Italofobia: L’Esodo dal Quebec

Italofobia: L’Esodo dal Quebec

This documentary tells the little-known history of the Italian-Canadian immigrant experience in the province of Quebec and explores the key themes of sovereignty and assimilation that forced a mass exodus from Quebec.

60 minutes
  • Anti-Italianism grew across the globe after WWII. Former Italian communities that once thrived, violently expelled ethnic Italians from these areas. African colonies of Eritrea, Somalia and Libya, places like Yugoslavia, France, the United Kingdom, America and Canada all imprisoned or expelled Italians during and after the war. Anti Italianism was part of the anti immigrant, anti Catholic ideology. Because the immigrants often lacked formal education, and competed with earlier immigrants for lower paying jobs and housing, hostility existed toward them.

    In 1980 and 1995 the Quebec government held a referendum to ask voters in the Canadian French speaking province of Quebec whether Quebec should proclaim national sovereignty and become an independent country. This sent shock waves across the country and left an Italian Canadian population fearing for its future. The “no" vote won both referendums and Quebec Sovereignty leaders blamed the ethnic vote for the defeat, displaying the Italians as a foreign entity trying to corrupt the French separatist ideals.

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