, it is a nation of French-speaking Québécois majority within a Canadian nation of bilingualism.


Quiet Revolution

Quiet Revolution symbolized “renewed Québec nationalism”. French-speaking Québécois had throughout the whole its history strong nationalism feeling and during the process of transformation an idea of separatism seemed to become reality. It means that nationalism and especially French language became more crucial than religion of French-speaking people. The matter of Québec nationalism was always connected with political background of the Province of Québec or the whole Canada. It has never been just struggle between two nations with different languages but it has been specialized in country politics and position in class system.34 Quiet Revolution had its roots in the Second World War when French resisted fighting for Britain. The time of the Second World War was really difficult for French Canadians


See “History”, Québec Portal, 33 Kenneth McRoberts, English Canada and Quebec: Avoiding the Issue (Ontario: York University, 1991), 11. 34 See John A. Dickinson and Brian Young, A Short History of Quebec (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000), 293.

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because majority of men were fighting and there was the lack of labor so that French Canadians women were forced to work which was in contradiction with their moral values.35 With the election of Liberal Party headed by Jean Lesage, the matter of French Québécois began moved in different way. Prior to support of the government of French-speaking society, French Québécois had been supported by Roman Catholic Church. The policy of newly elected Liberal Party deals by the way with modernization of educational system or the establishment of Maisons du Québec in important big cities in the world to represent and support Québec’s ideas and interests all over the world.36 Everything seemed to be possible from that time and French Québécois had the feeling that Québec could represent their interests only as an independent country. Their slogan became “Le Québec aux Québécois” - Québec for Québécois (Bone 2002, 290).



From the linguistic and cultural point of view a topic of separatism was discussed many years ago, from the period when Québec was divided into Lower and Upper Canada, from the political point of view it lasted for decades of years. There are still two problems to solve – increasing tensions between French Québécois and English Quebecers dealing mainly with the matter of the language and the matter of independence of Québec, still placed in Canada. In 1967, Charles de Gaulle, French President, visited Québec and supported French-speaking Canadians by his famous words “Vive le Québec. Vive le Québec libre.” (Bone 2002, 145). The idea of separatism was very popular with French-speaking community on the other hand Anglophones and Allophones did not like separatist topic. First incentive of separatist movement appeared with Quiet Revolution. People were divided into two camps politically, into federalists and separatists. Federalists supported the idea of remaining within Canada Confederation but they required more political power in the Province of Québec. Separatists distinguished themselves into two different branches37 – those who


See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 148-149. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 144. 37 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 144. 36

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agreed on cooperation with Canada and those who emphasize real independence. The former were called the Front de liberation du Québec (FLQ), the latter were members of Parti Québécois (PQ). With the Quiet Revolution in 1960’s the tensions between federalists and separatists increased. French-speaking majority belong to underclass inhabitants led by English-speaking minority of business class people called for change.38 The change came as the Parti Québécois headed by René Levesque was elected in 1976 to form provincial government.39 After that many English-speaking Quebecers left the province and moved mainly to the Province of Ontario or to the United States. Many large corporation and blue-chip companies also moved together with Anglophone inhabitants. The English language was an official language of negotiation between companies and in the same time Canada – the United States free trade was established so that it was no problem for the companies to move abroad. An estimated number of emigrants are 400,000.40 What was the core of business in that time? Québec remained the leading province in forest, timber and paper industry. From the linguistic point of view Francophones attempted to set their language in schools. The origin of this incentive was in French experience of assimilation and they were afraid of destruction of the French language. Prior to attempts of education in French, pupils at schools had a chance to choose whether they prefer French or English language as the language of their education, classes were bilingual.41 As Francophone-speaking people got stronger power they tried to reconstruct the education using the only language in the province, the French language. This is called immersion school system. What consequences it could have had? As a resistance private courses in the English language were established. During the 1970’s many Bills occurred to deal with the French language.42 Bill 63 officially should underline French language. In the reality it ensured freedom of language choice. Bill 22 from 1974 promoted French language in workplace in Québec. As a reaction on that law Robert Bothwell declared:


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 291. See “History”, Québec Portal, 40 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 138. 41 See Dickinson and Young, A Short History of Quebec, 309. 42 See Dickinson and Young, A Short History of Quebec, 317. 39

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“Quebec, then, was increasingly defined in French-speaking terms. On the territory of Quebec, French would be, must be, the dominant language. Naturally, comment from outside the borders of Quebec was not welcomed: Quebec on its own territory was effectively sovereign, sovereign in defence of its own language or its own ethnicity. This was not good news for French-speaking minorities outside Quebec.” 43

According to Robert Bothwell every event of the second half of 20th century is closely connected with the language. Language is represented as the heart of nation and no outside power could destroy it. The date 1977 is considered to be the most important date in the history of French-speaking Québécois. Due to Bill 101 French became the official language, the only official language of Québec.44 It had significant meaning for Frenchspeaking Québécois when their mother tongue became the language of work, education, communication and business. The following process is called francisation. The Act restricted English education to children of Anglophones parents or parents with knowledge of English acquired in Québec. Furthermore it restricted using of English language in business and prohibited bilingual signs in Québec.45 As the Act emphasized the role of French language it was very supported by French-speaking Québécois and was very important for them. But as it was important and supported by one side, the other side were discontent by such statements and struggled against it. As a result, children were either sent to private English courses or registered illegally in English schools. Bilingual or even unilingual English signs were continued to use in some parts of Quebec. The consequence for French Canadians living outside Quebec in one of other provinces of Canada was also different. As they belonged to minority in the rest of Canada, they began to be assimilated.


The 1980 referendum

This policy and strong support from government of Parti Québécois led to the first referendum in 1980.46 Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau was fighting for Non-side and happened mainly because according to the Official Language Act from 1969 Canada became officially bilingual country.47 He strongly disagreed with an idea of one province


Bothwell, Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories, 150. See “History”, Québec Portal, 45 See Dickinson and Young, A Short History of Quebec, 310. 46 See Dickinson and Young, A Short History of Quebec, 313. 47 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 293. 44

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separatism. According to Kenneth McRoberts, not many people realized that Trudeau’s personal intention was not to save Canada but to save Québec from itself, from the danger of nationalism. Trudeau is very famous for its struggle against nationalism and he spent a lot of time lecturing on the topic of evil of nationalism.48 Finally, Quebecers rejected the Parti Québécois government independence proposal of Québec. Non-side won by 60% of votes.49 The following event showed that Québec’s position within Canada is not so strong. Majority of Francophone Québécois had and still has different interests than the rest of Canada where there French Canadians are minority. In 1982 Canadian government accepted the Canadian Constitution of the British Parliament from the United Kingdom even without an agreement of the Province of Québec.50 However Québec has never accepted the Constitution. Since that time Québec is nicknamed “distinct society” within Canada.


The 1995 referendum

Even though Quebecers rejected first proposal by a referendum, Québec government still believed in success. The Parti Québécois offered another proposal to be negotiated: “Do you agree that Québec should become sovereign, after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new Economic and Political Partnership within the scope of the Bill respecting the future of Québec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?” 51

While the 1980 referendum proposed just sovereignty-association between Québec and the rest of Canada, the 1995 referendum tried to offer more independence and proposed Québec sovereignty with possible partnership with the rest of Canada. Nevertheless Quebecers rejected the proposal in the second referendum too. Quebecers lost another opportunity to become an independent country. It was agreed that Non-side won by a very slim majority (50,6% of the total).52 Oui-side was represented by Francophones of rural


See Kenneth McRoberts, English Canada and Quebec: Avoiding the Issue (Ontario: York University, 1991), 14. 49 See McGillivray, Canada: A Nation of Regions, 150. 50 See “History”, Québec Portal, 51 Robert M. Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2002), 293. 52 See J. M. Bumsted, The Peoples of Canada: A Post-Confederation History (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2008), 557.

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Québec and some but very few Allophones or Anglophones. Non-side was represented by only 4 parts of Québec, but majority of voters came just from these parts – Montréal, Ottawa Valley, Estrie, and northern Québec. First three regions are of strongly Anglophone origin, the fourth one is a region of Native people (mainly Cree and Inuit).53 However the question of referendum was discussed for a longtime, nothing changed. People were arguing what actually is the meaning of that question, each person understand it in little different way. The question is how it would look like nowadays whether Oui-side won the referendum and Québec consequently got sovereignty?


The Calgary Declaration

The matter of the referendum about Québec separation became also the case of the Supreme Court of Canada that was supposed to suggest the conditions of separation. In 1997 the premiers of all the provinces except the premier of Québec, Lucien Bouchard, organized a meeting to announce the Calgary Declaration which was finally signed by all the premiers presented in the meeting and in a year all provinces (except Québec) ratified the Calgary Declaration in their legislatures.54 Statements no.4 and 5 of the Calgary Declaration were concerned on Québec: “4. Canada’s gift of diversity includes Aboriginal peoples and cultures, the vitality of the English and the French languages and a multicultural citizenry drawn from all parts of the world. 5. In Canada’s federal system, where respect for diversity and equality underlies unity, the unique character of Québec society, including its French speaking majority, its culture and its tradition of civil law, is fundamental to the well being of Canada. Consequently, the legislature and Government of Quebec have a role to protect and develop the unique character of Quebec society within Canada.” 55

However the matter of separation is not defined in the Constitution of Canada, the Supreme Court claimed that any province of Canada cannot declare its independence without agreement of the rest of Canada’s provinces. It discourages protagonist of separation to attempt to do it no more and it assures Canada that Québec will exist as one of Canada’s provinces that is unique in its culture.


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 294. “The Calgary Declaration”, Uniting Canada, 55 “FRAMEWORK FOR DISCUSSION ON CANADIAN UNITY”, The Calgary Declaration, 54

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The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was established in Canada in 1963 and often is called just B&B Commission. It was founded to solve the problem of French-English tensions.56 To solve the problem means to maintain both languages as well as the cultures of both nations speaking these two languages. Originally was established to help French Canadians who called for solution of their weak situation under the sovereignty of Anglophones, however in the recent time the B&B Commission tried to be helpful to the other side of this complex French-English relationship. Kenneth McRoberts mentioned in his book English Canada and Quebec the fact that since the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was created, Trudeau and other anti-nationalists had been afraid of the notion of biculturalism.57 According to me the term of multiculturalism seemed to be different. They must have been discontent with the idea of two different groups of people with strong national feeling. Multiculturalism is a mixture of cultures from all around the world but biculturalism emphasizes two identities fighting against each other. They might have seen it as a real threat of separatism movement. For a strong nationalism of Francophones that could have been more supported by this notion. And as a reaction Trudeau announced a new government policy of multiculturalism in 1971, following the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism.58 The B&B Commission is represented by ten commissioners who are supposed to speak both French and English languages and of course to be the experts of the matter Francophones vs. Anglophones. If they proved that French language is in real danger, Francophones would be alarmed and wanted their government to take action.59 Canada became officially bilingual by passing the Official Languages Act in 1969.60 But this is not an example of Québec where the French language became the only official


See “Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (RCBB)”, Alberta’s Francophone Heritage, 57 See McRoberts, English Canada and Quebec: Avoiding the Issue), 16-17. 58 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 194. 59 See “Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Royal Commission on”, The Canadian Encyclopedia, 60 See “Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Royal Commission on”, The Canadian Encyclopedia,

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language of all the spheres of communication by passing the Bill 101. Many Anglophones accused the Royal Commission of Bilingualism and Biculturalism of a political trick to appoint the French language in the whole Canada and by this strengthened francophone political power within the country.61 Even though French language dominates in Québec, French-speaking population is recommended to learn English language when looking for a job. The English language has once become an international language and is preferred to negotiate with. Moreover the French is speaking by majority of inhabitants in Québec and no other province of Canada has the same status. B&B Commission was very helpful in the matter of bilingualism in Canada in 1960’s, nevertheless its function ended by passing the Official Language Act in 1969. During the six years of its activity situation in Québec and tensions between French Québécois and English Quebecers exactly, dramatically changed.


See “Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Royal Commission on”, The Canadian Encyclopedia,

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The language is the sensitive topic of Canadian culture and especially in Québec the language is more important than in the rest of Canada. It is the main point of this balance French and English Canadians and tensions between them. While Canada as the whole country became bilingual country in the late 1960s, Québec fight for its unilingual status for about another ten years. Even though Francophones seemed to have strong feeling of nationalism and ethnicity they had a fear for its cultural existence without any law that would ensure them survival of French language. Such a law was ratified in 1977, wellknown as Bill 101. This law is crucial for Francophones struggling for the maintenance of French language because it ensures French language in Québec forever. “While such legislation runs against the current of bilingualism in the rest of Canada, Québec governments (both Liberal and Parti Québécois) support the principle of a unilingual province in order to ensure the survival of the French language in Canada and North America.” 62

French-speaking Québécois are proud of this law and whenever the meaning of the law is attacked by Anglophones minority they are able to protect it by strikes in the streets with signboards with “Ne touchez pas à la loi 101!” which mean “Do not touch the law 101!” (Bone 2002, 214) It can be seen that the government of Québec stands as the protector of the French language and francophone culture in the province. However such legislation is not popular among Anglophones and Allophones because their children are required to attend French school. According to population census from 1996 Québec is the only province where people using French language at home outnumbered those whose mother tongue is the French language.63 This is caused by the wave of immigrants of different language who are supposed to adopt French language in Québec. French language became a cultural heritage of the Francophone nation and it is necessary to protect it in order to maintain its existence. French-speaking Québécois were struggling for a longtime to reach the sovereignty of French language in their province. Thus it is also necessary to ensure the survival of French-speaking population either by

62 63

Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 214. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 212.

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natural increase of Québécois or by increase Anglophones and Allophones who are required to adopt French language.


Language and religion, religion and language

Throughout history of Canada and Québec, religion had important position in the connection with language. Since French explorers were members of the Roman Catholic Church and this Catholic Church had a strong political position in New France the French language was very supported by the Roman Catholic Church.64 Till nowadays Frenchspeaking Canadians are of catholic religion, on the other hand most English Canadians are rather Protestants. With the beginning of separatism movement and government support of separatism French-speaking Québécois have no need to be protected by church anymore. The government provided them with support which led to strong national feeling. Even in 20th century schools were ruled by churches in Québec and Newfoundland. Nevertheless these provinces decided to change the control of churches over educational system and in 1997 both of them announced to place their school system under the control of the province. 65


Demographic balance between French and English Canadians

French-speaking Canadians are situated mainly in three areas in Canada. Firstly in Québec where is the largest population of them. Secondly in New Brunswick where the great number of Acadian people is lived. And finally, they can be found in Ontario where French Québécois moved in the time of English Conquest or during 20th century. 66 In the tables bellow I describe population of Canada and Québec according to their language skills as it was recorded by census 2006.


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 191. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 193-194. 66 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 212. 65

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Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory 67

Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory (2006 Census) 2006 Total English French Both English Neither only only and French English nor French number Canada 31,241,030 21,129,945 4,141,850 5,448,850 520,380 Newfoundland 500,610 475,985 90 23,675 850 and Labrador Prince Edward 134,205 116,990 60 17,100 55 Island Nova Scotia 903,090 805,690 1,000 95,010 1,385 New Brunswick 719,650 405,045 73,750 240,085 765 Quebec 7,435,905 336,785 4,010,880 3,017,860 70,375 Ontario 12,028,895 10,335,705 49,210 1,377,325 266,660 Manitoba 1,133,510 1,017,560 1,930 103,520 10,500 Saskatchewan 953,850 902,655 485 47,450 3,260 Alberta 3,256,355 2,990,805 2,200 222,885 40,470 British Columbia 4,074,385 3,653,365 2,070 295,645 123,305 Yukon 30,195 26,515 105 3,440 130 Northwest 41,055 37,010 50 3,665 325 Territories Nunavut 29,325 25,830 20 1,170 2,305 I highlighted New Brunswick and Ontario by blue color to see French-speaking population in the table above. Together with Québec these provinces are the three most affected provinces by French-speaking society. There is not such high number of people speaking only French as in Québec, however bilingual population is considerable in Ontario. Focusing on the Province of Québec, it can be seen that population in total was 7,435,905 according to 2006 census and more than half of the inhabitants spoke only French (53,9%) on the contrary with just 336,785 (4,5%) people speaking only English. There is high number of people speaking both French and English language, almost one half of Québec’s population are people with bilingual skills. Ontario is the province with the greatest number of population in Canada as well as the greatest number of population that can speak only English. In addition it is also the province with the highest number of people who speak neither French nor English


See “Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory (2006 Census)”, Statistics Canada,

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language. Following Ontario, British Columbia is the province with second largest population speaking English, either only English language or both languages. It is obvious that bilingual population is not so considerable in the territory of Nunavut as well as just French or English population because this territory is primarily the home of Inuit, one of the Native populations in North America. In addition, this territory is the youngest one for its establishment in 1993.

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Population by knowledge of official language, by metropolitan area 68

Population by knowledge of official language, by census metropolitan area (2006 Census) 2006 Total English French Both English Neither only only and French English nor French number St. John's 166,385 15 12,655 215 179,270 Halifax 323,355 410 44,875 810 369,455 Moncton 60,495 5,270 58,195 95 124,055 Saint John 101,455 150 19,065 205 120,875 Saguenay 205 121,135 28,180 75 149,600 Québec City 1,270 469,080 232,535 1,300 704,185 Sherbrooke 2,910 107,255 72,895 585 183,635 Trois-Rivières 100 102,4000 35,875 18 138,560 Montréal 1,404,915 1,861,925 58,870 3,588,520 262,810 Ottawa–Gatineau 1,117,120 507,175 102,375 496,025 11,540 Kingston 128,570 455 18,890 555 148,475 Peterborough 107,150 55 7,750 185 115,140 Oshawa 301,925 385 24,335 1,425 328,070 Toronto 418,505 212,900 5,072,075 4,436,235 4,440 Hamilton 626,515 515 47,055 9,360 683,450 St. Catharines– 385,035 349,440 745 32,355 2,495 Niagara Kitchener 409,325 305 30,255 6,610 446,495 Brantford 116,400 65 5,815 545 122,825 Guelph 113,355 70 11,280 1,380 126,080 London 415,820 290 31,640 4,825 452,580 Windsor 282,525 395 33,575 4,230 320,730 Barrie 162,245 105 12,525 460 175,335 Greater Sudbury / 156,395 92,865 2,550 60,700 290 Grand Sudbury Thunder Bay 111,550 170 8,870 470 121,050 Winnipeg 603,410 1,345 74,880 6,400 686,040 Regina 179,915 175 11,800 545 192,440 Saskatoon 215,425 115 14,525 785 230,850 Calgary 590 84,085 20,830 1,070,295 964,790 Edmonton 985 77,950 14,310 1,024,820 931,575 Kelowna 148,815 85 11,000 660 160,560 Abbotsford 141,470 120 8,170 6,885 156,640 Vancouver 162,790 108,440 2,097,960 1,825,595 1,140 Victoria 289,525 200 33,070 2,265 325,065


“Population by knowledge of official language, by census metropolitan area (2006 Census)”, Statistics Canada,

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In the table above, population of big metropolitan area is divided into several groups according their knowledge of languages – only English, only French, bilingual group and neither official language. Two largest cities of Québec, Montréal and Québec City are highlighted by green color and the other two smaller cities of Québec are highlighted by purple color. Montréal is the largest city in Québec with its 3,588,520 inhabitants and the second largest city of the whole Canada. More than half of its citizens have bilingual knowledge. It is 1,861,925 people (51,9%). The rest consists of people speaking only French (39,2), people speaking only English (7,3%) and people of different language (16%). It might seem to be peculiar that Montréal with such a high number of French-speaking population is rather known for its English background, but there is high number of people who speaks both languages and they must prefer English. Québec City is the synonym for Francophones. It is also obvious from the table. The number of inhabitants with only English language and those who does not speak nor official language is almost the same (about 0,4% together). The remaining groups are group of Francophone Québécois (66,6%) and bilingual Québécois (33%). Québec City is really symbol for French language as well as culture. Even there are English-speaking Quebecers; big majority of them also speaks French as their second language. Another two cities of the Province of Québec are Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières. Concerning population, they have over one hundred inhabitants and both of them are cities with majority of French-speaking people. Trois-Rivières has 73,9% only French-speaking society which is the highest number of only French-speaking Québécois per population in Québec. Statistics of Sherbrooke certifies the fact that these cities are of Francophone spirit as well as Québec City. Then I marked by red color the most important Canadian cities – the capital Ottawa and Toronto, the largest city of Canada. Ottawa is a good example of bilingual city because almost half of its inhabitants use both languages. The rest of its population is rather unilingual, English-speaking. Toronto is an example of city of Ontario Province, a province with majority of people speaking only English, actually it is 87,5% of Toronto’s inhabitants. Toronto is well-known centre of Canada with the headquarters of many large Canadian and International corporations whose official language and language of negotiation is English. So there is still good reason for newcomers to start learning English language instead of French language.

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The remaining cities with some exceptions have less than one million inhabitants and majority of its population know only English language. Nevertheless in cities I have highlighted French will survive in my opinion. It has strong roots, developed origins and French Québécois will not allow anybody to destroy their language or even try to do it.

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Two main ethnic groups in Québec are both of European origin, either from the British Isles or from France. Multiculturalism is often connected with identity of a nation and with language of the nation. As Québec does not correspond to the province of biculturalism, there could be recognized many other ethnic groups from Europe, Asia etc. These newcomers speaking neither official Canadian language choose one of them or both to be able to communicate. Immigrants from different countries with their own language have not such a big chance to maintain using the language in bilingual Canada or Québec. It is obvious that survival of the language of small community is almost impossible. Therefore, children of newcomers usually do not speak language of their parents or grandparents.69 The number of immigrants with language different from English or French one is increasing. That means that newcomers take their customs, religion, indeed all cultural components with themselves to Québec. According to most Québécois multiculturalism could threat French language but mainly Québécois culture. 70 Nevertheless there is no bilingualism in the Province of Québec or in Canada. During the establishment of his new policy of multiculturalism in 1971 Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau declared: “The very title of the Royal Commission whose recommendations we are now in the process of implementing seems to suggest that bilingualism and biculturalism are inseparable. But the term biculturalism does not accurately depict our society the word multiculturalism is more precise in this respect.” 71

Trudeau’s new policy on multiculturalism determined 4 main points of its activity: 72 1. to support for all Canada’s cultures and their development 2. to assist all cultures to fit in Canadian society 3. to ensure cooperation among cultural groups 4. to help immigrants with acquiring at least one of the Canadian official languages to become true Canadians


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 194. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 195. 71 McRoberts, English Canada and Quebec: Avoiding the Issue, 27. 72 See McRoberts, English Canada and Quebec: Avoiding the Issue, 27. 70

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This policy was specialized in newcomers’ cultures but not in their languages. And language is actually part of national culture; what is more, it is the core of national heritage. And without the language as the communication tool, nation will not survive. Québec has the only official language however it is bilingual in the way that English is speaking in the province as well. Thus Québec is the province of two languages. But with newcomers there appear new languages and new cultures, the languages are not as support as they should be to survive within this society, nevertheless cultures are remaining. Each nation has some festivals and the festivals are very important for national feeling of the people as well as for maintenance of its culture. Thus Québec is the province of multicultural festival throughout the whole year. I would say that Québec is the most vivid place of the world where one can experience colorful way of life.

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When somebody says “Francophones in Canada”, people are thinking about Québec. Québec became a synonym for French-speaking society in Canada. But hundreds of thousands of Francophones live also in the rest of Canada as well as Québec is not just French-speaking society but Anglophones live there too. Except Québec, many Francophones are for example Acadians people concentrated in the Province of New Brunswick, where political parties support bilingualism, French-language education and Acadian culture. All French-speaking Canadians outside Québec are still supported by the Province of Québec for maintaining their customs and culture.


Québec City vs Montréal

Tourists from all around the world come to Québec mainly to meet French culture outside France, to see amazing nature or to experience francophone atmosphere of Québec City. Whoever visits Québec, he is not primarily looking for English lifestyle. The two largest cities of Québec are the capital of the province Québec City and Montréal. Both are important ports of the province. While the former is of francophone style, the latter is the home of English-speaking majority. Québec City celebrated its 400th anniversary last year. The city was established in 1608 just above the St Lawrence River. It was capital of New France but also the trade centre of North America.73 By the end of 17th century Montréal took over this status and soon it outnumbered the Québec population.74 After such a boom, Montréal became the dominant city with the largest population number in the whole Canada. However today Canada’s largest and dominant city is is Toronto. Montréal remains the largest and dominant city of Québec in economical way. It became an industrial, commercial and financial centre of the province.75 On the other hand, the capital shows us its power in history and culture. It is the only walled city in North America and in 1985 this town was selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 316. See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 315. 75 See Bone, The Regional Geography of Canada, 314. 74

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Nowadays it is government and university town of Québec and moreover very popular tourist centre situated near summer and winter amazing destinations. Both cities have their own websites, bilingual websites, in both French and English language. But it seems to be peculiar that Québec City, typical for its Francophone majority of people, has its websites primarily in English version while rather Anglophone Montréal’s websites are at first offered to you in French language. Québec City’s websites are well-structured and clearly organized, providing you with the basic information about the City.76 On the other hand it could be little bit complicated to find what you need on websites of Montréal that are more helpful to tourist who are looking for accommodation or entertainment.77


Québec as an acronym

When I found myself thinking about worlds that characterize Québec, that in some way conclude the idea of what Québec actually is I realized that each letter in the word Québec has its special meaning. The letters together give me six different worlds which are strongly connected with Québec and finally sum up its raison d’être. Q represents Québec City. Québec City is not only the capital of the Province of Québec. It became the heart of it. Québec City belongs to Québec since 1608, last year the whole province celebrated its 400th anniversary. This city is the oldest one built in Québec and it lures many tourists to its historical centre. Typical French culture can be recognized there and that gives the city real magic. The following letters contained in the word Québec are the adjectives that described Québec in the best way. U is the capital letter for the adjective Unique. Québec is unique for its status of the Province with majority of French-speaking population, for its status of the only Canada’s province with French as the only official language. Uniqueness is also expressed by its struggle to keep their position after the British Conquest. How strong the feeling of nationalism had to be when they did not resist maintaining its culture. For more than 100


“About the City”, Ville de Québec, “Montréal”, Official portal Ville de Montréal,,66713&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


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years in Québec history under British sovereignty they were defending themselves to finally prove that they are able to win. First letter E commemorates me Equal. Or rather not equal. An attempt to create bilingual and bicultural society was not successful in the Province of Québec; however it was achieved in the rest of Canada. It does not matter whether the French-speaking Québécois or the English-speaking Quebecers dominate, only the one of the will take real power and absolute sovereignty over the other one. B stands for Bilingualism. Even though bilingualism has never been established on the equal position between the French and English language and moreover the French language became the only official language in Québec, both languages are used in education, communication, in school or in work. Without the English language Québec’s position on world market was weaker. Another E is a little bit European. Québec would not be established without Europeans event maybe the area of today’s Québec not discovered for a while. Québec is the home of two different ethnic groups of European origin, from the British Isles and France and it this province became a synonym of French living outside France and its struggle with its British counterparts. Even it belongs to Canada; Québec still has the elements of European culture, either French or British one. And the final letter, letter C. This last letter is not an adjective, it is a noun. What it could emphasize? Coexistence! To sum up, coexistence and cooperation is requested when living or working with someone else. Without an attempt to coexist there would be wars, maintaining struggle between two nations and their interests. French Québécois and English Quebecers try to coexist in one province since both referendums were rejected at the end of 20th century.


Future Vista

Tensions between French Québécois and English Quebecers will continue to be the most often discussed issue within Canada. Nevertheless no changes are supposed to happen according to me. Even though Québec is not satisfied enough within Canada Confederation, in the nearby future there will not be any other referendum to attempt of awareness people by the matter of separatism.

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French Québécois reach the point or meet the objective when the government of Québec passed Bill 101 that ensure French language maintenance within the province and thus also the survival French culture. Québec will forever remain the synonym of the biggest French population outside France and of strong sense of nationalism and resolution to struggle for its interests.

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CONCLUSION As I have found during working on my bachelor thesis tensions between Francophone Québécois and Anglophone Quebecers had strong roots in the early history when French explorers were the first ones to discover new territory in North America and settled in the area of today’s Québec. Québec lost their lead position by British Conquest nonetheless French-speaking inhabitants of the province were able to keep their traditional culture and above all their language so that they were able to struggle for their ideas and belief. Successfully or not? According to me, they won the victory by establishment of French language the only official language in the province. In that way Québec became unique and really differs from other Canadian provinces. Therefore there is no need of the independence. Francophones vs. Anglophones. Québec City vs. Montréal. French language vs. English language. These statements will remain to be discussed forever. But I would like to sum it up by the quote of Robert Bothwell: “Seen from inside the province, the survival of the French language in an English-speaking sea has been little short of miraculous. The motto of Quebec is ‘Je me souviens’ – I remember – and what is remembered, above all, is the French language.” 78

After conquest of North America coast, after many years of English sovereignty, after all the efforts expended for the continuity and survival of French language, French Québécois had the right to establish French the only official language. It was the most important period in Québec’s history and without it we can just guess how it would look like nowadays. Québec was found as New France and after refrancising again Quebec keeps and should keep this position in future.


Bothwell, Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories, 138.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY “About the City”. Ville de Québec. (accessed May 2, 2009). “Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Royal Commission on”. The Canadian Encyclopedia. 0741 (accessed April 23, 2009). Bone, Robert M. The Regional Geography of Canada. Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2002. Bothwell, Robert. Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1995. Bumsted, J. M. The Peoples of Canada: A Post-Confederation History. Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2008. Dickinson, John Alexander and Brian Young. A Short History of Quebec. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000. “FRAMEWORK FOR DISCUSSION ON CANADIAN UNITY”. The Calgary Declaration. (accessed May 4, 2009). “History”. Québec Portal. (accessed February 21, 2009). McGillivray, Brett. Canada: A Nation of Regions. Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2006. McRoberts, Kenneth. English Canada and Quebec: Avoiding the Issue. Ontario: York University, 1991. “Montréal”. Official portal Ville de Montréal.,66713&_dad=portal&_schema=PO RTAL (accessed May 2, 2009). “Population by knowledge of official language, by census metropolitan area (2006 Census)”. Statistics Canada. (accessed April 30, 2009). “Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory (2006 Census)”. Statistics Canada. (accessed April 30, 2009).

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“Quebec Facts”. Canada Online. (accessed February 21, 2009). “Québec in the World”. Québec Portal. (accessed February 21, 2009). “Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (RCBB)”. Alberta’s Francophone Heritage. (accessed April 23, 2009). “The Calgary Declaration”. Uniting Canada. (accessed May 4, 2009).