Revolutions, even ‘quiet’ ones, have their repercussions
Arguably the greatest issue confronting Canada in the past half century has been that of Quebec separatism. For the Canadian Jewish community, there have been few issues of more significance. That period saw the 1976 election of the Parti Québécois on a platform of separating from Canada and referendums on Quebec separation in 1980 and 1995. The events of these decades had an enormous effect on Montreal’s Jewish population and caused significant changes in the makeup and structure of the Canadian Jewish community as a whole, not the least of which was the rise of Toronto as Canada’s pre-eminent Jewish community.
At the onset of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution in the 1960s, Montreal Jews lived with significant social distance between them and the French-canadians who made up a majority of Quebec’s population. In 1965, journalist and politician Claude Ryan spoke truly when he stated: “I know of very few French-canadians who maintain friendly private relations with Jews, or who have any serious knowledge of the mentality, the real problems, the frustrations and the aspirations of the average Jew … or who care about such things.”
The Quiet Revolution aimed to change the previous status quo, in which French-canadians were perceived as disadvantaged, through the political, social
I have great respect for Jews, but they take up too much room.
Businessman Pierre Péladeau in 1990