Harper: Quebec is a Nation

On the way home, I read on the TTC's ad-news box that Stephen Harper is unilaterally going to recognize Quebec as a nation within a free Canada (something about being because of a move the BQ is planning). This in spite of the will of the citizenry -- twice -- which clearly was against seeing Quebec as a distinct society. (A nation is just a more overt term of the same thing.) Remember Meech Lake and the Charlottetown Accord?

So do we live in a democracy? Or an autocracy? And why does Harper feel the need to specify "free"? Is that to placate us? Do Canadians care?