Leader of Quebec's independence.
Created by cthomas on May 3, 2009
Last updated: 05/04/09 at 01:23 PM
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Levesque died of a heart attack November 1st 1987. He was remembered as a leader who fought hard for individual freedoms and kept an open mind to change. His ideals on a sovereign nation and overall rights of the Quebec people was the foundation for the now sovereign Quebec. It ended up being free while still economically linked to the rest of Canada, just like Levesque wanted.
Within a time of recession in Quebec, members of Levesque' s party still pressed on ideas of sovereignty. However, they no longer wanted the economic link between Quebec and Canada. Levesque resigned from both the Parti Quebecois (June 1985)and as Premier(Oct 3rd).
All of Canada's premiers, besides Levesque, were presented with a brand new constitution. Levesque refused to take part in it.
A referendum was held. During it, a vote was taken that asked to negotiate with Canada in or to give Quebec complete sovereignty but still have a financial link between Canada and Quebec. It was rejected. Pierre Trudeau (Canada's prime minister) planned dramatically changing the constitution of Canada. Rene Levesque plays an important part in these new changes. The new constitution had very little to do with human rights, and more on political power; Levesque brought this to light and appropriate changes were made to ensure the people of Quebec would have a strong voice in the government.
Map that shows move of separatist movement in Quebec
To stop the rich from having an effect on government, Levesque passed the "Act to govern the financing of political parties". It put a stop to corporate donations and each political party could only donate $3,00 toward a campaign. More laws passed by Levesque included an automobile insurance plan, agricultural zoning, and one that prevented strikebreakers from taking jobs of employees on strike.
Levesque and the Parti Quebecois passed "Quebec Charter of the French Language or Bill 101. It was to make French the first language in Quebec. All kids had to attend French speaking schools, unless their parents had gone to an english school when they were kids. Companies were required to have advertisements in French. This was a dramatic change in the overall environment of Quebec.
As the party gained popularity, it raised to the top and won the election to be the head party of Quebec. Levesque successfully ran for the leading position and was named the Premier of Quebec.
Rene Levesque defends the idea of separatism after it sparks controversy in Quebec.
During a meeting with the Liberal Governement, Levesque got into an argument about the freedom of Quebec. While his fellow legislature wanted complete freedom of Qubec, Levesque thought it was best that Quebec demand independence while still being economicly unified with the rest of Canada. He left the party and founded Parti Quebecois. The party consisted of other separatist. Soon it became the second strongest political party in Quebec, their focus being on separatism.
He ran for office and became a member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in 1960. Then the Minister of Family and welfare. He left the Liberal Party because during a convention the members refused to speak about the idea of an independent Quebec. Levesque put all of Quebec's electrical resources into the company, "Hydro-Quebec"
He studied for a law degree in college at Université Laval but never completed the degree.He was a news writer/announcer to the radio station CHNC. 1944-1945 he was a liaison officer and war corresponded for the u.s army in Europe. During WWII he was in the first group of Americans to witness the Dachau concentration camp. He became famous throughout Quebec whilst being a reporter. At one point during his job he was arrested during a strike along with other protesters.
Rene Levesque was born in New Brunswick; just a few miles from Quebec.