Ever since Union Nationale took most of the seats in the government, it started to support Quebec nationalism and rallied against the domination of business by English-Canadians. During 1930 – 1945, the official political party, Union Nationale which led by Maurice Duplessis had a significantly negative impact on both French-English relations and Canadian identity. First of all, the leader of Union Nationale, Maurice Duplessis had strongly weakened French-English business relations. During the Great Depression, thirty percent of Montreal’s workforce was unemployed and French-Canadians blamed the large English-speaking population in Quebec and the federal government. After Maurice Duplessis was elected, he devoted everything to the province: “I have no family.
My only responsibility is the welfare of Quebec. I belong to the province.” He promised he will help rural society and provide protection for French workers through increasing the minimum wages and decreasing taxes. However, Duplessis’s promises raised the English suspicion toward the French-Canadians. When they saw French-Canadians nationalizing and planning to threaten their business profits, they felt betrayed. The fact that Maurice Duplessis used the investments from English-speaking provinces as tools to provide labor rights to French workers did not improve the economic relations. Indeed, it went the opposite way.
Secondly, Union Nationale had a negative impact on Canadian identity because of the role of Catholic Churches. Religion played an important role in daily life. Catholic Church ran Quebec’s education, hospital, and other social programs. As a main defender of the unique French cultures, they protect old Quebec traditions and classical believes and values. However, Churches became very radical and defensive for their cultures because of its own power that was given by the government. The movements and attitudes of Catholic Church created a huge rift between English-Canadians and French-Canadians.
Finally, the desire for separation and sovereignty had negatively impacted the French-English unity. The idea of nationalizing was starting to rise and spread to civilians. They were very desperate to separate from Ottawa and other English-speaking provinces.
For example, Maurice Duplessis was a strong Quebec nationalist and he introduced French fleur-de-lis. Another example was that Duplessis came up with the idea that education was a provincial responsibility rather than a federal responsibility. The beliefs of autonomy of the Quebec government still affect Canada today.