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Quiet Revolution (Plain-Language Summary)

The Quiet Revolution transformed Quebec in the 1960s. The Quiet Revolution refers to a series of drastic political, societal and cultural changes. The Quiet Revolution was led by the Quebec Liberal Party under Premier Jean Lesage. The slogan was “Maîtres chez nous” (Masters of our own house). The goal was for francophones to take leadership positions in Quebec and to guide Quebec into the future. The goal was met. The Quiet Revolution contributed to changing Quebec, and Canada, forever.

(This article is a plain-language summary of the Quiet Revolution. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Quiet Revolution.)

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Anne Dorval

Anne Dorval, actress, show host and dubbing artist (born 8 November 1960 in Rouyn-Noranda, QC). Known for her acting abilities and for her irresistible humour during public appearances, she has been in some thirty theatre plays, approximately twenty television series and made-for-television movies, and over ten feature films, including some produced by Xavier Dolan and for which she has won many performance awards. She has also lent her voice to dubbing for almost 80 characters in motion pictures and animated films.

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Lévis

Lévis, Quebec, city incorporated in 2002, population 143,414 (2016 census), 138,769 (2011 census). Lévis covers an area of 444 km2. The city is located on the rocky cliffs opposite Quebec City, to which it is linked by ferry. Present-day Lévis is the result of multiple mergers. In 1989, it merged with the industrial city of Lauzon (inc 1957). The following year, Lévis combined with the town of Saint-David-de-l'Auberivière. In 2002, Lévis took in the cities of Charny, Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Rédempteur and Saint-Romuald. The parishes of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-de-Lévy and Sainte-Hélène-de-Breakeyville were also included in the fusion. The municipalities of Pintendre, Saint-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Desjardins and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière were also merged in.

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Arthur Tremblay

Arthur Julien Tremblay, PC, OC, OQ, professor, educational reformer, senior public servant, senator, author (born 18 June 1917 in St-Bruno, QC; died 27 October 1996).

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Pintendre

Pintendre, Quebec, population 7,171 (2019), 6,209 (2001 census). Originally incorporated in 1901, Pintendre is now part of Lévis since 2002. The area is located on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River. Pintendre is situated on the agricultural plain next to the Appalachian mountains. (See Mountain Range.) Three rivers flow through the area’s boundaries: Etchemin, la Scie and des Couture.

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Saint-Nicolas

Saint-Nicolas, Quebec, population 23,675 (2019), 16,645 (2001 census). The city of Saint-Nicolas was originally incorporated in 1994 with the amalgamation of the municipalities of Bernières and Saint-Nicolas. Since 2002, Saint-Nicolas is part of the city of Lévis. Saint-Nicolas is located 17 km southwest of Quebec City. Saint-Nicolas is on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and to the west of Rivière Chaudière. It is a thriving residential suburb of Quebec City. The area is linked to the city of Sainte-Foy, on the opposite shore of the St. Lawrence, by the Pierre-Laporte suspension bridge and the old, cantilever Quebec Bridge. (See also Quebec Bridge Disaster.)

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Quiet Revolution

The Quiet Revolution (Révolution tranquille) was a time of rapid change experienced in Québec during the 1960s. This vivid yet paradoxical description of the period was first used by an anonymous writer in The Globe and Mail.

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Québec Referendum (1980)

The Québec referendum of 1980, on the Parti Québécois government’s plans for sovereignty-association, was held in fulfilment of a promise that the party had made to do so, during the 1976 election campaign that brought it to power. In this referendum, the government asked the people of Québec to give it a mandate to “negotiate a new constitutional agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations.” When the votes were counted, nearly 60% of Quebecers had voted against this plan, and it was thereby rejected. If the “Yes” side had won, the results of the negotiations would have been submitted to a second referendum. The 1980 referendum was followed by constitutional negotiations that have left an indelible mark on the Canadian political scene.

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Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education in the Province of Quebec (Parent Commission)

The Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education in the Province of Quebec (1961-1964) had a major impact on the structure of the Quebecois school system. It recommended the adoption of new pedagogical methods as well as the creation of new structures, namely the Ministry of Education, comprehensive schools, CEGEPs (Collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel; General and professional teaching colleges) and the Université du Québec network.

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Val-d'Or

Val-d'Or, Quebec, city incorporated in 1968, population 32,491 (2016 census), 31,862 (2011 census). Val-d'Or is located 95 km southeast of Rouyn-Noranda in northwestern Quebec's Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. The town is near the source of the Harricana River, one of the major rivers flowing north to James Bay. Val-d’Or’s name is linked to the gold rush, second in scale only to the Klondike, which took the area by storm in the mid-1930s. (See Gold Rushes in Canada.)

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Bill 21 (An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State)

Bill 21 (also called “An Act respecting the laicity of the State”) was passed by the Quebec National Assembly on 16 June 2019. The purpose of this legislation was to confirm the province’s secular status, as well as to prohibit the wearing of religious symbols by civil service employees in positions of authority and by teachers in the public sector. The legislation does not apply to trainee teachers and includes a grandfather clause for those employed prior to the passage of the new legislation. (See Secularism in Quebec.)

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Bloc Québécois

The Bloc Québécois is a federal political party that was created officially on 15 June 1991 (registered by Elections Canada on 11 September 1993). It was founded as a parliamentary movement composed of Quebec MPs who left the Conservative and Liberal parties after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. The party promotes Quebec's interests and Quebec sovereignty in the House of Commons. The party only runs candidates in the province of Quebec.

Yves-François Blanchet became leader of the party in January 2019. Under Blanchet, the Bloc won 32 seats in the October 2019 federal election, returning it to official party status.

See Canadian Electoral System; Voting Behaviour in Canada.

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Manicouagan Reservoir

The Manicouagan Reservoir, 1,942 km2, elevation 360 m, is located in southeastern Quebec, about 140 km from the Labrador border. The second-largest natural lake in Quebec, it was created by a meteorite millions of years ago. The name “Manicouagan” is possibly of Innu origin and might mean “where there is bark” (for canoe making). The lake appears on Jonathan Carver’s map of Quebec (1776) as Lake Asturagamicook, and is shown to be drained by the Manicouagan or Black River.

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Longueuil

Longueuil, Quebec, population 239,700 (2016 census), 231,409 (2011 census). Longueuil’s history dates to the 17th century with the settling of French colonists. It is today an important suburb of Montreal and is connected to the island of Montreal by the Jacques Cartier bridge and the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel-bridge. Longueuil is criss-crossed by major expressways linking metropolitan Montreal to Québec city, the Eastern Townships and northern New York State. The municipality of Longueuil is its own entity within the Longueuil agglomeration which includes other nearby cities.

Longueuil is situated on the ancestral territory of the Kanyen’kehà:ka. The land remains unceded and is considered Indigenous territory.

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Front de libération des femmes du Québec

The Front de libération des femmes du Québec (FLF) was a militant feminist organization that was active from 1969 to 1971. Even though it was around for such a short time, the FLF played an important role in the history of Quebec society. The FLF popularized a feminist analysis that linked the oppression of women with the Quebec nationalist cause. Its efforts led to the elimination of Quebec’s prohibition against women serving as jurors, as well as to government-funded daycare centres and accessible abortion services.

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Geography of Quebec

The province of Quebec is composed of three of Canada’s sevenphysiographic regions. These regions are the St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Canadian Shield and the Appalachian region. The St. Lawrence Lowlands is the most fertile and developed region. The majority of the population of Quebec lives here, mainly between Montreal and Quebec City. The Canadian Shield covers most of Quebec from approximately 80 km north of the St. Lawrence River valley up to the Ungava region. It is a vast region composed of thousands of lakes and thousands of square kilometres of forested area. On the south bank of the St. Lawrence River, between the Richelieu River and the Gaspé Peninsula, is the Quebec part of the Appalachian mountain chain which extends from Gaspé south to Alabama.