Landmark Case: The Question of Quebec Sovereignty – Reference Re Secession of Quebec
Each OJEN Landmark Case includes a case summary, classroom discussion questions and activities that encourage students to explore both the legal and societal importance of the case.
In 1995, the Parti Quebecois held a referendum to determine whether the residents of Quebec wanted to separate from Canada. A narrow majority of voters opposed secession (50.6% to 49.4%). In response, the federal government submitted three reference questions to the Supreme Court of Canada, requesting an opinion regarding the legality of Quebec’s separation from Canada. The Court unanimously held that Quebec could not unilaterally separate (i.e. without negotiation or consultation with the federal government and provinces) from Canada because it would violate both the Canadian Constitution and international law.
Date Produced: 2012