Quebec Separatism

Archive Report

Specter of Canadian Dissolution

Dominant Issue Since 1976 Quebec Election

It was a year ago—Nov. 15, 1976—that the Parti Québécois, led by René Lévesque and dedicated to the independence of Quebec province from Canada, won a majority of seats in the province's National Assembly.1 That victory created shock waves not only throughout Canada but in the United States as well. Canadians were faced with the possibility that national disintegration might actually come about. For Americans, there was the specter of a left-wing regime on their northern border and the disruption of their largest foreign market.

After almost a year in power, Premier Lévesque has done little to quiet Canadian or American fears that he intends to proceed toward eventual separation. Although he played down the separatism issue ...

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