Divided We Fall: The National Security Implications of Canadian Constitutional Issues


215 pages
ISBN 0-919769-43-8
DDC 355'.033




Edited by Alex Morrison
Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein is a history professor at York University and author of
War and Peacekeeping and For Better or For Worse.


What are the military and strategic implications for Canada if Quebec
separates? Very few English-speaking Canadians wish to contemplate the
possibility of the destruction of a Canada that runs from sea to sea
but, the constitutional referendum of 1992 notwithstanding, such a
possibility remains real. Will Quebec’s separation mean civil war?
What will the United States do? How will the Native people in Quebec,
many English-speaking and most bitterly hostile to Quebec City, react?
What are the implications of separation for the armed forces? And what
military forces would a separate Quebec need? These are all terrifying
questions, but it is not at all foolish to think about them, however
unsettling they may be. The Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies,
Canada’s leading military think-tank, held a conference in 1991 on
this subject, and it mustered a roster of military and diplomatic
experts. The thrust of the discussions was that civil war is not an
impossibility, that a Yugoslav-style debacle could occur here. And if
so, American intervention might become a real possibility. These are
“might-bes” and if we hope to turn them into “might-have-beens,”
if we hope to eliminate the possibility of a disaster of this magnitude,
our leaders will have to show more imagination and good sense than has
been the case in the last generation.


“Divided We Fall: The National Security Implications of Canadian Constitutional Issues,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/12256.