CRISIS WHAT CRISIS? THE RECOGNITION ISSUE AND CANADIAN IDENTITY CRISES

Jack Jedwab

Abstract


During his 1996 swearing-in ceremony, Québec Premier Lucien Bouchard spoke about the need for “a renewed recognition on the northern part of the continent of two profoundly different peoples.”1 Explicitly referring to Québecers and Canadians, he added that these two peoples would soon have to decide upon their respective destinies. Those who are attached to both Québec and Canada will no doubt have difficulty situating themselves within the Premier’s observation. Still, his characterization remains representative of the way in which the national unity debate and the identity crisis that underlies it are often described by those who advocate Québec sovereignty. It also points to the extent to which an important number of Québecers — to be specific the province’s francophones — do not feel a strong attachment to Canada.


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