Originally Posted by funetical
The only problem I have with Canada is Quebec. What's the deal with Quebec Canada?
It all goes back to 1759 when the English army won a battle at the "Plains of Abraham" against the French army over control of what was then called "New France", and later became Lower Canada, and finally became part of Canada. The English, having won the battle, wanted to win over the support of the French speaking civilians. So, instead of assimilating the French and requiring them to speak English and send their kids to English speaking schools, they let the French speaking people of New France keep:
1. Their Catholic Religion (this is when England was Anglican)
2. Their legal system (the French Civil Code is different from the British Common Law), and
3. Their language for all matters concerning their own purposes.
So, for 200 years, the French speaking people in Canada (mostly in Quebec) formed a separate "nation" within a country.
In the 1950's, there was a move by some Quebecois to separate from the rest of Canada, and form a separate country. That movement grew, and there have been two referendums in Quebec so far as to whether or not to separate or remain within Canada. Both referenda have failed, but the last one was a 49.9/50.1 percent vote.
There are a lot of problems inherant in Quebec separating from the rest of Canada:
1. Western Quebec is almost entirely English speaking. If Quebec separates from Canada, then those western regions in Quebec are going to want to separate from Quebec and rejoin Canada. Quebec's position on that is that Quebec can separate from Canada, but Quebec is indivisible, so the western regions cannot separate from Quebec.
2. The biggest city in Quebec, Montreal, is predominantly English speaking.
3. The French language and culture have a safe haven within Canada as we acknowledge our multiculturalism. However, if Quebec separates from Canada, then they will form a group of about 9 million predominantly French speaking people in a continent of 400 million English and Spanish speaking people. Their language and culture are better protected within Canada.
4. If Quebec separates, then it won't be a total separation like you have between Israel and the Palestinians. There are enough family and business relationships across the Canada/Quebec border that the resulting country is more likely to resemble a federation of separate countries, much like England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. So, Canada would essentially then split into Quebec and "New Canada", and we'll carry on much the same way as before.
5. English speaking people in Canada basically are of the opinion that if Quebec wants to separate, we're not going to have a civil war to keep the country together. We'll let them leave, and will figure out what we're going to do as a country without Quebec.
The worst case scenario of Canada splitting into separate regions, with each province or couple of provinces each forming it's own country is unlikely. But, if it came to that, I really wouldn't know what would happen to the northern territories of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Those regions are vast but hardly populated. For an area the size of Australia, they have less than 100,000 people between them, and most of them speak Inuit, not English. But, that's the least likely scenario. Almost certainly Quebec and the rest of Canada will carry on much the same way as before separation, and there's certainly no reason why things wouldn't continue to work out reasonably well that way.