Bloc populaire canadien
Bloc populaire canadien, a Canadian federal and Québec provincial political movement formed September 1942 in reaction to the National Resources Mobilization Act, Amendment Act, 1942, which removed the existing ban on CONSCRIPTION for military service overseas.
Bloc populaire canadien, a Canadian federal and Québec provincial political movement formed September 1942 in reaction to the National Resources Mobilization Act, Amendment Act, 1942, which removed the existing ban on conscription for military service overseas. The Act violated promises made specifically to Québec in 1939, and followed a plebiscite in which a majority in every province except Québec had voted in favour of releasing the government from its commitments restricting "the methods of raising men for military service."
Inspired by Henri Bourassa and led by Maxime Raymond, MP, the Bloc included in its basic program Canadian independence and neutrality, provincial autonomy, English-French equality, a co-operative economy and family-based social reforms such as provincial health insurance. By 1944, 5 MPs belonged to the Bloc.
Led provincially by André Laurendeau, the Bloc was a distinct third party in the Québec legislature until the 1948 provincial election, which it did not contest. In Ottawa, the Bloc had supported Canadian membership in the United Nations, considering it to be a genuine world organization, but in March 1949 its 2 remaining federal members voted against participation in NATO because "it is an armaments race."
When Parliament dissolved on 30 April 1949, the Bloc populaire canadien ceased to exist. Among its leaders had been René Hamel, later a provincial Liberal Cabinet minister and judge; Roger Duhamel, who became Queen's Printer at Ottawa; Jean Martineau, afterwards chairman of the Canada Council; André Laurendeau, later co-chairman of the commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism; and Jean Drapeau, the longtime mayor of Montréal.