Author Information

Juan Antonio Morales


In 1995, Canada came the closest it has ever been in its history to breaking apart. With Quebec nationalism on the rise after a failed decade of attempted constitutional reform in the 1980s, the sovereigntist Bloc Québécois and Parti Québécois political parties sought to take Quebec out of the Canadian federation by hosting a referendum asking the infamous question: “Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?” In response, the federal government of Canada organized against the nationalist Yes Campaign, hoping to prevent a Québécois bid for independence. This article outlines the four main strategies the federal government used to keep Quebec within the federation: delegitimizing the question posed by the Parti Québécois on the referendum, turning to the United States for support on Canadian unity, promising distinct society and constitutional reforms for Quebec, and hosting an energetic Unity Rally in Montreal. With these four strategies, the federal government of Canada would tried its best to organize against Quebec’s independence and keep Canada whole.

Note on the Author

Juan Morales is a senior at Bridgewater State University, and takes interest in events in world history.

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