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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.
Bloc populaire canadien
The Bloc populaire canadien is an anti-conscription and nationalist political party of the 1940s. The party participated in federal elections and in Quebec provincial elections. The Bloc received some minor electoral successes, but, by 1948, its influence had drastically diminished and the party faded away.
Henri Bourassa, politician, journalist (born 1 Sept 1868 in Montreal; died 31 Aug 1952 in Montreal). Henri Bourassa was an important Canadian nationalist leader who supported Canada’s increased independence from the British Empire. Bourassa was also an advocate for French Canadian rights within Canada.
Quebec Language Policy
Quebec is the only province in Canada where francophones make up the majority population. For almost two centuries, many have maintained that preserving the French language was the only possible safeguard for the survival of the Quebec nation (see Francophone Nationalism in Quebec). However, it wasn’t until the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s that governments in Quebec began to actively legislate on the issue. Since 1974, French has been the only official language in the province, although some government services remain accessible in English. Quebec has the distinction of being bilingual on constitutional and federal levels, while officially allowing only French in its provincial institutions.
La Grande Noirceur (the Great Darkness)
In Quebec, the period called la Grande Noirceur (the Great Darkness) refers to the 19 years where premier Maurice Duplessis was in power (1936–1939, 1944–1959). The name alludes to the population’s suffering during this time. However, some criticize the excess resulting from the myth of the Grande Noirceur and the term’s usage in the creation of a popular consensus about the Quiet Revolution.
Established following the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, the Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of Quebec (better known as the Bélanger-Campeau Commission) was a non-partisan Quebec commission active from 1990 to 1991. The purpose of the Commission was to try to find a solution to the constitutional crisis of the time. Despite its commitment to establishing a new partnership with Canada, its efforts ended in failure.
The War of 1812 (Plain-Language Summary)
The War of 1812 was fought between Britain and the United States between 1812 and 1814. The war ended in a stalemate but had many lasting effects in Canada. It guaranteed Canada’s independence from the United States. It also gave Canadians their first experience working together as a community and helped develop a sense of nationhood.
(This article is a plain-language summary of the War of 1812. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry War of 1812.)
Lionel-Adolphe Groulx, historian, priest and nationalist spokesman for the French-Canadian population (born 13 January 1878 in Vaudreuil, Quebec; died 23 May in Vaudreuil). Lionel Groulx was an important intellectual figure for the Quebec nationalist movement and generated some controversy for his antisemitic tendencies (see also Delisle-Richler Controversy).
National Flag of Canada
The National Flag of Canada, also known as the Canadian Flag or the Maple Leaf Flag (l’Unifolié in French), consists of a red field with a white square at its centre in which sits a stylized, 11-pointed red maple leaf. A joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons voted for the present flag in 1964 against formidable odds. After months of debate, the final design, adopted by Parliament and approved by royal proclamation, became Canada’s official national flag on 15 February 1965.
Paul Rose, Québecois indépendantiste leader, terrorist, unionist (born 16 October 1943 in Montreal, Quebec; died 14 March 2013 in Montreal). He was a member of the Chénier Cell, also known as the South Shore Gang, of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) and a key player in the October Crisis. On 13 March 1971, he was sentenced for the kidnapping and murder of Pierre Laporte, a minister in the government of Quebec.