Forty years after the first referendum, Quebec is always found in the Canada of Trudeau, while still being led by a nationalist whose family name begins with L, as in the song Free-we liberals, of Loco Locass !
The Québec of François Legault would have more confidence in its financial autonomy that Quebec in the time of René Lévesque ? And Justin Trudeau would it be less ratoureux in its combat strategies against the sovereignty of Quebec that his father, Pierre Eliott Trudeau ?
Whatever one may say, two worlds apart, economically speaking, the Quebec of today with that of 20 may 1980.
With their threats, the men are Seven-Hours of canadian federalism would have little influence today on the Québécois.
Let us be clear : I’m not saying that Quebecers would vote overwhelmingly in favour of Quebec sovereignty. But one thing is certain, the threats, the federalists raised at the time of the 1980 referendum to frighten the Quebec slip, probably, as the water on the back of a loonie.
THE THREATS FEDERALISTS
A reminder of the famous threats federalists who were, unfortunately, resonate with many Quebecers at the time :
- Old-age pensions will not be paid
- The economic uncertainty will make it worse
- Unemployment will increase
- The price of gasoline will climb
- The federal government will refuse to enter into an agreement with the province of Quebec
- Québec exports will fall
- Quebec will not be able to use the canadian dollar
- The provinces will boycott Quebec
- The Americans will refuse to do business with a Quebec separate
- The foreign companies will leave Quebec
- The standard of living of Quebecers will go down drastically
- The Quebecois will have difficulty to import foreign goods
- A lot of people are going to leave Quebec
THE BLOWS OF A VICIOUS
And you should know that uttering these threats had been preceded earlier in a series of attacks even more vicious. For historical memory, a reminder.
To counter the flirtation of the prime minister Daniel Johnson (father) with independence, the world of high finance in quebec (Montreal stock Exchange, bankers, brokers, dealers) suggests that Quebec is a victim of capital flight.
To put an end to, the standard-bearer of high finance québec invite Daniel Johnson to renounce their aims of independence of Quebec.
Finally, it turned out that it was a false capital flight organized of any piece in the plan to scare the government of the National Union of Johnson !
A few days of the election campaign where the Parti québécois of René Lévesque is presented for the first time occurs the famous shot of the Brinks while armored trucks stop in front of the Royal Trust, Montreal, and several guards carry trucks with large bags of money, to then transfer to Toronto. As if by chance, journalists and press photographers were on scene to spread among the population of the capital flight. And the impact desired by the federalists materialized while the troops of René Lévesque failed to win only seven seats, despite 23 % of the votes.
The goal of the federalists was to demonstrate to Quebecers that a future “piastre à Lévesque” was going to collapse. This attack was particularly vicious that René Lévesque had always said that the maintenance of the canadian currency was fundamental to the realization of his project sovereignist.
The question of the currency to be used in the event of Quebec independence remains a weapon federalist effective to frighten the voters of quebec. And it works : in the election of 1973, the PQ harvest 31 % of the vote, but must be content with six seats only.
This is the crowning glory of René Lévesque when he takes power with 41% of the vote. The propaganda federalist suggests that Quebec may become the “Cuba of the North” under the pq government. A big threat to the capitalists !
In the days following the seizure of power by René Lévesque, the government and Hydro-Québec are the subject of a boycott for the financial markets of Montreal, Toronto and New York. They don’t want to buy new bonds issued by Québec and Hydro.
That’s not a problem, with hundreds of millions of dollars of liquidity, the Caisse de dépôt et placement (with at its head a CEO nationalist, Jean Campeau) buys it-even the said obligations, in addition to acquire that jittery investors want to sell. Once the anxiety has passed, the value of québec bonds recovered and the Fund has been able to make a big money !
Thanks to the financial genius of the minister pq of Finance, Jacques Parizeau, the Quebec had found the way to counter the boycott of the north american financial by going to make loans from the bankers of Switzerland, Great-Britain, Belgium and Japan.
And the wonderful world of high finance, north american returned to buying bonds quebec…
In this year’s referendum, the shots fly low. Conducted by Pierre Elliott Trudeau more seasoned than ever, the troops federalists do not skimp on the threats financial.
To make matters worse for the ” YES ” camp, the recession is ubiquitous in Canada, the interest rates go up, same thing for unemployment.
Result : the camp of the NON-Trudeau’s father wins with 59.6% of the votes, compared to 40.4% for the ” YES ” camp of Lévesque.
Forty years later, we find ourselves again in the midst of a recession, because this time of the pandemic of the sars coronavirus. But… Quebec has become an economic force is undeniable. The return in force of the “Master in us” under the government of François Legault gives back to the Quebec of the pride.
And the “sovereignty” of it ? It’s still a dream… !