René Lévesque In Quebec

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René Lévesque, born in August 1922, was a journalist and a separatist and the premier of Québec from 1976-1985. From a young age, he was aware of poverty among French Canadians in the rural areas of Québec, which sparked his interest in politics and the economics of his province. He left law school before obtaining a degree and went into journalism and by 1956, he became one of Québec’s first television stars. In 1960, he joined Jean Lesage 's Liberal Cabinet and later established the Parti Québécois (PQ), ultimately leading it to power in 1976 (Paulin 2). “The PQ 's main objective was Québec independence, and for 15 years Lévesque was the leading champion of that ideal — holding and losing the province 's first referendum on sovereignty in …show more content…
All the efforts that were increasing the autonomy in Québec were not enough for Lévesque, who sought sovereignty for the province. "In 1966, the Lesage government was defeated and Lévesque — increasingly nationalistic, and critical of his party 's relations with the federal government — quit the Liberals the following year to found the Mouvement souveraineté-association, which in October 1967 became the Parti québécois" (Foote and Latouche). Lévesque was unsuccessful in winning a seat in the 1970 and 1973 elections and went back to journalism until 1976, when he was elected the 23rd premier of Québec. Once the PQ was in power, they were determined to make the idea of Québec sovereignty a truth. An interesting element Parti Québecois added to politics was the Summit Conferences. These summits brought businesses, labourers, and government leaders together to make important decisions about the development of Québec. (Desbarats 117). Many of the results were difficult to identify, while others created major changes. ' 'One of the major concrete results of these summits was the creation of OSE (Opération Solidarité Economique, or Operation Economic Solidarity), a program of economic stimulus and job support ' ' (Archibald). Next, the PQ government promised a referendum on Québec sovereignty that was set for May 1980. The referendum was won by the opposition would did not seek sovereignty, …show more content…
On August 26, 1977, the Parti Québecois enacted the Charter of The French Language, also known as Bill 101. The Charter made French the official language of Québec and was created so that "French is the normal and everyday language of work, communication, commerce and business in the civil administration and in enterprises" (Québec). The Charter has been supported by some -- "Québec 's Premier Jean Charest, has been quoted saying that the 'primacy of the French Language ' is a 'key value ' in Québec society" (CBC) -- but has been disputed far more than it has been praised. For example,"Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau called the Official Language Act a 'slap in the face ' to federal efforts to mandate bilingualism. Many legal challenges have been pursued, some of which led to small amendments to the Charter" (PACT). In addition, criticism about the Charter is widespread, with some claiming it is a reason for emigration by both Québec’s citizens and businesses and others asserting it is unfair toward minority groups (CBC). Furthermore, a series of legal issues surrounded the law, which resulted in some requirements to be confirmed as unlawful by the Supreme Court. One of many rulings involved the clauses associated with signage being unilingual (Paulin 93). "In response to these rulings, the Québec government passed the amendments of Bill 178 in 1988 and

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