Quebec\'s Quiet revolution: What is it? How has it changed
Quebec\'s society? How has it affected Confederation? The
English-French relations have not always been easy. Each is
always arguing and accusing the other of wrong doings. All
this hatred and differences started in the past, and this Quiet
revolution, right after a new Liberal government led by Jean
Lesage came in 1960. Thus was the beginning of the Quiet
Revolution. Lesage had an excellent team of cabinet
ministers which included Rene Levesque. The Liberals
promised to do two things during the Quiet Revolution; one
was to improve economic and social standards for the
people of Quebec, and the other was to win greater respect
and recognition for all the French people of Canada. The
Liberals started a program to take control of hydro-electric
power companies. French-Canadian engineers from all over
Canada returned to Quebec to work on the project. Slogans
during these times were "we can do it" and "masters in our
own homes". The government also started to replace
programs the Church previously ran, which included hospital
insurance, pension schemes and the beginning of Medi-Care.
For these programs, the Quebec Liberals had to struggle
with Ottawa for a larger share of the tax dollars. One of the
greatest reforms was the modernization of the entire school
system. The Church used to own the schools of Quebec.
Most of the teachers were Priests, Nuns and Brothers. They
provided a good education but Quebec needed more in
business and technology. Lesage wanted a government-run
school system that would provide Quebec with people in
engineering, science, business and commerce. With the new
freedom of expression, lots of books, plays and music about
French culture were all developed in Quebec. French
contemporary playwrights were very famous during that
time. However, not all was going well in Quebec. The
French-English relation was going bad. Many studies
showed that French-Canadian Quebecers were earning the
lowest wage in all of the ethnic groups in Canada. Other
complaints were that the top jobs in Quebec were given to
English speaking Canadians. Canada was going through the
worst crisis in its history, and unless equal partnership was
found a break-up would likely happen. Some Quebecers
thought that separation was the only solution. They thought
that as long as Quebec was associated with the rest of
Canada, French-Canadians would never be treated equal.
The FLQ (Front De Libération Du Québec) was founded in
1963. It was a smaller, more forceful group of separatists.
They were a collection of groups of young people whose
idea was to use terrorism to achieve independence for
Quebec. The ALQ (L\'Armée de Libération de Quebec) was
even more of a violent separatist group. Some of their
actions included robbing banks in order to get money. For
their ammunition they had to raid arms depots of the
Canadian Armed Forces. There were many Federalists that
believed that separatism had no future and that
French-Canadians could play a role in a bi-lingual Canada.
There were three Quebec men that believed in Federalism.
These men were Liberals and their names were Pierre
Trudeau, Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier. The
President of France, General De Gaulle came to Quebec in
1967 and gave speeches to separatist groups that deemed
him an enthusiast of the thoughts of the separatists in the
struggle to fight for the liberation of Quebec. The Prime
Minister at the time, Lester B. Pearson, criticized De
Gaulle\'s remarks and said that Quebec belonged to Canada
and there was no need for their liberation. In 1970, British
Trade Commissioner James R. Cross was kidnapped by
FLQ and wanted in return for Cross, 23 political prisoners.
Quebec Labour Minister, Pierre Laporte was also
kidnapped which started a Quebec crisis. After a few
months Cross returned when Laporte was assassinated. The
Quebec crisis ended several years of violence in Quebec.
This crisis made many Quebecers upset because Ottawa
sent the army into Quebec. Therefore English-French turmoil
did not end. Rene Levesque was a leader who became very
popular in Quebec with his views on independence. In 1976,
Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois won the Provincial
election. Now many Quebecers thought he could build up
Quebec. Since many French were lower then English in
status, Quebecers thought the Parti Quebecois could do
something about it. Then the two languages became a major
issue. Many businesses had a sign in French only, and
doctors and nurses had to speak French. These were all
effects on Bill 101 by the Parti Quebecois. Immigrants were
educated only in French. Businesses accused the Parti
Quebecois of practising economic blackmail. Quebec
Nationalists wanted an independent state so that they could
have full control over their territory. But many top authorities
in Canada say it is not legal