Kébeckistan or, to politically correct liberals, "Québec", is Canada's only predominantly French province (culturally and linguistically), and home to Arcade Fire. This naturally leads to a certain degree of tension between Québec and the rest of Canada (which is predominantly English-speaking), in the form of Québec separatism which has manifested from violent (see the Communist terrorist group Front de liberation du Quebec/Quebec Liberation Front) to gradual attempts (see the 1980 and 1995 Quebec independence referendums and Parti Quebecois)
In spite of occasional bouts of separatist sentiment (or, more likely, because of them), Québec has been home to a great many Canadian Prime Ministers. Also, due to official bilingualism in the Canadian government, Québec is strongly represented in the civil service (since English Canadians are apparently too lazy to just stop whining and learn a second language; or it could be because English people do not want French shoved down their throats, while being fine with the reverse.)
The Québécois share cultural commonalities with the Irish, as can be seen in their traditional music and Catholicism. Many Irish moved to the province, and as a result it is not unusual to meet Québécois people who cannot speak English, but have family names like "Johnson," "Myles," and "O'Neill." Many of them were found among the ranks of the Patriot Party during the Lower Canada Rebellion in 1837-39. Quebec is the starting point for a fair share of Conspiracy theories. We'll save you the history on this, and instead sum it all up with one sentence: Quebec also produced The Vigilant Christian, so, yeah, whether this is testament to Quebec's general sanity we will leave up to you to decide.
Québec has a strong lay culture and pride but many new religions and cultures have arrived in "la belle province." There have been controversies with the regulation of religions such as banning religious signs such as Hijabs for government employees. There has also been controversy about language, especially French and the laws implemented to protect it.
Amusingly for atheists, French Canadians have their own set of swear words, which consist of taking parts of the Church service in vain.
The provincial capital, Quebec City, was founded in 1608, making it one of the oldest European style cities in North America. Montreal, further South, is one of Canada's largest cities, and is home to McGill University, one of the best in the country. Old Montreal and Parc du Mont Royal are major tourist attractions.
Pauline Marois and the "Charter of Values"
In 2013, Premier Pauline Marois' Parti Quebecois minority government proposed legislation which would limit on-the-job religious expression by public employees, forbidding them from wearing obvious signs of religious practice. Had the proposed law pass, this so-called "Charter of Values" could have led to other provinces and possibly Americans experiencing a bump in applicants for nursing and other skilled people who wear hijabs, turbans, and yarmulkes. Meet the iron law of institutions, Premier Marois. The proposed legislation was killed when the Premier called an early election in 2014 that dramatically backfired, with the PQ losing nearly half of its seats in the provincial legislature. A similar proposal was then adopted by Premier François Legault from the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec) and became the Law 21 which bans ostentacious religious signs from government employees with coercision power like judges, provincial police officers, prison guards, procecutors and, with much more controversy, elementary and secondary school teachers (but not support employees and administrators). While the law is very popular in the general population, it's manner of promulgation and its inclusion of teachers amongst the targetted group has raised serious concerns over religious freedom in the Province.
- Namely, Wilfrid Laurier, Louis St. Laurent, Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin (father was French), and Justin Trudeau (Pierre's son).
- This guy could sum up the entirety of conspiracy culture altogether
- Ugly incident of bigotry in Quebec mall underscores nasty side of values debate
- Flee with VIA!