René Lévesque, born a few decades before the Second World War, started his career as a war correspondent, later working for Radio-Canada . When he finally comes to power in 1976 as the Premier of Quebec, the province has gone through the Quiet Revolution and the population has seen changes in several aspects of their daily life. Some of those include the way education and health services were managed: they were formerly managed by the Church and now, the provincial government was taking charge of these things. Hence, the government established the Ministry of Education (on a provincial level), the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Health .
At that time, the debates over the French language and conflicts over the language of instruction were not over. This is one of the issues that René Lévesque will address, along with many others, ultimately “calling” a referendum debate in 1980. He will first found the Parti Quebecois in 1967, slowly gaining votes, then win the elections in 1976 and finally pursue its reforms and bring change to Quebec. This paper will examine the impact of René Lévesque’s input in Quebec politics on the lifestyle of Quebecers, his input in the referendum of 1980, the Bill 101 and the nationalisation of electricity.
The Parti Québécois and the referendum of 1980
With the creation of the Parti Québécois, the Québécois finally got a party they could relate to and have their voices heard through René Lévesque, a political leader they trusted. Described by many as an honest and respectful politician, Lévesque gained the support of the population in Quebec by personifying it and by being modest in everything he did . He was al...
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...tunity to French engineers to occupy important positions in the management, design and execution of projects, unlike the positions they formerly held in public service. It is also the time when companies like the modern SNC-Lavalin expand, taking advantage of the circumstances and the availability to learn new techniques and enhance the level of expertise of their employees .
In short, René Lévesque’s input in Quebec politics was significant in multiple aspects of everyday life. He reformed the use of the French language, nationalized electricity and founded a political party the Québécois could relate to. Had he not gotten involved in politics and stayed in the media industry, the reality of French Canadians in Quebec would have been much different and the debate over official languages would have persisted until someone would have stepped up to end it.
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