Talk:Quebec sovereignty movement

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I believe that the french page is in much better shape... and a slow transfer and translation might be the best way to clean up this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:14, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Archive created[edit]

Firefox didn't like editing a page this big :), so I decided to create an archive. I didn't bother to search for all the currently active discussions; fell free to move current text back in here. /Archive 1 MartinToupin 14:18, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Article problems[edit]

Wow. This article needs a lot of work. I'm an American, but I'm in my 4th year of working towards a bachelor's degree in Canadian Studies. I believe I can offer a well-educated opinion (and hopefully) I don't have much of a bias because I'm an outsider to the issue. I'd like to help clean this article up...but I don't know where to begin with my laundry list of things that need some work. I do not understand the point being made by the previous post. As someone who studies Canadian politics and Quebec seperatism, and who monitors the Canadian English Language media carefully, I would strongly disagree with the contention that the terms separatist and sovereignist are interchangeable, or that they are ever properly used as such.

Sovereignist is not the same as seperatist is not the same as Quebec nationalist (Kudos for not mixing that one up). These three terms are related as follows: ALL separatists are Quebec nationalists, but only some separatists are sovereignists. ALL sovereignists are Quebec nationalists, but only SOME sovereignists are separatists. SOME Quebec nationalists are NOT separatists, NOR sovereignists, but federalists.

The whole existence of the concepts and ideologies of Quebec Nationalism and Sovereignty / Separation stems from the fact that there are two underlying and fundamentally different interpretations of Canada. One vision, held by ALL Quebec nationalists is that Canada is a double-compact -- a country formed by two nations, the French Canadian nation and the English Canadian nation. Therefore, Quebec, as the homeland of the French Canadian people should be treated constitutionally as ONE of the TWO founding nations of Canada. On the other hand, the predominant view in English Canada, and especially in the west, is that Canada is not a union of TWO nations, but TEN co-equal provinces. Therefore, Quebec is not entitled to be treated any differently in the Canadian federation and Constitution, because it is simply ONE of TEN.

With me so far? Okay -- this central disagreement about the nature of Quebec's role in Canada is essentially the reason for the existence of Quebec nationalism and sovereignty and separatism. Quebec nationalists all feel that Canada is a union of TWO founding nations, not TEN co-equal provinces. The federalists among the Quebec nationalists feel that the way to rectify this is to change the Canadian constitution, and that Quebec's best chance for meaningful cultural survival is as a part of Canada. Sovereignists agree with the TWO nations not TEN provinces notion, but feel that that argument is largely immaterial, because Quebec's best chances for meaningful cultural survival lie outside of the Canadian federation, but disagree with separatists as to whether the best way to exit the current Canadian federation is to become completely independent from Canada, or to renegotiate Quebec's constitutional position to receive separate powers of autonomy, but still exist within some kind of a looser arrangement with Canada.

I believe that this article would benefit from an articulation of the above facts. I'd appreciate hearing from people where such a section ought to be placed, and how I can make it more clear and easy to understand. I will also annotate with specific references. Thx.

I more than welcome your initiative. Before the article degenerated to what it is right now, I wrote an important part of its contents. Same for the History of the Quebec sovereignty movement and the Quebec nationalism articles. Unfortunately, back then in 2004, I was new to Wikipedia so I didn't source properly. I did provide links to many of the on line sources I used though. The Quebec sovereignty movement article stood relatively untouched for a surprisingly long period of time. Recently, it was destroyed by people who took advantage of the lack of proper references and annotations. I am all to blame for this. Since I am mostly working on other articles in the French language Wikipedia at the present (articles which I work hard to source properly now that I have learned my lesson), I have no intention of fixing this particular article anytime soon. But I will point you to a few things that could help you out I believe:
* You can go back to this earlier version of the article to see what it looked like for a while:
* The beginning of something on Quebec's Historical demands of the Quebec government (also in French here)
* This Website, although far from being complete, already contains a great deal of information, especially interesting for the history of the independence movement in Quebec:
-- Mathieugp 18:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
4th-year American student: Thanks for those clarifications. Based on your descriptions, I can't differentiate between federalist-nationalists and sovereigntists. Both believe that the province of Quebec deserves extra autonomy or legal powers because of the idea that the French Canadians are one of the two founding nations of Canada. And both believe that Quebec should stick within Canada, but with a new constitutional deal. I'm not sure if this is just due to a misunderstanding on my part, or a lack of clarification in your descriptions, or if maybe there really is a lot of overlap between nationalist-federalists and sovereigntists.
Also, based on your descriptions, I think this article should be renamed to "Quebec separatist movement". The first sentence of the article says "The Quebec sovereignty movement is a political movement aimed at attaining independent statehood (sovereignty) for the Canadian province of Quebec." This sounds like separatists, and not just people who think that Quebec should be equal to the other provinces combined but want to stick around. --thirty-seven 06:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm on the brink of making a major re-editing effort myself. One big problem that this article shares with a number of others on Wikipedia is that there are competing views of 'the facts'; and it's not easy to present these in a truly unbiased fashion. Everyone has bias - and this format doesn't make it particularly easy to acknowledge those since one is trying to write a factual article. Nevertheless, I think if one makes an honest effort to state both competing views of the pertinent issues, the article will seem cleaner. The only other major problem to deal with is the bare fact there are those users who aren't necessarily honest in their inentions with edits - seeking only to promote their own view at the expense of others.
The original author of this comment (the American student) makes some valid observations too; but there's something rather simplistic about his/her statement of the competing persepctives. All contributors should keep in mind - the issues aren't as simple as 'there's a bunch of pro-separationists that see Canada as being founded by 2 nations, etc. opposed by anglophones who all believe Quebec is only 1 province in 10, etc.' Any comprehensive discussion of the soverignty movement must acknowledge competing points of view and these complexities fully. And that the movement is in a kind of fluid state - I haven't heard too many anglophones stating they see Quebec as 'only one province' lately. It may well be that this is an example of a view that was expressed during and for a period subsequent to the Charlottetown Accord which is no longer in vogue. Just as nationalists in Quebec might well accept that Canada and Quebec are a lot more complex than 2 founding nations now. In short - you're not dealing with a bunch of academics with profound historical awareness dating back to the Patriotes of the 1830s. It's a living, breathing population with views that evolve and are altered by the events that occur within living memory. --ross613 10:36, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
A sovereignist and a separatist are the same thing. Before 1995 the label "sovereignist" or "souverainiste" wasn't used. People who wanted Quebec to become separate or independent from Canada were called séparatistes or indepedentistes in French, or usually just separatists in English. In the 1995 referendum, the question put forward (for various political reasons) asked if Quebec should become "sovereign" and not separate or independent, and so the new label for a person supporting this movement became sovereignist.
What are you talking about? Sovereignist is used since at least the 60s or 70s. The 1980 referendum was about sovereignty as well.--zorxd (talk) 16:09, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I've lived in Quebec my whole life and I can tell you that here the two terms are used interchangeably. The distinctions you are making between the terms are artificial and pedantic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DMac (talkcontribs) 21:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the above post, that both sovereigist and separatist have been used interchangeably. However, separatists is a term that has more negative connotations and what word politicians use depends on their audience. During the recent parliamentary crisis and coalition talks, the federal Conservatives deliberately described the Bloc Quebecoi as separatists in english but described the party as sovereignist in French in an attempt to provoke popular opposition talks to coalition talks in English Canada while not alienating francaphones in French Canada (but failing miserably). --User:Kurblick 11:09, 08 May 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Exactly. Separatist is used a lot in the English/Canadian media, but this is because they are 99% against the possibility that Quebec becomes an independant country. In French, "Souverainiste" is used most of the times, even by die-hard federalists such as Jean Charest. Currently, I would say that there are 3 main groups that call themselves as such : federalists, autonomists, and sovereignists. Separatist, or even worst, secessionist, have a kind of negative connotation but mean sovereignists, just like independentist which may have a positive connotation (think of the US declaration of independance or independance day). Autonomists are those who want greater autonomy (more powers) for Quebec but stay inside the canadian federation. They are nationalists, but are still called federalists if we have to classify them in one of the two categories. Sovereignists want to have an indpendant country, but sometimes with an economic partnership with Canada such as the European Union. The level of partnership may varry from one sovereignist to an other, but all of them want to be on the world map as a country of a different color than Canada. --zorxd (talk) 16:09, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

We do not need editing wars[edit]

I put down that in 1995 some 86, 000 No ballots were rejected without valid reasons citing a valid source and yet that number and source were again removed. We do not need editing wars, they get in the way of the truth and mix propaganda with history! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Please sign your posts. You did not read the source properly. 86 501 is the total number of rejected votes during the referendum (rejected ballots occur in all elections and referenda), of which The Gazette insinuates many (no actual number is given) were valid "No" votes rejected by Yes scrutineers without reason. That's the Gazette's own interpretation of the events without actual proof. Only a handful of ridings had rejection issues which were later investigated. Go read Talk:Quebec referendum, 1995, the full list is given in the first section. ETA: Only this link on the judgement seems to still work, but as you see, only 4 constituencies had suspicious rejection rates.--Boffob 15:23, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Made a few more edits late last night. And did another re-read today. My approach remains keeping the points made by contributors, whatever their apparent biases, and neutralizing unqualified statements like "Québec feels that..." or "french-speakers believe that..." with "Some groupname have historiecally believed that...". I may add detail about an opposing perspective to present both sides as fairly as I can. I understand this isn't always a good idea too - there are times where I agree that many or most Québecers have historically held a view, and at times I've been inclined to make that statement too. But the general idea is to get rid of obvious biased remarks and present a "flow" to the language, which is still lacking in this article. There's plenty of opportunity here for more editing and improvement. I'm deliberately not doing this too quickly because I want others to review and have opportunity to comment. Plus I just don't have time to give this article the attention it desperately needs. --ross613 18:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I am confused as to why Quebec separatists would insist on seeing Canada as a 2-nation federation....French Quebec and English remainder...when in fact there are other Canadian provinces that have historical French affinity. Is it a case where British ethnic cleansing efforts -- i.e. removing French populations from the territories -- was so effective that these other provinces are now seen as English? I am open to that possibility...and I am also open to the possiblity that the Quebec side sees those territories as part of the larger "French nation" which makes up the 2-nation federation. It might be helpful if someone elaborated on this point in the article. Chesspride (talk) 23:56, 30 October 2015 (UTC)


The article is biased in favour of separatists. To begin with, its' clear that separatists wrote it because only separatists refer to themselves as "sovereignists," which is ironically the English equivalent of that ever so hated-in-Quebec grammatical error, the anglicisme. An anglicisme consists of directly translating from English to French, with the result that the translation loses the meaning of the original, and usually sounds awkward. Thus while most separatists refer to themselves in French as "souverainistes", sovereignists is both awkward and unusual, in that separatists is the English word for people with separatist political inclinations. Furthermore, the article presents separatist views as fact, which obviously is editorializing and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

"Sovereigntist" is a perfectly acceptable and mainstream was of referring to this movement in the English-language Canadian media (e.g. Globe and Mail, CBC News). Indeed, Martin attracted a lot of attention in the recent election for referring to the BQ as "separatists".
An "anglicism" in this context refers to an English expression occurring in French. Since this is the English wikipedia, and we are speaking English, "sovereignty" is a natural translation of "souveraineté". --Saforrest 17:15, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

The phrase 'sovereigntist' has only been used in English media since after 2000 and the term 'separatist' was used exclusively in English language Canadian media prior to that. To quote recent articles from the CBC or the Globe & Mail as 'proof' to refute the prior comment is either done through ignorance or political motivations.

That's not true. It's also worth mentioning that there are also Native sovereigntists in Canada. bobanny 05:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Hadn't heard about these aboriginal sovereigntists myself - it doesn't seem they're a very large group. Certainly not very vocal. As for 'soverigntist' exisitng in anglophone media; I myself have never distinguished the term from 'soverignist', and the latter term has most definitely been used prior to 2000 both in popular media and literature. In the 1980 referendum campaign, I can personally recall the terms 'sovereignty association', 'sovereignty', and 'sovereignist' all being used. It may well be that 'sovereignist' evolved from the phrase 'sovereignty association', in fact. By convention, so far as I know personally, these phrases refer generally to the political seprartion in whole or part of Quebec from Canada. The 'in part' interpretation is going to be subject to generally more debate in anglophone-speaking regions of the country, since the prevailing view among the federalist camp is that you can't have a partial political separation; it's all or nothing, according to them (me included, as a federalist). However, the opposing view is that 'soverignty association' could have meaning where Quebec would negotiate powers ordinarily the province of a soverign nation for itself in a new post-confederation agreement with Canada. I've heard (yes, citation is needed) that these could include such things as the sharing of a common currency and economic policy (i.e. central bank), but Quebec would still have its own army and exclusive rights of taxation. --ross613 10:16, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

After reading this article, I get the impression that the writers are against separatists. Don't get me wrong, I just stumbled upon this article, and I myself do not currently have a stance on the issue :). Perhaps my lack of stance allows me to see the bias, thus I've tagged this article as in need of a POV check.

While I can't agree with the contention the article is anti-separatist, I also see need for a POV check. I live in Ottawa (Canada's capital city) which straddles the border between Ontario and Quebec so maybe it's just my perspective, but this article to me very clearly demonstrates pro-separatist/sovereignty bias. This goes a lot further than mere semantics - the reference to (paraphrasing) 'people in Quebec feel "had"', etc. is going way too far. How does the author (or do the authors) know how people in Quebec feel? I work in Quebec and work with lots of francophone Quebecers - and, oddly, not a one of them has mentioned feeling "had" when the subject of the constitution or politics has come up (albeit rarely). Regardless of whether this is a representative view, it's clearly overstating the case to state how Quebecers feel about the issue and since this is done in more than one place, I've re-enabled the POV flag, with a monitor on the article. The world shouldn't be mislead into thinking the views expressed herein are universal throughout Quebec - as they most certainly are not. As two referendums have already shown, it is indeed the opposite view that might well be taken to be true. Less subjective wording on perceptions in Quebec is needed to consistently eliminate the POV flag.
--ross613 10:03, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


Is "étapisme" really the best French term for sovereignty-association? My French isn't as good as it could be, but "étapisme" looks like it means "stopping off half way." It doesn't seem as precise as "souveraineté-association". The Canadian Oxford Dictionary gives the etymology as "first used as the slogan of the Mouvement Souveraineté-Association, forerunners to the Parti Québécois." Indefatigable 18:50, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Étapisme is not sovereignty-association, it's just a tactic. Peter Grey 8 July 2005 15:56 (UTC)
To continue from Peter Gray's comment...
"Étapisme" is a tactic that involves a slow (possibly multi-generational) walk towards independence. Authors who advocate etapism often refer to the history of Norway's efforts to gain independence from Sweden (independence gained in 1905). Etapism was the preferred tactic of Lucien Bouchard post-1995 and of Bernard Landry ("creating the winning conditions" and the "1000 days"). Today, etapism has been rejected by most sovereignist strategists, in favor of a return to (1) a new referendum (mainstream PQ, André Boisclair), or (2) a "referendum election". While the former tactic has been favored by the PQ during the last two decades, the latter is only supported by a fringe faction within the PQ (the MES and Jean-Claude Saint-André). Prominent sovereigntists such as Jacques Parizeau have warned that the MES approach wouldn't lead to any kind of recognition by the UN and thus, is a juridical fallacy. Former PQ tactics also include "affirmationism", which was the preferred view of Pierre-Marc Johnson in the mid-1980s (and before the Meech Lake dead-end). -- Hugo Dufort 23:05, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

As expected, there are serious inaccuracies in this page.

Étapisme, from French étape (step) means step by step. The étapiste approach has been rejected as a way to achieve sovereignty. L'étapisme could consist of holding a referendum on the repatriation of jurisdictions, one by one, until Québec is a fully sovereign State, associated with Canada or not.

Some other problems:

"PQ leader René Lévesque, who led the party from 1968 to 1985, developed the idea of sovereignty-association to reduce the fear that an independent Quebec would face tough economic times."

This is the interpretation that was given by the English-speaking commentators at the time. According to René Lévesque and the sovereignists the reasons follow from logic :

- We were (and still are) moving towards a globalised world, where States open their borders to free movements of persons, goods, capital and ideas (therefore, culture). The construction of the European union was beginning. It was in the air to have these kinds of ideas.

- The case of Danemark and Norway as a good example. Following the independence of Norway, talks began for a political association profitable to both sides.

- Quebec and Ontario's economies were heavily interdependent. This is less true since the free trade agreement with the USA.

Again, this is an encyclopedia. You cannot simply put political opinions and propaganda in here. You need to support your claims with evidence. It would be good for this page to be written by people knowledgeable of History in general, colonial history and the history of Québec.

This page should deal with what Sovereignty-Association is:

1. A political movement that lead to the creation of the PQ.

2. A concept in which sovereignty is understood to be indissociable from international cooperation.

Bashing the separatists should be done in a page dedicated to it.Mathieugp

"Independent statehood" vs. "greater autonomy"[edit]

Just curious about the recent change. Has something shifted in the general separatist position? Is independent statehood not still the goal of the separatist movement? "Greater autonomy" sounds like they want more control over trade positions or whatnot. Switching back, but please feel free to discuss. Edit -- forgot to sign -- -- 17:39, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

What does Quebec want? Only a small minority of sovereigntists want independence, a minority position among a minority position. But most Quebecers will say they want more "autonomy" or leeway under the Canadian federalist system. Which begs the question, what does Quebec need?Toddsschneider 18:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

The game is this: The PQ failed to prevent the creation of a party to its left. Québec solidaire, another sovereignist party, is there to try to get the votes of those who want independence for Quebec, sovereignty for our nation, but are day to day more concerned with world-wide environmental issues, fighting poverty, women's rights and human rights in general. So the PQ cannot claim to be the only party to represent this crowd anymore. Meanwhile, the ADQ, whose position is to be "not the PLQ and not the PQ" plays the same game of self-pride, "we can do it, we have the right" as the PQ but says that it will not hold another referendum and wants to try to convince Canada to reform. The result is that with its Conservative-Liberal "lower the taxes, cut down on the bureaucracy" discourse, its nationalist discourse stolen to the PQ, it gets a lot of votes from Quebecers, almost exclusively French speakers of course, who are not politicized at all but are proud Quebecers and have little to no attachment to Canada. They are the average Joe, or I guess the average Jean, those middle class folks all parties try to win with candies.
So the PQ, having lost a great deal of supporters, needs to readjust. Being run by technocrats disconnected from its very militant base, itself poorly representing the whole of the movement for independence (i.e., some are for independence but not for the PQ because it is to much to the left for some and not enough for others), this party is in serious trouble if it intends to remain the "main vehicule" toward independence. Some former PQ militants are already taking steps to create another party as we speak, others try to rescue the boat while not really believing in it, and a good number, possibly the majority of PQ members who do not follow politics day to day, want to give a chance to Pauline Marois before they take any position.
As for the ambivalence between those who want more autonomy for Quebec withing Canada and those who are determined to secede, there is a lot of confusion there too. Those who want independence are divided on the best way to get there. Theoretically, what unites them is the conviction that Canada cannot be reformed from the inside. Because many Quebecers favourable to sovereignty for Quebec are also favourable to creating a new political union with the ROC, similar to the one that unites European countries, they are often taken for "autonomists", those who say "No" to sovereignty/secession but "Yes" to reform of Canada so that Quebecers stop sending more than 50% of their tax money to the federal government. These objective allies to independence are unfortunately not able to comprehend that the ROC considers either A) that Quebec already has too much or B) that it should keep what it has even if we do not agree with it because it is a matter of national unity. The situation is incredibly pathetic. Are we going to get out of it honourably? -- Mathieugp 13:00, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
"What is the meaning of Quebec as a nation, and what political, legal and constitutional implications, if any, does that recognition have?
"In the past, a constant ambiguity was maintained, both on the definition of nation -- or distinct society -- and on what that would imply. The Council of Europe, in a statement in January, concluded that no [certain] definition of 'nation' was possible. As for the forms of recognition for minority nations proposed by the council, Quebec already exercises more self-determination than the council proposed."[1]Toddsschneider 10:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

The greater autonomy thing is NOT sovereignty. Autonomy means that Quebec stays in Canada but having more power (Meech). Sovereignty is separating from Canada to become another country, association or not. For example, the NAFTA is a type of association between us, canada, and mexico, but it doesn't mean that they form one country.

Please stop changing the introduction. Sovereignty is NOT about having greater autonomy (which is the constitutional position of the ADQ). Sovereignty is about making Quebec a country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

People should stop reverting the edits I made about erasing the greater autonomy thing if they are not willing to come on this page and discuss it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wassup54 (talkcontribs) 03:38, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Except that its been stated many times that they would be happy with just greater power and protection of culture. Its very well documented that its an either or situation. -Djsasso (talk) 12:34, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

This is false, the pq had been against meech and charlottetown and their ultimate goal is sovereignty of Quebec, which means that Quebec will become an independant state. Greater autonomy is NOT sovereignty. Some sovereignist may agree with having more autonomy, but having more autonomy has nothing to do with sovereignty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wassup54 (talkcontribs) 19:19, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I consider myself an autonomist in the sense that I want Quebec to have more autonomy in the canadian federation. However, that doesn't make me a sovereignist. Sovereignists are by definition separatists that believes that Quebec should become an independant state (regardless of the form of association of partnership with the roc).Lanççelot (talk) 05:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Article abbreviations and acronyms[edit]

I have been reading this article (as an interested observer, as I am American) and I have difficulty (as many non-Canadians would) with the parties, and groups listed as abbreviations and acronyms of the organisations instead of writing the group name. At the very least, I think each section of the article should spell out the organisations in question once, with an appropriate Wikipedia link. There will be many times someone will only need to read a specific section of an article, and I think it's necessary to allow the reader to understand what is being abbreviated without having to go to an earlier section of an article to decipher what is being said. ArdenD 17:56, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

What is this?[edit]

When I was using this article for a school project, (Yes its always risky with Wikipedia), I found that there are no reasons listed supporting separation, but a section for being against it. I see why the neutraity of this article is disputed :/. (talk) 16:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)Quinn

Lack of consistency[edit]

This article is truly awful. It is laden with grammatical errors and typographical inconsistencies. I couldn't begin to list them all. I also spotted a few inaccuracies. In particular, Ségolène Royal is described as being "the head of the French socialist party". She actually has never held any significant position within the governing body of the socialist party. In France, just like in the US, one may become the candidate of one's party without being a prominent figure in the internal governance of the party itself. Royal is such an example. The highest ranks she ever held within the French government include "minister of familial matters" and "co-minister of education", as well as local duties (e.g. congresswoman and mayor). But no specific ranking position within the socialist party. In fact, she has lately distanced herself from the socialist party on the grounds that the party no longer represents the younger generation and that it needs urgent reforms and a total re-foundation. Her stance has earned her to be ostracized by the prominent members of the governance of the party. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Tagged since January 2007[edit]

This article has been tagged for cleanup since January 2007, which is almost two years! We need to restart discussions on how to improve this article and find out whats going on. Laval (talk) 19:23, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

I have removed some original research and POV from the article, but its long and will take some time to really go over. The introduction was very bad and POV, so I suggest it is easier to expand that from scratch. This can be a sensitive subject for both sides, but I hope we can try to come up with a balanced solution. This can be a good article if we can stay neutral. Laval (talk) 19:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm a staunch Federalist, so it's best I stay away from this article. But you're correct, it's time this article was given an overhaul (nearly 2yrs is a long time; on Wikipedia, it's even longer). GoodDay (talk) 22:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
So has there been any progress in this articles clean up? I have to say that I am not a Federalist or a Nationalist or whatever label you want. I am actually not sure what route should be taken. I grew up in Québec speking English at home (Or with my parents) and French in public (At School/Freinds Etc.) and at times I was treated with the whole "This is Québec, speak french" attitute, as a kid I did not understand it we were supposed to be in a bilingual country etc..., but now I live on the other side of the coin in the US with all the Spanish/Mexican immigrants, and are we losing our language culture etc... So I do not know If I would be a partial person here. But this subject is very interesting to me.--Mrboire (talk) 21:47, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Impartiality does not exist. Please continue posting. -- (talk) 00:20, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


NOTE: Source material from this article was used in the article Canadian sovereignty. I'm in the process right now of giving all appropriate editors due credit. Bsimmons666 (talk) Friend? 16:51, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi - I'm a Canadian culutral historian at Concordia and am of half-french, half-english descent. I've studied these issues for some time and this article has many problems based on complete mis-interpretations of specific technical terminology. It is extremely important that this issue be explained as objectively as possible - and the last time I checked that meant a full explanation of the pros and cons of both sides of the debate. Among other things I aim to deferentiate between sovereignists and separatists and between the French-Canadian nation and the culture of Quebec.

I implore other writers to lay claim to what is theres and do their utmost to present this issue for what it is, not what they want it to be. The Prime Minister has been reckless with Quebec-Canada relations of late, and it seems he's going after PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador as well. While his tactless behavious has stirred up separatist sentiment (especially with his treatment of the Bloc Quebecois), we must not forget that major progress had been made of late to correct many historic injustices. It is within the best interest of all Canadians, especially those of English, French and Aboriginal descent to recognize that in our nations' infancy, cooperation and conciliation were key to our mutual survival. —Preceding unsigned comment added by T noakes (talkcontribs) 02:10, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

I am interested to know your interpretation of sovereignists and separatists, even though you don't sound entirely unbiased. In my opinion, these are evolving terms. "Separatist" has a somewhat more negative term used in a more derogatory term than "sovereignists" due to the imagery it provokes. Note for example how during the recent parliamentary crisis, the Conservatives were careful to use the word "separatists" to describe the Bloc Quebecoi when speaking in English and "sovereignists" when talking about the party in French. The purpose was to provoke opposition to coalition talks in English Canada (in which he largely suceeded) without provoking backlash from French Canada (which he failed miserably). User:Kurblick 11:30, 08 May 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
"Separatist" puts the emphasis on the potential weakening of the relationship between Quebec and the national government and the other provinces. "Sovereigntist" puts the emphasis on the potential change in the legal status of Quebec. The terms represent the same thing from different perspectives. Peter Grey (talk) 04:13, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
separatists in my experience supported Quebec independence, and viewed themselves as Quebecers, not Canadians. They wanted their own, separate, country. Sovereignty supporters wanted enhanced independence for Quebec, and viewed themselves as Quebecers first, Canadians second. They were two distinct positions, and the second group seemed larger than the first. It is obviously in the interests of the first group to fudge as much of the border between the two, and confuse things as much as possible to further their political goals. That's what happened in the second referendum and the fallout of that was the clarity act. There are very many Quebecers who will happily vote for the Bloc and the PQ but will vote against a referendum. These are the people who support enhanced independence and control for Quebec, but do not want to become their own country. So while their vote doesn't make sense if you adopt the "it's two sides of the same coin, based on point of view", it is entirely logical if you understand that there are simply people who want more independence but not total independence. Those are not separatists though they will vote in people who are separatists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Sovereignty-association and sovereignty-partnership[edit]

There seems to be a misunderstanding about the nature of theses concepts. The association or partnership thing doesn't mean that Quebec would remain a part of Canada, but rather that it would create a new type of relationship between the two sovereign states (something similar to the European Union). Sovereignty-association or partnership must not be confounded with Quebec autonomism.Lanççelot (talk) 23:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Sovereignty association includes Quebec retaining the Canadian dollar and the Canadian passport. It's a type of sovereignty that does not propose complete and total independence. And by the way, watch out for your seeming determination to replace the adjective "political" with "politic". The adjective "politic" pertains to social politeness (e.g. "It would not have been politic to mention his criminal conviction at that particular meeting"), not to politics — the adjective pertaining to organized politics, as in legislatures and law and Jean Charest tussling with Stephen Harper over immigration reform, is political. Bearcat (talk) 23:38, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Sovereignty-association includes retaining the Canadian dollar until and if the Quebec's government decides to use any other kind of currency. As far as the Canadian passport goes, you must give me some sources because I never heard of it. It is true that it does not provide like you said a "total and complete" independance. However, that still makes Quebec a sovereign state/country. BTW, I suggest everyone reads (it's in french but couldn't find that document in english) the Entente de juin 1995, which is the text that Quebecers voted on the 1995 referendum [[2]]. Oh and by the way, I changed politic to political when I reverted you, so that is non relevent to the matter at hands.Lanççelot (talk) 23:50, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Lanççelot (talk · contribs). Quebec would be a separate country, without or not the association. The Quebec sovereignty movement is a project created by René Lévesque, named "la Souveraineté-Association". The State of Quebec would be a country, but would associate with Canada. And the using of Canadian passports is not planed in that movement; I don't know where you got that information. In Europe, some countries are using the same currency, but are still independent of each other. That's an association country-to-country. Sincerely, Jimmy Lavoietalk 02:26, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Half of the 1995 referendum campaign hinged on whether Quebecers would be forced to give up their Canadian passports or not. Bearcat (talk) 05:44, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
The "Association" in Sovereignty-Association, as described in the New Deal Document, was to be comparable to that uniting the European countries member of the European Economic Community as it existed in the 1970s. There would have been two Sovereign States in close relation in a new union. The only way it could be argued that Quebec would have "remain[ed] a part of Canada" after is if the new union had also been given the name of "Canada", but this would be a confusion caused by ascribing the same name to two different political entities.
The question is of course how we choose to define "independence". If France and Germany are not completely independent because they willingly participate to common supra-national institutions, then the same could be said of Quebec and the ROC in the new union as envisaged by the PQ. -- Mathieugp (talk) 05:42, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
The issue with having to give up ones passport is not exactly the same as saying that Québec would be a different country or part of the country etc... But weather someone who right now is a Canadian citizen living in an independent Québec would automatically lose their Canadian Citizenship, not weather Québec would be an independent State/Country. The question is a specific relation ship between the two countries and if dual citizenship is allowed. Up into recently the US would not allow you to hold dual citizenship, there were three exception France, Israel, and Canada. At the time if you took on a citizenship of a different country you had to renounce your US citizenship, that is not the same as sovereignty-association. --Mrboire (talk) 19:40, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
The simple answer is that both terms have a fluid quality and have always been used in ambiguous and contradictory senses, in some cases deliberately so. (Interestingly, "confederation" and "federation" are frequently abused in much the same way.) Peter Grey (talk) 06:39, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Reforming federalism[edit]

"Several attempts at reforming the federal system of Canada have thus far failed because of, particularly, the conflicting interests between sovereignists' representatives and the other provincial governments' representatives". Federalists are the ones who want to reform Canada. Sovereignists want Quebec's sovereignty. "... by Quebec's representatives ..." would be more accurate. What do you think?-- (talk) 00:31, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Separation or sovereignty?[edit]

Pejorative doesn't look like a synonym of the French word "péjoratif". Any better word to describe, following certains so-called sovereignists, the too strong word "separatism"? --Popol0707 (talk) 22:40, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Citations citations citations[edit]

This article is a collection of assertions without any substantiation of the facts. For instance, the article makes a statement that the sovereignty movement is not uniformly ethnically french. This is likely true given the size of the movement. But "not uniform" implies anywhere from 99.99999999% french to 0.0000001% french. This needs to be cited and replaced with an accurate appraisal of the support for the movement outside of french ethnicity. Or, it needs to not make such a comment at all. Later on it refers to the "controversy" around the clarity act. This is not strictly the truth in terms of what a controversy is. Those who found the clarity act to be a hurdle to their ambitions of course did not tend to support the act. Not having uniform support does not mean that something is controversial. For instance, President Bush 41 was elected with a small majority, though a very substantial number of americans did not vote for him, it was not controversial for him to become president. The next Bush was elected with the intervention of the supreme court and a disputed vote count in Florida. This was controversial. Just the simple fact of some people not supporting something does not make for a controversy. The article in these cases needs to cite the controversy and the basis of the controversy. If leading legal scholars in Canada came out at the time and said the government did not have the power to enact this law, this would be a controversy. Not sovereignty supporters who were forced to adopt clear language in order to get on a path to negotiate separation from Canada, who did not appreciate having a rulebook to have to play with, announcing their lack of support. Overall, this article I think reads like a (well written) high school paper. It's not an encyclopedia article and seems to take a point of view throughout. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:20, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Multi-generational immigrants?[edit]

The reference to 'multi-generational immigrants' is puzzling - historically Canada including Quebec has been largely populated by colonists, not immigrants. Although the two are sometimes conflated incorrectly in Anglo-Saxon pop culture, it would be surprising for Cree activists to confuse the two. (And 'multi-generational immigrants' is almost certainly nonsense.) Peter Grey (talk) 19:19, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

rm article level tags[edit]

Removed cleanup and cn (2 then, 24 now). Obviously it's a contentious subject but looks like it's moved to a detail level workout. (talk) 23:43, 30 October 2011 (UTC)


"Polling data showed that 32% of Quebecers believe that Quebec had enough sovereignty and should remain part of Canada, 28% thought they should separate, and 30% say they believe that Quebec does need greater sovereignty but should remain part of Canada."

Looks like a typo. What is the difference between the 32% and the 30%? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Sovereignist is the common Canadian spelling[edit]

I just went through the article and replaced all instances of "sovereigntist", both singular and plural, with "sovereignist", which is the common Canadian spelling.

Since this has national ties to Canada, it should not be changed. I am not certain, but suspect it has to do with the French spelling of the same word: souverainiste. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:43, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Where is the dictionary that shows "sovereignist"? Several dictionaries show "sovereigntist". Chris the speller yack 05:16, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Kind of a tricky one, some dictionaries show sovereignist while most show sovereigntist with the first as an alternative to the latter. My personal preference is to maintain sovereigntist as it seems the most common still used by cbc while the first example seems to appear most often in Macleans and the Gazette. Krazytea(talk) 05:45, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
You can also find it in Canadian academic journals, but those seem to be split about 50/50. I could live with either, but I do think we should choose one, post it on MOS:CA, and standardize articles. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 06:06, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary lists it as sovereignist, with sovereigntist as the variant. The -ist version is most likely a distinct Canadianism influenced by CanE's daily cohabitation with CanF (in which the word is souverainiste, and thus almost certainly reinfluences CanE via the Montreal Gazette), while the -tist version is probably more internationally recognized — but neither version is wrong as such and both are used quite regularly even in Canada. I don't have any objection to an effort to standardize our usage on one spelling or the other, but that decision needs to be made by a consensus of Canadian editors, not by one American with AWB and a copyediting fetish who thinks incorrectly that a perfectly acceptable spelling is objectively wrong. Bearcat (talk) 06:48, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

"Fetish"? "Thinking incorrectly"? You should adjust your tone, Bearcat, and an apology is in order. This article had 18 "-tist" occurrences and 15 "-ist" occurrences, making it look mighty sloppy. About 200 articles had "-tist", while about 100 articles had "-ist". Several dictionaries have "-tist", but none could be found that had "-ist', making it look like a misspelling. I agree that a consensus should be reached. I'm not trying to jam my opinion down everybody's throat; I just want the mess cleaned up. Chris the speller yack 13:50, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
For the record, you based your entire argument on a claim, that no dictionary in existence recognized "sovereignist" at all, that was quite easily disproven, and therefore the word "incorrect" was a perfectly accurate depiction of the situation. And if you think the word "fetish" qualifies as an insult, then I don't even know what to say — a fetish is not in and of itself a bad thing to have, so you need to take that word in the gently joking spirit in which it was intended. And you can spare me the lecture about consistency, too, because I agreed that we should pick one spelling and stick with it — my objection was to your mischaracterization of one spelling as objectively wrong. Bearcat (talk) 00:29, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

MOS:COMMONALITY opens "Wikipedia tries to find words that are common to all varieties of English". If Canadian English only recognised one spelling, that would be the spelling to use, however, as stated above CE recognises two spellings. As one spelling variant in Canadian English, is common to other types of English, and the other variant in CE is not, the common variant is the one that should be used. This is not an arbitrary decision, nor one that requires consensus, it is simply in accordance with MoS - the very first subsection of the frequently misquoted MOS:ENGVAR - Arjayay (talk) 14:19, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

I followed the discussion from User talk:Chris the speller#"sovereignist" is not a typo (version of 14:02, 8 May 2013), and I offer these links for consideration.
Wavelength (talk) 14:48, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
At Canada - The Canadian Encyclopedia, my search for sovereignist reported 36 results, and my search for sovereigntist reported 52 results.
Wavelength (talk) 14:55, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
The number of uses is interesting, but does not outweigh compliance with the Manual of Style. Nobody is (now) contending that, in Canadian English, there are two spelling options, but MOS:COMMONALITY requires use of the word "common to all varieties of English". Arjayay (talk) 07:47, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Notwithstanding Clause[edit]

This sentence:

Quebec language laws violate the Canadian Constitution so the province regularly using the "notwithstanding clause" to suspend the constitution to maintain the legality of their laws.

This is a myth. The clause hasn't been used by Quebec since 1993. The most recent use of the notwithstanding clause was to stop gay marriage in Alberta. As noted in the article on Section Thirty-Three of the Charter:

In 1993, after the law was criticized by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the Bourassa government had the provincial parliament rewrite the law to conform to the Charter, and the notwithstanding clause was removed.

I'm going to alter it so that it makes note that the clause is no longer used; as using 'regularly' here implies that it's still being used.

The notwithstanding clause wasn't even used to stop gay marriage in Alberta — it was talked about, but it never actually happened. Bearcat (talk) 15:59, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
You sure? Same-sex marriage in Alberta. I mean, it was ineffectual, in the sense that marriage isn't a provincial jurisdiction, but they still did write it into law. (talk) 19:08, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Comparison with Catalonia and Tibet[edit]

As a suggestion, and it's something I won't meddle with, but I propose to erase the juxtaposition with Catalonia and Tibet from the article. Firstly, it doesn't have any quotation, therefore such analogy might well have never been brought up. Anyway, I find it offensive drawing comparison between two regional entities (as they stand today, this is unarguably a statement of facts) and a region taken by means of genocide. In fact, I abhor and loathe such artificial parallelism which incorporation probably is down to a despicable attempt for the pro-independence advocates to gain approval amongst the neutral readership. Curiously it wasn't Quevec-Catalonia-Scotland. It had to be the Tibet. Spot the difference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I think the Tibet reference is spot-on ... considering the ethnic cleansing acts committed by the British in other maritime provinces where French populations were forcibly removed (and the rest of the population left under duress) after conquest. The fact that this didn't happen to Quebec is a question of scale, not intent. Chesspride (talk) 00:12, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

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