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Government, Constitution

Quebec separatist movement, Quebec independence, British North America Act, Quebec premier, referendum

Under the British North America Act of 1867, the central government had considerable power over the provinces. However, amendments to the act and changes brought by practical experience have increased the scope of authority of the provincial governments. Considerable tension continues to exist between Ottawa and the provincial governments concerning the proper allocation of power. The most important current constitutional issue is the status of Quebec, which seeks more autonomy. When the constitution was patriated in 1982, the Quebec premier refused to sign it because he did not think the terms were fair to Quebec. Subsequent attempts to induce Quebec to ratify the constitution, in 1990 and 1992, foundered because of opposition from other provinces. This impasse has fueled the Quebec separatist movement, and in 1995 a referendum that could have led to Quebec independence very nearly passed with 49.4 percent of the vote.

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Quebec separatist movement, Quebec independence, British North America Act, Quebec premier, referendum, impasse, autonomy, central government, amendments, Ottawa, provinces, opposition, vote, practical experience, percent, changes, terms

 
 

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