Constitutional Struggles (Continued?)
1995 Referendum in Quebec?
Leads to significant turmoil in Quebec?
o 1993 federal election.
o Rise of the BQ.
In Quebec, the PQ under Jacques Parizeau defeats the Liberal government in 1994.
Early polls suggested that sovereignty was supported by 40%.
Opposition saw the government shift strategies to questions of 'sovereignty association.'
Bouchard became a central figure in the campaign and is appointed by Parizeau to be Quebec's
Original federal plan is to stay on the sidelines.
Leading to the referendum, the PQ prepared draft legislation on sovereignty.
The referendum was originally scheduled for the spring of 1995, but was delayed until October 30,
o "Yes" support surged in the days leading up to the vote.
o Chretien, having stayed out of the debate, hastily made two promises in the event of
Quebec remaining in Canada:
Quebec is a distinct society.
Quebec would receive a veto on any future amendment changing Quebec's powers.
By a slim majority, Quebecers voted 50.6% (No) to 49.4% (Yes): Quebec remains a part of Canada.
Few, if any, want to open the Constitution again.
Federal government passes legislation in the House of Commons:
o Regional Veto Act, 1996
Ontario, Quebec and BC (majority Atlantic and majority Prairies)