What have been the most important political developments in Canada since 1945? In what ways has national unity been challenged from within?
Canada has changed dramatically in many ways in the post-war era. Most Canadians would identify universal healthcare as one of the most important achievements of the period. Another major political milestone was the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has become a defining framework for both law and thinking about social services and individual rights, leading to a more benevolent and pluralistic society. The North American Free Trade Agreement was important in allowing easier flow of goods and labour between Canada and the United States. Tensions between Francophone and Anglophone Canada increased with the Quebec separatist movement, but the "orange wave" may be an indicator that separatism will not be as strong an issue in the 21st century.