Following are texts associated with the chapter on “The New Role of the State.”

They include:

The Advent of the Welfare State
The Election of the First Woman to the Legislative Assembly
The Tiger Team
Return to Power of the Union nationale
A Real Civil Service
Following are texts associated with the chapter on “The New Role of the State.”

They include:

The Advent of the Welfare State
The Election of the First Woman to the Legislative Assembly
The Tiger Team
Return to Power of the Union nationale
A Real Civil Service

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

In the wake of the Second World War, Canadians wanted nothing more to do with difficult times like those faced during the great economic crisis from 1929 to 1939. Politicians and businessmen shared their opinion, convinced that a return to economic and market laisser-faire at all costs would again lead to misery and an unstable social climate. Everyone wanted the government to oversee the population’s economic and social security, and government played a central role in economic planning in the country. In short, government embraced the principles of the welfare state and the creation of a more just society. Like most countries in the Western world, the Canadian government responded positively to these demands. Among the first social measures to be implemented was unemployment insurance in 1941 and family allowances in 1945. On the other hand, the government of Quebec, led by Maurice Duplessis, declined to follow this path. Duplessis instead condemned the spirit of post-war social reformism and state interventionism. In his eyes, much like education, one should look to the Church to solve social problems.

Mitigating Quebec’s Backwardness

Th Read More

In the wake of the Second World War, Canadians wanted nothing more to do with difficult times like those faced during the great economic crisis from 1929 to 1939. Politicians and businessmen shared their opinion, convinced that a return to economic and market laisser-faire at all costs would again lead to misery and an unstable social climate. Everyone wanted the government to oversee the population’s economic and social security, and government played a central role in economic planning in the country. In short, government embraced the principles of the welfare state and the creation of a more just society. Like most countries in the Western world, the Canadian government responded positively to these demands. Among the first social measures to be implemented was unemployment insurance in 1941 and family allowances in 1945. On the other hand, the government of Quebec, led by Maurice Duplessis, declined to follow this path. Duplessis instead condemned the spirit of post-war social reformism and state interventionism. In his eyes, much like education, one should look to the Church to solve social problems.

Mitigating Quebec’s Backwardness

The Quiet Revolution heralded the winds of change. The government in Quebec took responsibility for local power (municipalities and school boards) until then shouldered by the Church. In matters of income security, the government of Quebec introduced the Régime des rentes (Quebec pension plan) in 1964 and a welfare program in 1969 for the most impoverished. The state also intervened in health, a field where social inequality was rampant. It nationalized hospitals, the preserve of the Church, and joined the hospital insurance program of the federal government in 1961, something that Duplessis had rejected offhand at the time of its creation in 1957. Thanks to this program, people gained free access to hospital services. Changes in expenses for hospital care revealed that this program was a welcome addition, because costs increased tremendously after its introduction.

By creating a series of reforms on short order to guarantee the population insurance against social and medical risks, the Quebec governments of the 1960s sought to mitigate the backwardness created under the reign of the Union nationale in Quebec.



© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

A Woman in Parliament!

The year 1961 was an important year in the history of women in Quebec. It was the year that Claire Kirkland-Casgrain became the first woman to accede to the status of member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec following a by-election.
Many others had tried their luck before her. In 1947, an Anglophone named Mae O’Connor ran for election under the Liberal Party banner during a by-election in the county of Huntingdon. Three women candidates ran in the election of 1952, and up to seven in the election of 1956. No women ran for election in 1960. In the elections of 1962, 1966 and 1970, only one woman was re-elected: Claire Kirkland-Casgrain. Yet the number of candidates was on the increase (up to 11 in 1966). Most among them ran for obscure parties (the Parti social démocrate, the Parti Ouvrier progressiste).

The Married Woman Is No Longer a Child

During her first years as MLA, Mrs. Kirkland-Casgrain focused most of her efforts on the development of a bill that would mark a turning point in the history of Quebec. Less than 25 years after Read More
A Woman in Parliament!

The year 1961 was an important year in the history of women in Quebec. It was the year that Claire Kirkland-Casgrain became the first woman to accede to the status of member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec following a by-election.
Many others had tried their luck before her. In 1947, an Anglophone named Mae O’Connor ran for election under the Liberal Party banner during a by-election in the county of Huntingdon. Three women candidates ran in the election of 1952, and up to seven in the election of 1956. No women ran for election in 1960. In the elections of 1962, 1966 and 1970, only one woman was re-elected: Claire Kirkland-Casgrain. Yet the number of candidates was on the increase (up to 11 in 1966). Most among them ran for obscure parties (the Parti social démocrate, the Parti Ouvrier progressiste).

The Married Woman Is No Longer a Child

During her first years as MLA, Mrs. Kirkland-Casgrain focused most of her efforts on the development of a bill that would mark a turning point in the history of Quebec. Less than 25 years after having obtained the right to vote (1940), Bill 16 voted in 1964 gave the married woman a new legal status. No longer was she considered to be an irresponsible minor subject to the authority of her husband. She became a citizen in her own right. Henceforth, a married woman could sign contracts without the consent of her husband or exercise a profession different from his.
Not only was Bill 16 ill-received by a great number of men, but a number of women as well were displeased because it applied only to women married under separation of property. Women married under community of property were not considered. It would be a few years before women, irrespective of their marital status, would obtain the same rights.

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

A Bold and Forward-thinking Electoral Program  

The program that Jean Lesage, Liberal Party leader, and his tiger team proposed to electors was bold and forward-thinking. Among other things, he advocated the creation of a Ministry of Cultural Affairs, free education from elementary school to university, the establishment of an Economic Advisory Council and different measures to ensure the wellbeing of the population. The Union nationale and its new leader, Antonio Barrette, on the other hand, asked electors to allow his party to proceed with its sound management of Quebec, the best road to progress as indicated by the party’s slogan, To the pinnacle with Barette and the Union nationale (translation).

The Union nationale Beaten!

After a bitter fight, the Liberal Party won the election on June 22, 1960. The victory was ambivalent, however, since 46.6% of the electorate voted for the Union nationale versus 51.3% for the Liberal Party. The Liberals held 51 seats in the Legislative Assembly and the Union nationale, 36. But in the words of Jean Lesage, what mattere Read More
A Bold and Forward-thinking Electoral Program  

The program that Jean Lesage, Liberal Party leader, and his tiger team proposed to electors was bold and forward-thinking. Among other things, he advocated the creation of a Ministry of Cultural Affairs, free education from elementary school to university, the establishment of an Economic Advisory Council and different measures to ensure the wellbeing of the population. The Union nationale and its new leader, Antonio Barrette, on the other hand, asked electors to allow his party to proceed with its sound management of Quebec, the best road to progress as indicated by the party’s slogan, To the pinnacle with Barette and the Union nationale (translation).

The Union nationale Beaten!

After a bitter fight, the Liberal Party won the election on June 22, 1960. The victory was ambivalent, however, since 46.6% of the electorate voted for the Union nationale versus 51.3% for the Liberal Party. The Liberals held 51 seats in the Legislative Assembly and the Union nationale, 36. But in the words of Jean Lesage, what mattered most was that the Liberal Party had beaten the infernal Union nationale machine. The victory marked a turning page in the history of Quebec.

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

The Wind Changes Directions

 In 1962, Premier Jean Lesage made the nationalization of electricity an electoral issue in Quebec... and his gamble paid off. Four years later he resorted to a similar strategy. This time, he sought popular support from the population of Quebec in the imminent battle with the federal government on the delicate issue of new tax-sharing. Lesage was confident that Quebecers would bring him to power a third time. However, the situation was different from the situation prevailing in 1960 and 1962. The strong united front presented by the Liberal Party during the first two elections had disappeared. Star MLAs René Lévesque and Paul Gérin-Lajoie remained withdrawn. As impressive as they were, the reforms carried out by the Liberal government since 1960 were also extremely costly. Consequently, the public debt had more than doubled in Quebec within the span of a few years. Lesage was nicknamed Ti-Jean la taxe (little Jean, the taxman). Likewise, the Liberals were accused of wanting to banish the crucifix from schools after some of the recommendations in the fourth volume of the Parent Report on education Read More
The Wind Changes Directions

 In 1962, Premier Jean Lesage made the nationalization of electricity an electoral issue in Quebec... and his gamble paid off. Four years later he resorted to a similar strategy. This time, he sought popular support from the population of Quebec in the imminent battle with the federal government on the delicate issue of new tax-sharing. Lesage was confident that Quebecers would bring him to power a third time. However, the situation was different from the situation prevailing in 1960 and 1962. The strong united front presented by the Liberal Party during the first two elections had disappeared. Star MLAs René Lévesque and Paul Gérin-Lajoie remained withdrawn. As impressive as they were, the reforms carried out by the Liberal government since 1960 were also extremely costly. Consequently, the public debt had more than doubled in Quebec within the span of a few years. Lesage was nicknamed Ti-Jean la taxe (little Jean, the taxman). Likewise, the Liberals were accused of wanting to banish the crucifix from schools after some of the recommendations in the fourth volume of the Parent Report on education were made public. 

 A Tug at Heartstrings: the Affirmation of Quebec

The Union nationale, the Liberal Party’s major adversary, had drawn lessons from its defeats in 1960 and 1962. It was re-organized and rejuvenated, and its leader, Daniel Johnson, appeared more confident. His slogan during the 1966 campaign was Québec d’abord (Quebec first) and his program focused in part on the affirmation of Quebec.

To the surprise of many, starting with Jean Lesage himself, the Union nationale won the June 5, 1966 election with a lower percentage of suffrage than the Liberal Party (40.9% for the Union nationale and 47.2% for the Liberals. However, given the electoral map breakdown, the Union nationale obtained 56 of 108 seats, bringing it to power.

Many questioned whether the election of a Union nationale government would mean a step backwards. On the subject, Jean Lesage, now leader of the opposition, declared that he would see to it that the Quiet Revolution continued. But he need not have worried, because Daniel Johnson took up where he had left off.

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

It should come as no surprise that the civil service in Quebec, which groups together all employees of government machinery, experienced unprecedented growth during the Quiet Revolution, a result of state intervention in education, health and social affairs, and the creation of new ministries, advisory councils, regulatory bodies and public corporations. Under the long reign of the Union nationale, the number of civil servants increased regularly, from some 16 000 in 1944 to 29 000 in 1960, an average increase of 1 000 civil servants per year. At the start of the 1970s, they numbered more than 50 000.

The Quebec civil service quickly developed expertise in several fields. Before the Quiet Revolution, it included a goodly cohort of lawyers and engineers, but few specialists in economics, statistics and sociology. After 1960, the civil service developed employee performance evaluation systems and administrative structures and its members could become unionized as of 1964. During the era of Maurice Duplessis, the civil service was subject to arbitrary decisions and patronage. Employees of the state had no rights, no job security and their wages were low. Furthe Read More

It should come as no surprise that the civil service in Quebec, which groups together all employees of government machinery, experienced unprecedented growth during the Quiet Revolution, a result of state intervention in education, health and social affairs, and the creation of new ministries, advisory councils, regulatory bodies and public corporations. Under the long reign of the Union nationale, the number of civil servants increased regularly, from some 16 000 in 1944 to 29 000 in 1960, an average increase of 1 000 civil servants per year. At the start of the 1970s, they numbered more than 50 000.

The Quebec civil service quickly developed expertise in several fields. Before the Quiet Revolution, it included a goodly cohort of lawyers and engineers, but few specialists in economics, statistics and sociology. After 1960, the civil service developed employee performance evaluation systems and administrative structures and its members could become unionized as of 1964. During the era of Maurice Duplessis, the civil service was subject to arbitrary decisions and patronage. Employees of the state had no rights, no job security and their wages were low. Furthermore, they were forbidden to join a trade union.


© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

Photography of the opening of the office of the Syndicat

Ouverture du local du Syndicat des fonctionnaires provinciaux du Québec, section Lasarre en 1967. Sur la photo, apparaissent Jacques Bastien et Roger Boisclair, présidents, Marcel Hamel, secrétaire, et Fernand Lapierre, responsable à l'éducation.

unknown
20th Century
Syndicat de la fonction publique Archives.


Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

Acquire a historic perspective. Establish relations between Quebec as it was before, during and after the Quiet Revolution

Educational Connections (cross-curricular competencies)

Build on information (make the most of information).
Build on information (place knowledge in perspective).
Express one’s opinion (exercise critical judgment).
Take advantage of technology (make the most of information technology and communication).
Immerse oneself in a situation (apply one’s creative thinking).
Commit oneself to exploration (apply one’s creative thinking).

Educational Results

Encourage the student to examine the subject from a historical perspective.
Bring the student to understand the present based on the past.
Bring the student to express an opinion on this history.
Bring the student to develop critical thinking.

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