50 years later, a Quebec that is more free?

News 21 July, 2017
  • General de Gaulle pronounced the famous speech ” Vive le Québec libre “, under the stupefaction of mayor Jean Drapeau.

    Hugo Joncas

    Saturday 22 jul 2017 00:00

    Saturday 22 jul 2017 00:00

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    “Vive le Québec libre ! “Okay, my general. But still ? That is what Charles de Gaulle had wanted to say just on the balcony of the hotel de ville, under the stupefaction of the mayor Jean Drapeau and premier Daniel Johnson ? And especially, the Québec and its citizens are-they become more free, for the last 50 years ?

    Big question. The Journal has asked several eminences grises de québec society : ex-politicians, thinkers, comedians, philosophers, sociologists, lawyers… Their answers depend on point of view : free from what, Charles ?

    For the former minister Louise Beaudoin, and de Gaulle was very clear on July 24, 1967. “It is not necessary to try to imagine what he wanted to say ! she said. He wanted Quebec to be independent. Quebec is not, even if there has been changes… ” For this former delegate general in Paris, the province remained one, and, therefore, is not more free than it was 50 years ago.

    Its former leader, the former prime minister, Bernard Landry, was by chance in front of the city hall, having dinner with colleagues, when de Gaulle launched his famous call to freedom. He welcomed him with a ” profound joy “. But half a century later, her response to the trick question is without ambiguity.

    “Alas no, Quebec is not more free, because of the infamy of Pierre-Elliott Trudeau and the patriation of the Constitution ! mourns the ex-leader of the Parti Québécois. The supreme Court may undo everything done by the parliament of Quebec, ” he says.

    In 1982, Ottawa rapatriait the last of the powers to London. It created the same time the canadian Charter of rights and freedoms. This document allows today to the judges of the supreme Court – appointed by the federal government – to have their say on what provinces are doing, including the protection of the French language.

    Even some federalists agree with this fundamental text, the parliament of quebec is less “free” than in 1967. “We can say that on this side, there is a regression,” said the former liberal cabinet minister Benoît Pelletier, a constitutionalist at the University of Ottawa. The Charter limits the powers, particularly in matters of language. “

    The weight of the charters

    But Quebecers like the Charter of rights and freedoms, adds Benoît Pelletier. As the quebec Charter of rights and freedoms, adopted seven years earlier in 1975, it has contributed to a decline in the arbitrariness, racism, exclusion, discrimination, religious…

    “It is likely to be more free as individuals,” said Pierre Bosset, a law professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a specialist in human rights and freedoms. There has been the recognition of marriage and adoption for same-sex spouses, the possibility to sign contracts for the women, the recognition of the private life “, lists a-t-il.

    However, your phone transmits your current location to each not…

    “It has created a other machine of domination that does not need to constrain, but to flatter “, thinks the professor of sociology, retired from the University of Laval, Gilles Gagné. Google, Apple, Facebook… ” We can no longer speak without the use of machines that update themselves all alone during the night ! “

    Today, throughout the western world shares this “subjugation pleasant,” said Gilles Gagné. In a sense, yes, Quebecers are more free than before, because they are not more dominated by the French, the Greeks, or even Americans ! “

    Louise Beaudoin

    “Quebec is no more free today, but it has changed ! Even with bill 101, which has helped francophones to climb the economic ladder. There was clearly a problem ! The Quebecers were very poor at the time. “

    ► Former minister of the parti québecois, in particular to international Relations

    Normand Baillargeon

    “At the time, it was almost impossible to be an atheist and say it ! Freedom of conscience is much greater than before. We no longer hear of stories of women who died in the layer because the pastor wanted her to grow the family… “

    ► Philosopher, anarchist and ex-professor in educational sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

    Benoît Pelletier

    “Quebecers recognize themselves more as a nation. They are more confident in themselves today than in 1967. “

    ► Ex-liberal minister quebec and constitutionalist at the University of Ottawa

    Denis Monière

    “Is it that one is more free than before ? From an economic point of view and social, yes, because it is more rich ! If you are poor and deprived, you are less free than if you are rich and prosperous… Even Jean Charest recognized : Quebec would be perfectly viable as an independent State. In the 1960s, we would not have been able to say that. “

    ► President of the League of national action, who participates in the celebrations of the 50th of the ” Vive le Québec libre ! “

    The Quebec yesterday and today


    • 1971 : 6.1 million
    • 2017 : 8.3 million

    Life expectancy


    • Men : 68 years old
    • Women : 74 years


    • Men : 81 years
    • Women : 85 years

    Median age

    • 1971 : 25,6 years
    • 2016 : 42.1 years

    Abortion rate

    • 1976 : 7.3 per 100 births
    • 2014 : 28.6 for 100 births

    Infant mortality rate

    • 1971 : 17,3 per 1000 children
    • 2016 : is 4.5 per 1000 children

    Average age of first marriage


    • 1971 : 25 years
    • 2011 : 32 years


    • 1971 : 23 years
    • 2011 : 31 years

    Rate of English-French bilingualism in Canada

    • 1971 : 15 %
    • 2011 : 18 %

    Sources : Statistics Canada, Institut de la statistique du Québec