Beyond Quebec

Beyond Quebec: Taking Stock of Canada

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 448
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  • Book Info
    Beyond Quebec
    Book Description:

    What kind of a country is Canada beyond Quebec? With a referendum on Quebec sovereignty looming on the horizon, this is a question Canadians are being forced to ask. In Beyond Quebec scholars from a wide variety of disciplines examine the current political, cultural, economic, and social situation of Canada outside Quebec and speculate on the nature of a Canada that does not include Quebec on the present terms.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6546-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    • 1 In Search of Canada “Beyond Quebec”
      (pp. 5-28)

      This set of essays asks a question that has been rarely posed: What kind of country exists “beyond Quebec”? In fact, does a country exist outside Quebec? In seeking to take stock of “Canada Outside Quebec” this book clearly is breaking new ground.

      There have been countless conferences, symposia, articles, and books on Canada as a whole, including the relationship between Quebec and the rest of the country. For over thirty years now, Quebec’s intellectuals, academics, and political leaders have been busily engaged in elaborating Quebec’s identity and defining the nature of its society - in effect, locating the distinctiveness...

    • 2 Ontario “Carries on”
      (pp. 31-44)
      H.V. NELLES

      Anyone who took newspaper headlines literally would have to be forgiven for thinking that Ontario had fallen into a precipitous decline. “Ontario Hopes PM Will Stem Bleeding”(Globe and Mail20 Dec. 1993); “Rae invite Ottawa à aider l’Ontario”(Le Devoir9 Nov. 1993); and most recently, “Demise of a Fat Cat”(Maclean’s4 April 1994). One gets the impression of a recession-battered economy rapidly sinking, calling out to its neighbours for help. ButhasOntario been “declining” relative to the others?

      Let us begin with arithmetic and recent history. Has Ontario been a declining economic centre? Since we are...

    • 3 Western Canada: “The West Wants In”
      (pp. 45-60)

      The central thesis of this chapter is straightforward. Until the mid-1980s, chronic regional discontent in western Canada lacked any coherent reform focus; while the problems were quite evident, the solution was not. A solution was then brought into focus by a regional emphasis on Senate reform and, more specifically, on the pursuit of a Triple E Senate - elected, equal, and effective. This solution was championed by the new Reform Party, which was growing in strength across the region. Hence the “Camelot” period, when a clear reform vision was yoked to a powerful political movement dedicated to its attainment. In...

    • 4 Atlantic Canada: Forgotten Periphery in an Endangered Confederation?
      (pp. 61-80)

      The region of Canada least equipped to deal with the breakup of Confederation is Atlantic Canada. Not only would it be physically isolated from the rest of the country; if the national will dissipated or if federal authority declined precipitously after Quebec’s departure, this area could face hard times. Although Atlantic Canadians have long had a sense of being disadvantaged by the workings of national politics and economics, few informed citizens would welcome the breakup of the country. This reflects the dilemma of this peripheral region. Within Confederation its political and economic weight has been overshadowed by more prosperous regions,...

    • 5 English Canada: The Nation that Dares not Speak its Name
      (pp. 81-92)

      When in Book 9 ofthe OdysseyOdysseus,outwitting and blinding the cyclops Polyphemus who threatened to devour him and his companions, says that his name is “Nobody,” the raging Polyphemus is reduced to lamenting: “O my friends, it’s Nobody’s treachery, no violence, that is doing me to death” (Homer 150).

      English-speaking Canadians are not quite in the same plight as Odysseus and his crew, nor does a cyclops bar our path. Yet in an odd sort of way we too are given to thinking of ourselves collectively as “nonation,” and to denying vigorously that the twenty million Canadians who are...

    • 6 The Charter and Canada outside Quebec
      (pp. 93-114)
      F.L. MORTON

      In 1982 Canada made a fundamental change to its constitution. To its 125-year-old tradition of parliamentary supremacy cum federalism, Canada grafted a constitutionally entrenched Charter of Rights and Freedoms with explicit authority for the courts to interpret and to enforce these rights. A decade later, this bold experiment of “Charter democracy” is widely viewed as a success in all parts of the country except Quebec. I survey the nature of the Charter’s success in Canada outside Quebec (COQ), as well as the reasons for Quebec’s disenchantment. I then extrapolate the effect of Charter politics in a post-partum COQ.

      Contrary to...

    • 7 (Con)figuring a “Canada”: Some Trends in Anglophone-Canadian Literature, Criticism, and the Arts
      (pp. 117-137)

      The range of the current struggles over how anglophone-Canadian culture should be read, configured, and interpreted is so wide that the distinctions one might in other circumstances make among literature, popular culture, literary criticism, literary theory, and cultural theory are largely inappropriate. Conflicts over structuralist critical theory, over what constitutes a prize-winning poem or novel, and over the staging ofMiss SaigonorShowboatoccur in the same general cultural site and reflect similar clashes of views over what should constitute social value. In this paper I address many of these widespread struggles, but with particular attention to my own...

    • 8 The Essential Role of National Cultural Institutions
      (pp. 138-162)

      Margaret Atwood has written, “Canadians are forever taking the national pulse like doctors at a sickbed.” Portraying Canada as “an unknown territory for the people who live in it... a state of mind ... that kind of space in which we find ourselves lost” (Atwood 1972:18). Atwood has explored this theme throughout her writing. Her premise is that the single unifying and “informing symbol at [Canada’s] core is ‘survival’”; survival against hostile elements, survival in crisis, and cultural survival. The most recent variation on the survival discussion comes from those “who believe Canada is obsolete” and survival is seen as...

    • 9 Making Canada in the 1990s: Film, Culture, and Industry
      (pp. 163-181)

      Spring 1994: As Hollywood revellers recover from the afterglow of another mega-moment in the history of Oscar, Quebec film director Denys Arcand is in London, England, a guest of the British Film Institute’s and National Film Theatre’s month-long salute to contemporary Canadian cinema. The head of programming at the National Film Theatre in London comments that the diversity of Canadian filmmaking is “fascinating. Not much is mainstream, and that, I find, is interesting. The variety. A movie likeI’ve Heard the Mermaids Singinghas got a gay community edge to it. Films likeMasala,reached different ethnics here” (in Goddard...

    • 10 Will English-Language Television Remain Distinctive? Probably
      (pp. 182-201)

      Will English-Canadian television services remain distinctive if Quebec separates from Canada?

      The answer to this question depends on the answer to a more basic question which faces all broadcasters, public and private; that is whether the technological changes now in process will erode and eventually destroy television networks and services around the world. In turn the answer to that question will be specific to each culture as it responds to or ignores the challenge. Thus I would like to address the issue of technological change (to use a soap opera analogy, the “backstory”), as well as the specific problems faced...

    • 11 The Future of English-Language Publishing
      (pp. 202-217)

      Canadian book publishing currently consists of two distinct markets, one the French-language market, the other the English-language market. Both share certain characteristics such as being part of a larger linguistic market that is dominated by more extensive, more established producers from other countries - France on the one side and the U.K. and the U.S. on the other. Since the flow of material in terms of rights sales and translations between the two Canadian linguistic markets is scant, there is no significant interdependency. Common federal policies have been developed and applied to both linguistic sectors with only minor modifications; from...

    • 12 Native Arts in Canada: The State, Academia, and the Cultural Establishment
      (pp. 218-248)

      Western-created archetypes have a functional, fundamental impact on our perceptions and understanding of reality. They ultimately determine our education strategies, popular mythology, scientific opinions and definitions, and even our sense of humour. Just as important, stereotypes play an integral role in the way the West defines First Nations people, their history, and their art. This can be seen through a review of both contemporary and traditional Native art and the treatment it has received in Canada by the state, academia, and the cultural establishment, including museums.

      Displaying the skeletons of long-deceased ancestors in order to satisfy the curiosity of the...

    • 13 Poor Prospects: “The Rest of Canada” under Continental Integration
      (pp. 251-274)

      If Canada has to be rebuilt without Quebec, history will not offer it much help. The four decades preceding the election of Jacques Parizeau as Quebec’s second Parti Québécois - and firstpur et dursovereigntist - premier provide scant assurance that the rest of Canada has anything like a historical rock on which to anchor its putative nationality.

      New states need economic viability, political coherence, and cultural substance as well as an international raison d’être in order to flourish, but the recent past of Canada outside Quebec shows the rest of Canada to be poorly endowed for national status...

    • 14 Economic Threats to National Unity: From within and without
      (pp. 275-294)

      Many people who are anxious about the continuation of Canada as a cohesive, viable and unique nation find no comfort in recent economic trends. Within the context of growing international trade, Canada-United States trade has increased and is being actively pursued, seemingly at die expense of east-west Canadian linkages. The transition, especially of policy, has been rapid. Within a decade, Canada moved from the National Energy Policy (NEP) to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and then to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). There is concern that growing continental economic integration is eroding the power of the national government...

    • 15 Various Matters of Nationhood: Aboriginal Peoples and Canada outside Quebec
      (pp. 297-312)

      This sentence from St Augustine’sCity of Godintroduces the 1951 Massey Commission report on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences.

      The ability to see a “nation” of Canada in this straightforward way is characteristic of a different era, a period in which the dominant Englishspeaking elites were securely at the centre of what it was to be Canadian. Visions of Canada now have a much more complex and troubled character. Canada is both bicultural and multicultural, incorporating officially sanctioned ethnic diversity and the possibility of multiple, partial sovereignties.

      Nationalism has a certain logic, which can be visualized...

    • 16 Multiculturalism and Identity in “Canada outside Quebec”
      (pp. 313-332)

      This chapter examines ethnic pluralism and multiculturalism in Canada outside Quebec (COQ). It distinguishes among language, nation, and state as ways of defining collective identity, and emphasizes the regional variations within the countr. It asks, “How English is English Canada?” and concludes that COQ is in the process of becoming a postmodern state in serious danger of fragmentation.

      There are complementary images of the state asStaatsnation,focusing on the legal forms andKulturnationwhich emphasises common values, heritage, and symbols (Meinecke 1970). Language is often regarded as the critical link, but this overlooks other dimensions of ethnicity, such as...

    • 17 The Women’s Movement outside Quebec: Shifting Relations with the Canadian State
      (pp. 333-357)

      During the past twenty-five years English-Canadian politics has witnessed the unprecedented growth of what is commonly termed the “second-wave” of the Canadian women’s movement. From its meagre presence in the early 1970s as a small and influential cabal of urban, WASP, middle-class women, it has emerged as a powerful social movement which has assumed the role as one of few remaining progressive voices of politics in Canada outside Quebec. Much like the “first-wave” of English-Canadian feminism, which flourished in the first decades of this century, this social movement took root outside the party system and has pursued a political trajectory...

    • 18 Francophone Minorities: The Fragmentation of the French-Canadian Identity
      (pp. 358-368)

      In the course of the conference that gave rise to this book, repeated reference was made to the role of symbolism in Canadian nationhood. Professor Nelles asked whether, beyond economic or material conditions, Canadians may be perceived as having a state of mind that would serve to define Canadian nationhood. Others noted the absence of a symbolic identity as a basic element of Canadian nationhood. In general, our discussions acknowledged (and regretted) the absence of a common definition - beyond the political state - of what constitutes Canada as a nation. This sad state of affairs is attributed a priori...

    • 19 A Difficult Transition: English-Canadian Populism vs Quebec Nationalism
      (pp. 371-377)

      I would like to begin with a favourite story which I hope not too many people have heard. It’s from my old mentor Marshall McLuhan and it seems to be particularly appropriate for this big moment in Canada’s history. The scene is the middle of the ocean, where a research vessel is stationed. It is measuring fish and waves, depths and so on, and it sends down a deep sea diver to probe the bottom of the ocean. Suddenly this diver gets an urgent communication from the ship: “Surface immediately. The ship is sinking!”

      Somehow, I have a sense that...

    • 20 The Meristonic Society: Restructuring and the Future of “Canada outside Quebec”
      (pp. 378-387)

      Just north of Ottawa in the Gatineau Hills there exists a lake which is an ecological oddity. It consists of distinct layers which do not interact in any way: the very ancient forms of life at the bottom have never been exposed to sun or air or even to the forms of life at the upper levels of the lake. The life forms nearer the top do receive a lot more oxygen and light, but these advantages are not transmitted to the lake’s bottom layers. Because the various layers of this lake have no interaction, this lake has not evolved...

    • 21 Staatsnation vs Kulturnation: The Future of ROC
      (pp. 388-400)

      I am interpreting my contribution to this volume as that of a combination forecaster and rapporteur, that is, assessing the future of the Rest of Canada (ROC) both in its own terms and in terms of some of the ideas and issues contained in these chapters. I have accordingly structured my comments as follows: the first section will focus on a range of impacts on ROC if Quebec opts for sovereignty. In section 2 I shall argue that, regardless of what Quebec chooses to do, ROC is in for significant political and socio-economic changes emanating from the new global economic...

    • 22 After the Referendum: Canada with or without Quebec
      (pp. 403-432)

      Within months, perhaps even weeks, of the publication of this book, Quebec voters are supposed to have decided whether Quebec should become “a sovereign country.” In fact, the Parti Québécois (PQ) government of Jacques Parizeau has already defined the broad outlines of its sovereignty project and begun an elaborate process of popular consultation leading to the referendum. A proposed version of the referendum question has even been made available. In addition, over the last few months some important new studies have been published about the processes through which Quebec might become sovereign, and their consequences for Canada Outside Quebec (Gibson...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 433-435)