Because of the level of development of Canada compared to the other colonies, the terms "Canada" and "New France" were often used interchangeably. After the Treaty of Paris of 1763, when France ceded Canada and its dependencies to Great Britain, the colony was renamed the Province of Quebec.
He was the first Quebec political leader since confederation to attempt, through a referendum, to negotiate political independence for Quebec. Lévesque was a recipient of the title Grand Officer of the FrenchLegion of Honour. He was posthumously made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2008.
On June 3, 1999, a monument in his honour was unveiled on boulevard René-Lévesque outside the Parliament Building in Quebec City. The statue is popular with tourists, who snuggle up to it, to have their pictures taken "avec René" (with René), despite repeated attempts by officials to keep people from touching the monument or getting too close to it.