Friday, January 21, 2011

Issues part deux....

So far this term we have been examining how Canada had emerged from the 2nd World War and the burgeoning Counter Culture movement that has provided many with a stage to promote their previously unheard views. As we move out of the 1960's and into the '70's and '80's we see the beginnings (or perhaps more precisely the continuation) of rising tensions between French and English Canada that will continue to dramatically change how we look at ourselves as a nation. As well we will also examine the proliferation of tensions between the Canadian West and its big brother in the East.

As you begin to prepare for the next Issues seminar please use the STUDY GUIDE that I will provide in class and post on the blog.

If you have time please read this ARTICLE that speaks to both Western Alienation and Separatism. After you finish please comment on the questions at the end of the article.


  1. the Quebecois can do whatever they want the fact remains that we have them surrounded-alex macphail

  2. * I don't feel like writing more than 1 paragraph here. If an argument starts somehow, I might add more insight later.


    The West basically hoped to get more provincial autonomy out of this whole Quebec thing. Then, they were disappointed as Quebec keep snatching attention to themselves (unique language! etc). In the end, the negotiations (Meech Lake, Charlottetown) went nowhere and the West continued to be alienated. If Quebec wasn't as bossy, maybe we might actually have gotten something done.

  3. I feel this article adequately expressed the concerns of those living in the Western part of Canada. Those living west had little voice in nation affairs or control over the economy but were expected to contribute in the same manner if not more to Canadian affairs.

    -Dylan Sidoo

  4. The views and opinions of Western Canada are an important factor of Canadian politics because of the West's extremely important role in the economy of the nation. As a resource-based nation where industries such as forestry and farming thrive, exiling and ignoring the frustrated voices of the West is ultimately non-beneficial for the country as a whole.

    Eventually, Western Canada attempted to bring about change on its own however, which resulted in the Meech Lake Accord. Here, they tried desperately too persuade Quebec to side with them on the topic of changing the Constitution as well as remaining a part of Canada. In the end, they only managed to further alienate Quebec and encourage the population's views on an independent Quebec. But who's fault is it really? The Western politicians for taking steps to changing their role in the nation or the government who let the failed situation come about in the first place?

  5. Population was a major influence to why the west was alienated. In 1966, 65% of the population of Canada lived in either Quebec or Ontario. Many politicians tend to focus more on areas with a larger population simply because the more people, the more seats they could win. Also a larger population means more businesses and a stronger economy etc. However, Canada's economy relies heavily on international trade. Therefore, it relies on the western provinces to provide these goods. (lumber (B.C.) and oil (Alberta) are two of Canada's largest exports) In the 60's and 70's however the spotlight was on Quebec's Quiet Revolution and the radical FLQ. Had the Charlottetown Accord of been accepted the west might not have been as isolated but... it wasn't.

    ~Ruaridh Boswell

  6. During this time, I think three different parts defined Canada: Ontario, Quebec and the West (Maritimes maybe). Ontario was reluctant to give in the Quebecois wants, the Quebecois wanted more autonomy and special privileges and the West wanted more power and say in federal affairs. When everything leaned towards Quebec due to the Quiet Revolution and Levesque, the West felt more indignant and pissed off. But like Mr. Chamberlain said, I don't think Quebec will ever leave Canada.

  7. As people have mentioned above, Quebec was quite slef-centred; the people of Quebec wanted reforms, and threatened to separate from the rest of the country. Some, such as the FlQ, took radical steps to make their voices heard. While Quebec's actions are somewhat justified by the fact that it wanted to maintain its culture and language, they nonetheless took attention away from other significant parts of the country, such as the West.

    -William Kim

  8. But Quebec had a strong point to make. Language is an important aspect of life, if BC was the only English-speaking province, I think we will all battle hard to achieve bilingualism in Canada. And also, Quebec had leverage. Many of the maritime provinces relied on HydroQuebec to supply electricity, and they still today.

    -Alex Lin


    -Alex MacPhail

  10. I agree with Anthony's and Ruaridh's comments on how Western Canada has a significant impact on the economy, with forestry in BC and oilsands in Alberta, yet does not have a significant voice in federal affairs.Western Canada felt ignored by the Federal Government as Canada emphasized the issues of Quebec more than the issues surrounding Western Canada.

    Steven Zheng

  11. i agree with what william said as the west felt that their concerns were taking a second place to those of the quebec province, events such as the charlotte town accord frustrated westerners as quebecs concerns were all that the government was concerned with

  12. - Roy Yang

    I agree with William Kim that the Quebecers were a bit self centered in their concerns. they held referendums and requested sovereignty; they asked for a special status among all the provinces. I agree that the government was right in negotiating with Quebec, but they should not have ignored the West's problems for Quebec's. The West was only right to feel alienated when the news only covered the problems erupting in Quebec.