Chapter 8: Fleras
Chapter 8: Sovereignty & Canada’s Quebec
• Sovereignty: the exercise of exclusive and final authority over land, peoples, rules, and all legal
political matters within a strictly bounded territory. For some, sovereignty is about borders; for
other it is about establishing productive and meaningful relations with society at large.
• French-English relations have coexisted uneasily since 1841, when Upper and Lower Canada
combined into an incipient nation-state.
• Language has long been a source of conflict, because the state cannot be neutral when it comes to
public communication in contrast to something like religion.
• For a certain segment of the Quebec population, English is the enemy and the language of the
• Even today, English are seen as callously insensitive tyrants and not capable of understanding how it
feels to have a language and culture threatened, in part because they are seen as lacking a distinct
yet common cultural identity.
• English Canadians tend to hold outdate stereotypes of Quebecers as closed society.
• Accusations of Quebec being closed-minded are not without logic, because the French only take up
a corner in North America they fear the assimilation of Anglophones.
Quebec: Province or Peoples?:
• Federalism: A political arrangement with a relatively well-defined division of jurisdiction and
authority between the center and the subunits. Involved 2 levels of governance: one level is
concerned with the country as a whole, and the other level is concerned with provinces.
Federalism provides a working framework for a shared unity without sacrificing local and
• Quebec is historically part of Canada’s federalist system.
• The Constitution Act of 1867 established federalism as a framework for balancing conflict interests.
Canada as a Contract:
• The Canada as a Contract model envisions Canada as a federalist system of 10 equal provinces under
a central authority in Ottawa.
• A contract exists between the provinces and the federal government. The provinces as well as the
central authority in Ottawa are sovereign within their own jurisdictions as set out in the