Quebec fell under British rule in the 18th century, but nostalgia for its French past remains, not least in the Canadian province's French motto: "Je me souviens," or "I remember." Quebec is overwhelmingly French-speaking. According to the 2006 census, 85% of Quebecers list French as their mother tongue (as opposed to residents in most other provinces, of whom more than 90% are English-speaking). Quebecers came close to attaining statehood in October 1995 when a deficit of 53,000 votes (out of a constituency of 7.5 million) prevented secessionists from winning a mandate for independence.
Today, the movement has lost much of the momentum it had at its peak in the '90s, thanks in large part to the parliamentary power of the Bloc Québécois. As the party (the most popular in Quebec) works to promote Quebec's political agenda and protect Francophone interests against perceived English assimilation, separation has been less of a priority for many Quebecers.
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