It’s a long-standing aspiration. The “Belle Province” is already seen as a nation within the Canadian federation, moreover one speaks of the city of Quebec as the “national” capital. But until now, Ottawa hadn’t wanted to hear anything.
However, in the course of a linguistic reform intended to strengthen the presence of French, the Quebec government affirmed its intention to unilaterally modify the Constitution of 1867 in order to include in it that Quebec was “a nation, with its official and common language. French.” And surprise: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nodded.
Quebec has the right to modify part of the Constitution, in order to underline the observations that we have already made at the federal government level: that is to say that Quebec constitutes a nation, and that it is a province where the official language is French.Justin trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
An assent that triggered the anger of the English-speaking press. An editorial writer spoke of “cultural suprematism of Quebec nationalism”, when others criticized Justin Trudeau for betraying his father, Pierre Eliott Trudeau, also a former Prime Minister and a staunch defender in his time of federalism.
This recognition should not upset the institutional balance of Canada. We are far from the hopes of independence carried since the 1960s by Quebec nationalists, showered by the failures of the referendums of 1980 and 1995. But there is no small victory. Moreover, the leader of the Quebec party Paul St-Pierre Plamondon intends to push his advantage: “It is very abnormal that Scotland and several other nations that are not countries have their flag on digital platforms, but not Quebec! We are going to write letters, so as to put pressure so that Quebec has the same right as several other nations around the world: the right to be proud and to display this pride on social media.“
A blue and white flag emoticon with fleur-de-lis to be shared on social networks represents another hope of recognition for the Quebec “nation”.