Quebec, a Division of a Nation

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The Division of a Nation

Kameel Jiwa (V00716435)
TA : Julia Bareman
Canadian Politics 101
March 11th, 2010

Quebec has played a very influential role throughout Canadian history; it was the initial site where French settlers founded the colony of New France, which later became Canada, in the 1600s and 1700s. Its history has taken a relatively different path from the rest of Canada, which has lead to the highly controversial issue of Quebec’s attempt to separate from Canada and become their own country. There are many Quebecers who believe separating from Canada could be extremely beneficial, while there are others who believe that Quebec would not last as its own country. For the Quebecers there are many pros and cons for dividing themselves from Canada, one of the pros being Quebec having its own independence as a French speaking nation, and one major con being having twenty-five percent of Canada’s debt put on them. The argument to be made is that Quebecers are divided on seeking independence from Canada because firstly, they want their own independence, Secondly they want to be a unilingual nation and maintain there unique culture for as long as possible, and Thirdly they want more power.

If Quebec were to attain there own independence not much would change other than the fact that the stress of being an independent country would be put on them. Quebec in itself is essentially already like a foreign country with its own language, culture and civil law. The French in Quebec prefer their own language by far, quite frankly they do not even like the English language. Even the Quebecers who voted no in the referendum are not true federalists. They are motivated only by fear of change. Although there are many clear pros for the French nation to separate, there are underlying cons that will in turn be the demise of the country. Canada has a large debt of over one hundred and fifty billion dollars of which twenty five percent belongs solely to Quebec. If Quebec were to separate and become its own country they would automatically be thirty five billion dollars in debt and would be left with no other choice but to borrow money from Canada. Many Quebecers know this and as result the referendum is yet to be passed. If Quebec ever separated from Canada they would not have any rights towards the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This would result in having to pay heavy duties on imports and exports of their goods. Not being apart of the NAFTA would effect them very negatively as in the long run it would cause them to raise the price on their merchandise, which would eventually stop selling because of the availability of those same goods for a lower price elsewhere. Quebec, even as a part of Canada, is independent and it has proven it doesn't have to leave to achieve its needs (John Trent, 1998). Quebec passed Bill 101 which resulted in making French its official language (Ran Dyck, 2008). It has dramatically increased its percentage of French speaking people to the highest level in history regardless of how much English is spoken around the world. By physically separating themselves from Canada the only out come will be added stress and anxiety. Canada has built the world's first bilingual, multicultural state, and Quebec has played a big role in creating it.

Canada has worked very hard to accommodate the demands of the Quebecers and has even turned itself into a bilingual country where English and French are both equally as important. By separating themselves from Canada the Quebecers believe that they will have the right to call themselves a French nation (Edward McWhinney) with absolutely no controversy. Quebec has already passed many Bills and made French its official language, not to mention education is only offered in French, and all the street signs read in French. Separating from Canada to become a unilingual country is foolish and will only lead to economic uncertainty and...
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