"Quebecois Culture and Separation" History, culture and politics Tip by MDH

  No Canadian flags here: all old New France flags.
by MDH

As you probably already knew, French is the lingua franca of Quebec City. Yet because this is such a tourist destination, most people are bilingual or at least very good at English. However, out of courtesy, it's always best to know a few French phrases. Politeness always scores you good tourist points.

Being the provincial and cultural capital of the province, this is the heart of French Canada, and also heart of the now-dormant separation issue. Although you're not probably likely to hear much talk about separation on the streets right now, lots of tourists have interest in the topic. When I was in the province, I did find myself asking a few people about their opinions on the topic. It's not exactly a scientific poll, but I did find that the people I at least talked to in Montreal were general against separation, while in Quebec City, opinion seemed to be more in the pro camp. The last separation vote in 1995 lost by less than 1%--almost as close as you could get in an election.

If you're interested politically in the deeper ramifications of Quebec separation, contact the Bloc Quebecois, a federal party which generally does support separation. The more Leftist and provincial Parti Quebecois represent pro-separation sentiment in the provincial legislature. Or for the other point of view, contact either the Liberal or Progessive Conservative parties, who both strongly support federalism and thus Quebec staying within Canada.

othercontact: www.liberal.ca
Website: http://www.blocquebecois.org

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  • Updated Feb 24, 2004
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