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Alternate History

Partitionism (Farewell My Canada)

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Partitionism was a movement that arose in Canada in the years surrounding Quebec' separation. It started as a move to show that a sovereign Quebec would be unviable by claiming that if Canada was divisible, thenso was Quebec. Various organisations, almost all in anglophone parts of the province, pressured their local municipalities into passing resolutions stating that in the event of separation, they would still consider themselves canadian territories.

The movement contained various factions, each with its own views on how much of Quebec's territory should remain Canadian. The most extreme model would keep tribal lands (since their existence was based on treaties with the federal government), Lands under federal jurisdiction (Natural parks and the shores of the St. Lawrence seaway), every municipalities which voted "No" on the referendum as well as corridors along the western and southern borders of pre-referendum Quebec and between the lands mentioned above to prevent the creation of enclaves. With these cuts, Quebec would have been reduced to less then a quarter of its pre-referendum territory comprised mainly of part of the St. Lawrence valley and the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region.

A more conservative model, and the one later proposed by the Partitionist Party of Quebec, called only for predominantly anglophone parts of Quebec being partitioned, namely, the Pontiac part of the Outaouais, Montreal's West Island and the Eastern Townships. It is proposed that all 3 of which formed separate provinces within the Canadian Confederation.

While the movement was quite active in lobbying activities in the lead up to the referendum, it never managed to receive any sort of official endorsement from mainstream figures. The Progressive-Conservative announced that not only would they recognise a simple majority but also that they would respect Quebec's territorial integrity in the event of a "Yes" victory. The Liberals on their part remained ambiguous at best. The only possibility for partition came, ironicaly, from the "Yes" camp when Quebec's vice-premier said that if negotiation on the place of native territories failed, the government of a sovereign quebec would allow the tribes to keep whether arrangements they chose as the land they occupied was truly their own.

Although in the end the partitionist movement had only a negligible effect on the referendum, it did inspire other groups in Canada. The Aurora Party in Ontario wants the northern part of the province to become a new one while the Parti Pour l'Unification Francophone (PPUF) advocate the partition of Franco-Ontarian and Acadian communities from their respective provinces to join with Quebec.

Even with some support amongst the general population for the partitionist within Canada and for the PPUF in Quebec, the governments of both countries have been careful not to appear to openly support either parties for fear that claims of ingerence into the other country's affairs might endanger their bi-lateral commercial relationship.

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