What were the main events of the Quebec Independence Movement between 1960 and 1995
Tensions between English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians go back to the country's founding as a British colony following the French government's decision in 1763 to relinquish control of its half of Canada to the British Crown. Since then, French separatism has remained a strong, if distinctly minority, force in Canadian politics. While the degree and breadth of separatist passions has wavered over time, the movement for a separate French-speaking state remains.
The notion of a separate French-speaking country, independent form Great Britain, began to gain steam during the 1960s with a movement known as "the Quiet Revolution." Nineteen-sixty saw the emergence of several political parties in Quebec dedicated to independence. In 1963, a militant separatist movement, the Quebec Liberation Front (the FLQ), was formed and initiated a series of terrorist attacks against the federal government and prominent symbols of Canadian unity. Among the more infamous such attacks included the 1969 bombing of the Montreal Stock Exchange, the kidnapping of British Trade Minister James Cross, and the assassination of Quebec Labor Minister Pierre Laporte.
Canadian security agencies largely succeeded in defeating the FLQ, due in small part to the movement's limited following, but the occasional terrorist attack attributed to the FLQ continued to occur on a sporadic basis.
French-Canadians would continue to debate the merits of seceding from Canada. Political referenda were held in 1980 and 1995, and in both instances, the pro-separatist vote represented barely one-third of the voters. Some analysts have attributed the failure of the referenda on the majority of French-Canadian citizens' having been assuaged with symbols, for example, street signs in French as well as English, and with money through the federal transfer payment system, in which other provinces transfer revenue to Quebec.
While the democratic process has repeatedly demonstrated only minority support for secession, there remains a solidly core of pro-separatist individuals in Quebec.