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EDEE 280 Lecture Notes - Quebec Sovereignty Movement, Nationalization, North American Free Trade Agreement

Elementary Education
Course Code
EDEE 280
Paul Zanazanian

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Class 23: Canada Stands Firm: Sovereignty and Patration
background context
o Quebec/Canada in the 1980s
economic recession mounting public debt; Western countries
were investing more and more to help citizens cope with the
difficulties, so the welfare state was becoming bigger and bigger;
purpose of welfare state being put into question with this recession’
production, employment & earnings went below normal levels but
prices were going up and the GDP was going down
rise of neo-liberalism this was a response to the recession;
favoured free trade, privatization, government intervention, reduced
public expenditures on business; the state is apart of the solution;
deprivatize certain companies; cut back on social services
Margaret Thatcher
Ronald Regan former Hollywood star who became a
Brian Mulroney
free trade promote trade between Canada & USA with least tariffs
as possible; negotiated between Mulroney & Regan in 1987
sovereignty-association referendum May 20th, 1980
o held by Levesque and the Parti Quebecois
promised to hold a referendum when elected in 1976
not on independence, on sovereignty
didn’t want to fully go on their own
would vote to give permission to begin government to start
negotiations with Ottawa on sovereignty
still wanted an economic union with Canada
would have a second referendum to make sure people were okay
with the conditions/agreement that Ottawa and Quebec would come
up with
o main arguments:
the yes side
quiet revolution proved they were knowledgeable people
that could take things into their own hands ready & able
for responsibilities
had talents and resources that shouldn’t be wasted
the no side
wouldn’t bring any immediate changes
economic risks
yes victory would provoke unexpected surprises
a lot of change in political economic status of French
Canadians, so their status was improving & wanted to give it
more time
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o results: 60% say no
o outcome
a lot of businesses left because they got scared 150 corporations
went to Toronto, and this helped it became Canada’s main economic
the Constitution Act (1982)
o Trudeau and the patriation of the Canadian constitution
wanted to deal with Quebec’s economic concerns
3 aims:
promised to bring back the constitution
to create effective amending formula for future constitutional
add charter of rights and freedoms
does Ottawa have the right to patriate the constitution on its own?
finally gave ultimatum come up with a compromise or I will do it
o the “Night of the Long Knives”
Trudeau brought premiers together and came up with an agreement
between them all Rene Levesque was asleep so didn’t attend
o becomes law on April 17th 1982
Queen Elizabeth came and signed it at a ceremony with Trudeau
o main contents
same as BNA act but with amendments
Canada now responsible for making an amendments that they
wanted to
2 main aspects:
Charter of Rights & Freedoms including official languages
Multiculturalism Policy
concession had to be made for this to be passed added a not
withstanding cause in which a province can veto/overrule
something in the charter if it is threatening their rights as a province
The Meech Lake Accord
o Mulroney (1939-) & his constitutional objectives
to convince Quebec to support the Canadian Constitution
convince separatists
wanted to represent diversity so brought in a bunch of different
Levesque & PQ decided to talk to Conservatives about what they
were thinking and what they wanted to do, so Bourassa came to
o Bourassa & his “Five minimum requirements”
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