Why Quebec Wants to Be Separated from the Canada? - 1651 Words | Essay Example (2023)

Table of Contents

  1. Marginalization
  2. Social and Cultural Uniqueness
  3. Political Interests
  4. Economic Interests
  5. Conclusion
  6. References
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Quebec is a province in Canada, which is the largest administrative division. In addition, Quebec is one of the largest provinces in Canada and has the highest population among other provinces in the country. Natural resources, commercial enterprises, and industrial developments have made the province to be one of the most powerful provinces in Canada. Quebec has been engaging in a fight for independence and self-governance with Canada for decades. Some of the major drivers of the fight for independence and self-rule include the perception of marginalization, the uniqueness of people presented in terms of cultural and social settings, as well as the need to pursue their own social, cultural, economic, and political interests as an independent state. Therefore, it is within this context that this essay assesses the reasons why Quebec wants to separate from the rest of Canada.

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The residents of Canada, who live in the province of Quebec, believe that Canada undermines them in terms of development and provision of basic amenities. The people of Quebec perceive that the government is not doing enough to alleviate poverty and reduce the levels of inequality in their province. Therefore, the belief has compelled Quebecians fight for their self-governance and independence. Furthermore, since the central Canadian government implements most of the policies, the French-speaking residents of Quebec believe that most of basic and social amenities do not reach their province. According to Little (2006), many communities in Canada feel that they are not only in the minority group, but are also marginalized. The concept of marginalization worsened when Canada failed to recognize Quebec as an integral part of the state and thus made the residents of Quebec to imagine that the government does not value their needs.

Marginalization became apparent in the 20th century, when the central government of Canada started undertaking some policies meant to change the lifestyles of Canadian citizen, including those in Quebec in line with the requirements of the nation. Mookerjea, Szeman, and Faurschou (2009) explain that banning French schools in some provinces of Canada was one of the factors that made Quebecians to experience discrimination and marginalization.

Additionally, limited access to basic needs such as education, which was only accessible to a few individuals in the province, did not address the main needs of Quebecians, but instead increased their quest to separate from Canada. The absence of good housing, good education, and augmented inequality in Quebec led to a sovereignty movement aimed at separating the province from Canada. Marginalization was evident in the inequality presented by the state when it entitled Anglophones, who are English speaking people, to services such as education, justice, and healthcare while leaving out the residents of Quebec, who are Francophones.

Social and Cultural Uniqueness

The people of Quebec are different, both socially and culturally, from people in the rest provinces of Canada. Quebec province comprises of Francophones as the major inhabitants in the region. Quebec is one of the regions in North America that has the highest population of French speakers. The French speaking population in Quebec forms the majority of the population of Canada with only a small percentage of Quebec residents being English speakers or bilingual.

Quebec communities have a linguistic and cultural link with the Acadians of North America, especially the ones found in New Brunswick. In addition, the largest part of Quebec residents composes of individuals, who believe in the existence of magic powers and superstitions, a factor that makes them different from the rest of Canadian provinces, which are liberal and dynamic. The main factor that contributed to existing cultural difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada is the fact that Quebec’s colonizers were the French, whereas the British colonized the rest of Canada (Blad, 2011). Thus, the culture of Quebec communities demonstrates the values and norms of French communities.

The social structure of communities in Quebec is linked to French cultures and practices since the majority of the residents are French speakers. Moreover, many of the people living in Quebec are Catholics, who profess the catholic policies and use the provisions to preserve their cultural values. According to Little (2006), religions and cultural beliefs are some of the main factors that create a distinction between other Canadians and Quebecians. In addition to the Catholic religion, Quebecians exercise other beliefs and norms that define their lives. These beliefs and norms center on spirits and evil forces, which dictate human life and death.

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The beliefs and norms emanate from Aboriginal and Francophone religions. Conversely, the main social challenges that Quebec is facing is civilization, for it has led to cultural erosion, especially among the young people. Therefore, Quebecians encourage adoption and implementation of the Catholic religion, as a way of preserving their culture.

Political Interests

Another reason why the province of Quebec wanted to separate from Canada is the need to pursue its political interests as an independent state. The people of Quebec wanted a political organization, which is free from the political system of Canadian federal government. In the political system of Canada, the lieutenant represented the Canadian queen and therefore the province of Quebec fell under the jurisdiction and rule of the queen. A number of people from Quebec province felt that the central government of Canada was not addressing their needs, and thus wanted a political organization that manages and runs the operations within the province. The perceptions of inequality and unfair control of the central government of Canada made the people of Quebec to fight for separation from the federal government of Canada. Garner, Ferdinand, and Lawson (2012) argue that the province of Quebec has to fight hard for their political sovereignty. The majority of the individuals in Quebec, who need political sovereignty, are arguing from the perspective that the central government is not fair in its rule and control of the province.

The political system in the province of Quebec was bicameral until late the 20th century, when the federal government of Canada abolished the political system. Although a lieutenant acted as the province representative, the individuals in Quebec continued to experience marginalization and poor treatment from the central government of Canada. Blad (2011) explains that political independence and sovereignty defines the need to ensure that beneficiaries of the opportunities in a given region enjoy equal income and allocation of resources from the state. Hence, the perception of poor treatment and marginalization transpired in Quebec, as many services and major decisions need the consent of the federal government of Canada.

In addition, many of the revenues that accrue from the activities and resources of the province of Quebec go back to the federal government of Canada. In the present system of government, the opportunities and services favour Quebecians as the procedure of allocation dictates that the residents of Quebec province become the first beneficiaries of the opportunities.

Economic Interests

Quebec province has an advanced economy with gross domestic product that is very robust. The advanced economy makes the province of Quebec be at a similar level with a number of the developed countries in the world. The service and technological industries are among the major contributors to the Quebec’s economic development. Small medium enterprises (SMEs) also contribute towards the economic development and growth in the province and make up the main source of employment for many residents living in Quebec province.

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According to Bouchard (2013), Quebec has witnessed many developments in the economic sector that has increased its contribution to Canada. As a result, Quebec has become one of the powerful provinces that dictate the economy of Canada since it makes a significant contribution to the Canadian government. Natural resources compose the main drivers for the economic growth. Moreover, well-developed infrastructure facilitates economic growth and has made Quebec province the second largest in Canada.

As Quebec province generates a significant share of revenue, yet the government provides few services that are not commensurate to revenues generated, the residents feel that they are unfairly treated by the state. In this view, Quebecians agitate for separation from the rest of Canada and pursue their economic developments as an independent state. In addition, Quebecians want to be in a position where they can utilize their resources in ways that can best develop the economic status of their province and be free from management and control of the central government of Canada.

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The province of Quebec, which is the highest contributor of tax and an income earner for the Canadian government, initiated the fight for sovereignty and independence due to the high level of inequality in the distribution of income by the nation (Garner, Ferdinand, & Lawson, 2012). The residents of the province believe that the government of Canada is not helping them to develop and grow economically, but it is unfairly treating them in terms of services that it renders to the province.


Quebec is one of the provinces in Canada that is among the largest in the country. The province has various resources and technological based industries, as well as small medium enterprises, which help in boosting its economy. Quebec has continually fought for its independence and separation from the federal government of Canada. Some of the main reasons that has made the people of Quebec want to separate from the rest of Canada includes marginalization, social and cultural uniqueness, political interests, and economic interests. The people of Quebec consider that the state is unfairly treating them in aspects that concern income distribution, and thus they are fighting for independence and separation from the government of Canada.

The need for independence and self-rule emanate from the perceptions that the residents hold in relation to the way the central government of Canada is barely meeting their basic requirements. Moreover, the unique culture of the people of Quebec catalyzes the quest to separate from Canada and exist as an independent state, which is free from control and the rule of the Canadian government.

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Blad, C. (2011). Neoliberalism and National Culture: State-Building and Legitimacy in Canada and Québec. Boston: BRILL. Web.

Bouchard, M. (2013). Innovation and the Social Economy: The Quebec Experience. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Web.

Garner, R., Ferdinand, P., & Lawson, S. (2012). Introduction to Politics. London: Oxford University Press. Web.

Little, J. (2006). The Other Quebec: Microhistorical Essays on Nineteenth-century Religion and Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Web.

Mookerjea, S., Szeman, I., & Faurschou, G. (2009). Canadian Cultural Studies: A Reader. New York: Duke University Press. Web.

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Why did Quebec want to separate from Canada? ›

Quebec sovereigntists believe that such a sovereign state, the Quebec nation, will be better equipped to promote its own economic, social, ecological and cultural development. Quebec's sovereignist movement is based on Quebec nationalism.

How can Quebec separate from Canada? ›

Quebec cannot secede from Canada unilaterally; however, a clear vote on a clear question to secede in a referendum should lead to negotiations between Quebec and the rest of Canada for secession. However, above all, secession would require a constitutional amendment.

Why is Quebec different from the rest of Canada? ›

Quebec is the only province whose official language is French. The capital city is Quebec City, with a population of nearly 800,000. Quebec is also home to Canada's second largest city, and the second largest French speaking city in the world, Montreal (more than four million people).

What are the cons of Quebec separating from Canada? ›

A very serious disadvantage of Quebec separation for the rest of Canada would be the potential loss of international influence and prestige and the weakening of Canada's Page 15 11 bargaining position in international negotiations.

When did Quebec want to separate from Canada? ›

1995 Quebec referendum
Valid votes4,671,00898.18%
Invalid or blank votes86,5011.82%
2 more rows

What would happen if Quebec separated from Canada? ›

If Quebec stays, Canada maintains its large piece of land on the map, the history that goes along with it, and the millions of people living there, but if Quebec separates, Canada would get rid of a large chunk of its debt (which would go to Quebec).

What would happen if Quebec went independent? ›

A Look at an Independent Quebec

Although Quebec would have political freedom as a nation, it would continue to use the Canadian dollar, hold a seat at the Bank of Canada's governing council, and create its own passport. Canada and Quebec would have a free trade agreement similar to nations in the European Union.

Does Quebec consider themselves part of Canada? ›

Québec has all the characteristics of, and recognizes itself as, a nation. It is a singular state within Canada.

Which provinces want to separate from Canada? ›

Movements seeking independence from Canada
  • Newfoundland & Labrador.
  • Nova Scotia.
  • Quebec.
  • Western Canada.
  • Cascadia.

Does Quebec have a different culture than the rest of Canada? ›

The concept of “distinct society” distinguishes Quebec from English Canada. This concept originated during the Quiet Revolution, at a time when French Canada came to no longer be seen as a single entity, but as a collection of regional francophone communities.

Why does Quebec speak French but not the rest of Canada? ›

They captured the city of Québec in 1759, and in 1763, with the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded Canada to the British. One of the lingering consequences of these conquests is the power struggle over a dominant language. Before 1763, most of Québec was part of New France and as a result the common language was French.

What is the Quebec case summary? ›

The Court unanimously held that Quebec could not unilaterally separate (i.e. without negotiation or consultation with the federal government and provinces) from Canada because it would violate both the Canadian Constitution and international law.

Can Quebec afford to separate? ›

Before separating, Quebec would need to negotiate with Canada about assuming its share of federal debt (and assets). It's a safe guess that with 23 per cent of Canada's population, Quebec would end up assuming a similar amount of federal debt: $154-billion. This would increase its debt-to-GDP ratio to 92 per cent.

Is Quebec important to Canada? ›

The principal industries in Quebec are manufacturing, generation of electric power, mining, pulp and paper. The Quebec manufacturing sector represents 25 per cent of the Canadian total.

Why did people not like the Quebec Act? ›

Traditionally, colonial resentment towards the Quebec Act has been attributed to the increased British control of religion, land distribution, and colonial government in North America granted by the Act.

Does Quebec have freedom? ›

3. Every person is the possessor of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association. 1975, c. 6, s.
C-12 - Charter of human rights and freedoms.
C-12, r. 1Code of ethics of the members of the Human Rights Tribunal
5 more rows

Why did the Americans not like the Quebec Act? ›

The Quebec Act was very unpopular among settlers in the Thirteen Colonies. They thought it was a kind of “British Authoritarianism.” It was considered one of the five “intolerable acts” passed by Britain in the lead-up to the revolution.

What is a person from Quebec called? ›

For purposes of convenience in this article, Francophone residents of Quebec are generally referred to as Québécois, while all residents of the province are called Quebecers.

What do you call a woman from Quebec? ›

Québécois (pronounced [kebekwa] ( listen)); feminine: Québécoise (pronounced [kebekwaz] ( listen)), Quebecois (fem.: Quebecoise), or Québecois (fem.: Québecoise) is a word used primarily to refer to a French-speaking inhabitant of the Canadian province of Quebec.

Can any Canadian live in Quebec? ›

If you plan to live in Quebec, you must apply to the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion du Québec. Quebec selects its own immigrants. Note: Completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a skilled worker.

Why did the Province of Canada split? ›

This was in response to the violent rebellions of 1837–38. The Durham Report (1839) recommended the guidelines to create the new colony with the Act of Union. The Province of Canada was made up of Canada West (formerly Upper Canada) and Canada East (formerly Lower Canada).

What causes separatism? ›

Economic motivations: seeking to end economic exploitation by more powerful group or, conversely, to escape economic redistribution from a richer to a poorer group. Preservation of threatened religious, language or other cultural tradition. Destabilization from one separatist movement giving rise to others.

When did Canada become a separate nation? ›

1867 - The Dominion of Canada is Created on July 1

​​​​​​​​A federation of colonies in British North America - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario - joined together to become the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.

What is Quebec best known for? ›

In the province of Québec, we're famous for our French Canadian culture, St. Lawrence River, boreal forest and Laurentian mountains. We love that Québec City is one of the most famous destinations in Canada, with its Château Frontenac, authentic historic old city, and magical winter wonderland.

What are Quebec beliefs? ›

The Québec State and its institutions are secular: their decisions and actions are independent of religious powers. That means that no religion is favoured over another. The neutrality of the State implies that each person in Québec is entitled to secular services and institutions.

Is Quebec rich or poor? ›

Economy of Quebec
GDPCAD$ 532.2 billion (2022)
GDP per capitaCAD$ 52,384 (2018)
Population below poverty line6.2%
Unemployment4.7 % (2018)
11 more rows

What is Quebec known for culture? ›

Sharing many characteristics with the French culture—particularly the predominance of the French language—the people of Québec City have forged their own identity. They are known for their “joie de vivre,” colourful French accents, culinary traditions, and the warm welcome they extend to visitors.

Can I go to Quebec if I dont speak French? ›

One of the common misconceptions about visiting Québec City is that you need to speak French; and if you do not speak French, everyone will be rude to you. This, thankfully, is complete fiction.

Why do Canadians say eh? ›

Using “eh” to end the statement of an opinion or an explanation is a way for the speaker to express solidarity with the listener. It's not exactly asking for reassurance or confirmation, but it's not far off: the speaker is basically saying, hey, we're on the same page here, we agree on this.

How much of Quebec doesn't speak English? ›

Even though English is not the primary language in Quebec, 36.1 % of the population can communicate in English. On a national level, francophones are five times more likely than anglophones to speak English — 44 % versus 9%, respectively.

Could Montreal separate from Quebec? ›

The Province of Montreal is a proposal to separate the city of Montreal, its metropolitan region or its English and non-Francophone regions into a separate province from Quebec, becoming the 11th province of Canada. There have been several proposals of this nature from the mid-20th century onwards.

Does Canada have control over Quebec? ›

Quebec is a secondary jurisdiction of Canada, a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy in the Westminster tradition; a Premier—presently François Legault of the Coalition Avenir Québec—is the head of government and is invited by the Crown to form a government after securing the confidence of the ...

Does Quebec control its own immigration? ›

According to the Constitution Act of 1867, immigration holds a special place among powers, being controlled at both the federal and provincial levels – however, today no province holds as much sway over its immigration as Quebec does.

Can an American move to Quebec? ›

Yes, you can live in Canada if you are a U.S. citizen—and actually, unless you actually apply for citizenship in Canada, you will still be considered an American citizen, even if you are a permanent resident of Canada.


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