The unity of the Canadian confederation came under severe pressure in 1995 when the province of Quebec tabled Quebec Bill 1 and the 1995 Referendum Question. The National Assembly created Quebec Bill 1 to clarify what Quebec's plans were if the province was to secede from Canada. The referendum question simply put, asked the citizens of Quebec if the province should pursue sovereignty once a partnership offer with Canada was made, and execute all the elements of Quebec Bill 1.
1995 Referendum Question and Quebec Bill 1.
The Quebec Bill 1 (the Bill) was created by a tripartite of political groups within Quebec who strove to unite their citizens and achieve sovereignty from the rest of Canada. The unified goal of seceding from Canada was lead by the Parti Quebecois, the Bloc Quebecois, and the Action Democratique. Quebec Bill 1 was created as "a formal proposal for a new economic and political partnership with Canada." This economic and political partnership was described in some detail within the Bill and contained virtually all aspects of the political, economic, and social arena. .
There were numerous elements within the Bill that were to be addressed by the National Assembly in conjunction with the Canadian government if a majority yes vote was returned by the Quebec voters. In total there was thirteen elements created in the Bill; Self-Determination; Sovereignty; Partnership Treaty; New Constitution; Territory; Currency; Treaties and International Organizations and Alliances; Continuity of Laws, Pensions, Benefits, Licences and Permits, Contracts and Courts of Justice; Federal Public Servants and Employees; Interim Constitution; Other Agreements; and Coming into Force. The first five elements dealt with aspects pertaining to Quebec as becoming a sovereign nation and its geographical boundaries. Each of these elements had to be in place before any other elements could be addressed.