Quebec nationalism under the CAQ

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Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

Wednesday, October 12, 20224:30PM - 6:30PMBloor - 1st floor Boardroom/Round Room/Library, 'Munk Centre For International Studies - 1 Devonshire Place
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Canadian observers of the Quebec political scene are confronted with an apparent paradox. On the one hand, sovereignty has fallen off the political agenda, with the Parti Québécois anticipated to be all but shut out of the Assembly after the October provincial election. On the other hand, the CAQ government is spearheading an activist agenda based on identity politics, through legislation such as Bills 21 and 96. The culmination of the court challenges to these bills (through eventual rulings from the Supreme Court) risk triggering a renewed debate about the legitimacy of the Canadian constitution and of federal political institutions in the eyes of francophone Quebecers. In the face of these developments, should Quebec’s federal partners be celebrating the end of the threat posed by the sovereigntist movement, or gearing up for a new national unity crisis?

Reception to follow 6:00 – 7:00pm.

Featured Speakers:

Emilie Nicolas, Columnist with Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette

Emilie Nicolas is a columnist with Le Devoir and The Montreal Gazette, the host of the Détours podcast on Canadaland, as well as a consultant and public speaker. She is a regular analyst and commentator for several large media networks, and has been published in several journals, magazines and newspapers, both in French and English. Most recently, she won the Quebec’s cultural magazine (SODEP) 2020 Excellence Award for Best Essay, for a piece in the Liberté magazine.

Emilie has contributed to various organizations in Canada and internationally. She currently sits on the board of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, a crown corporation dedicated to the elimination of racism, and Informed Opinions, a non-profit organization working towards more gender equality in Canadian media. An active bridge-builder, Emilie is a co-founder of Québec inclusif (2013), a movement that united citizens against racism and social exclusion. She also initiated a coalition campaigning for equality and against systemic racism in Quebec (2016).

As a Vanier Scholar and PhD candidate in Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Emilie focused her research on the role of a shared language in the connections between Quebec and Haiti. Emilie holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the same university.

Emilie is the recipient of a Harry Jerome Award for leadership along with a Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. She completed the Action Canada Fellowship (2015) as well as the Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Fellowship (2019).

Andrew Parkin, Executive Director, Environics Institute

Andrew Parkin is the Executive Director of the Environics Institute for Survey Research, a not-for-profit agency created in 2006 to conduct in-depth public opinion and social research on the issues shaping Canada’s future.

Prior to joining the Institute, Andrew served as the Director of the Mowat Centre and Associate Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (2017-19), Director General of the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) (2010-14), Associate Executive Director and Director of Research and Program Development at the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation (2004-10), and Co-Director of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada (2000-04). He has also worked as an independent public policy analyst and consultant, providing strategic advice, issue analysis, and policy research to a variety of national and international clients in the areas of education and skills development, social and economic policy, and public opinion research.

Charles Breton, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation

Charles Breton has been the Executive Director of the IRPP’s Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation since 2019. He was the research director at Vox Pop Labs, where he led the design of innovative public opinion research tools such as Vote Compass. His research interests include Canadian politics, comparative public policy and public opinion research. Before pursuing an academic career, he was a researcher and journalist for current affairs programs on Radio-Canada, and he is a frequent analyst and expert commentator on Canadian politics and public policy. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of British Columbia, did post-doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University, and has an MA in political science from the Université de Montréal.

Co-presented by Enivronics Institute for Survey Research adn Munk School for Global Affairs & Public Policy.


Emilie Nicolas
Columnist with Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette

Andrew Parkin
Executive Director, Environics Institute

Charles Breton
Executive Director, Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation


Environics Institute for Survey Research


Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation

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