Should Quebec Separate From Canada Essay, Research Paper
Should Quebec Separate from Canada?Throughout the world, Canada is known as a domestically tranquil, economically prosperous, mulitcultural society. Yet, for some reason, in one of its provinces, Quebec, a number of people are dissatisfied with Quebec s relationship with the rest of Canada and want to secede. The issue of secession is not new, in fact, the Quebecois voted on this very same controversial subject in 1980, ending in a sixty-forty split in favor of the federalists; those who wished to remain Canadians (Channel One) In the weeks before the current vote the polls show a fifty-fifty split, marking a clear and true division among both the Anglo phone and Francophone Canadians.( ABC News) To secede would create a state of paralysis leading to an economic crisis the likes of which, Canadians have never before experienced and truly cannot imagine. Therefore Quebec should not separate from Canada.Quebec should remain a part of Canada, due to the fact that the problems facing the Quebecois wouldn t diminish or be resolved. Quebec always has been and always will be a respected, distinct society within Canada, and leaving Canada now would adversely affect more than just the Quebecois. First, the problems facing Quebec would not diminish or be resolved through separation. The economic uncertainties that have plagued Quebec, such as joblessness, high taxes, high government spending, as well as high interest rates would not lessen. Businesses would pull out of Quebec due to concerns over instability, thereby causing a higher rate of unemployment (Channel One) The rising number of people who would require financial assistance would rise dramatically, swamping, and maybe even surpassing, the government s ability to give aid ( James 78)Quebec would have to create new bureaucracy to replace current Canadian services that are designed to help improve social problems such as teen pregnancy and elevated drop out rates (Channel One). Without federal funds, this would prove to be impossible, and in all likelihood such problems would grow. Without a well educated work force Quebec will flounder in the global marketplace, adding a further burden to the government and people. History has proven that, in countries where there is such instability and economic hardship crime rates skyrocket (James 78). For years the Quebecois have complained of the repression of the French language and culture, and of unfair treatment by the rest of Canada. Yet ninety percent of French Canadians agree that the French language is more secure now than ever (Black 19) and that English speaking Canadians believe that Quebec always has been and always will be a respected, distinct society within Canada. To prove just how much they value Quebec, the Supreme Court of Canada, in its interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, has recognized Quebec s status as a distinct society, and requires the consent of Ottawa( Canada s Capital) and any seven provinces that make up at least fifty percent of the population of Canada to make any changes. even that hasn t stopped Quebec s or rather Parizeau s whining. To further placate Quebec, many proposals for change have been suggested, such as, 1) The restoration and formal recognition of Quebec s traditional right to a constitutional veto; 2) Chretien (Canada s Prime Minister) has promised to never allow the constitution to be changed in a way that affects Quebec without their consent. (Wilson 14). It is obvious to anyone that Canada s willingness to create such changes demonstrates their desire to be a whole country, as well as how inflexible and childish Quebec s leaders really are.
Third, leaving Canada would adversely affect beyond just Quebec. The United States, Canada, and Mexico would all be forced to decide whether or not they will accept Quebec into NAFTA, the North American Trade Agreement (Channel One). Quebec “shouldn t take for granted” that there will be the same kind of ties , warns US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher (Lewis 4) Also, Canada would face the possibility of breaking up completely. “There are no guarantees,” predicts Gordon Gibson, author of Plan B: The Future of the Rest of Canada, “that there will be only one new country.” (Symonds A8-9). The secession of Quebec would separate the Maritime provinces from mainland Canada and a unilateral declaration of independence would most certainly result in a sharp drop in the value of the Canadian dollar, plunging Canada into a terrible recession (Gibson 134). To conclude it is fair to say that not only would Canada be incomplete without Quebec s culture and language, but the secession would have very dire consequences for Quebec because, being a Canadian, I know that Canada would punish Quebec for leaving in every way possible. The ideaof secession was just that- an idea. It will not become a reality because the Quebecois are Canadians, and Canadians belong within Canada. Should Quebec Separate from Canada?Melanie McRaeThursday, September 26, 1996
Black, Shirley. “How Canada Feels About Quebec s Status” The Toronto Star. Sept. 4, 1995: 19-20A. Gibson, Gordon. Plan B: The Future of the Rest of Canada. Ed. David Bender. Toronto, Doubleday Press, 1995. James, Thomas. ” The Economic Uncertainties of Secession.” Maclean s7 March 1995:78-84. Jennings, Peter. ABC News Nov. 8, 1995. Lewis, Connor. “How the Seccesion of Quebec Would Affect America”. The New York Times 7 Feb. 1995:26-31Valverde, Ralle. Channel One. Nov. 5, 1995