‘That has been the problem since 1982′

by Aaron Wherry

A footnote to Mr. Mulcair’s official statement on the 30th anniversary of the Charter: Paper Dynamite digs up a speech Mr. Mulcair gave two years ago in the House during debate on representation in the House of Commons.

The biggest problem is the attitude the Liberal Party has had for the past 40 years. That has been the main problem with the Canadian federation since the time of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The Liberals pay lip service to the idea of recognizing Quebec, but when push comes to shove, they always vote against such recognition.

The sad fact is that the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, which were negotiated in good faith, were necessary because the Canadian Constitution that Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chrétien repatriated includes the law passed in English only in England, with a bilingual schedule. The law begins with the words “Whereas Canada has requested”.

It is a bald-faced lie to say that Canada requested this, because Quebec was not included, unless the point was to show that to Pierre Elliott Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada, Canada did not include Quebec. That has been the problem since 1982. The Canadian Constitution, which was adopted despite both sovereignist and federalist opposition in Quebec City, still exists. In spite of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, which were negotiated in good faith, the government has never managed to accommodate Quebec to this day.




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‘That has been the problem since 1982′

  1. In English one says “sovereigntist”–two ‘t’s.

  2. . “That has been the problem since 1982. The Canadian Constitution, which was adopted despite both sovereignist and federalist opposition in Quebec City, still exists”

    If this is the best Mulcair can do he’s going nowhere. Even to my recollection at the time charter was formerly adopted Trudeau held something like 74 of 75 federal seats in Quebec. There was nothing illegimate about it. Levesque also lost the referendum preceeding the charter. I’m also pretty sure polls within Quebec at the time and afterward showed support for the charter was solid.

     No mention of all the muck raking and anti anglo sentiment Levesque whipped up in the Quebec legislature after losing out.[ which he later came to regret. Levesque being essentially a decent man]

    • It wouldn’t have mattered what was in the document – a PQ government was not going to sign it. Period. As for the two Accords, the majority of the populace outside of Quebec were opposed to them for the same reason Quebec liked them – it gave too much to Quebec, effectively diminishing the ROC by comparison.

      As a NLer, I’m still waiting for the CPC to recognize my people as a nation within Canada (given we were once a nation on our own, if Quebec is a nation within Canada then most assuredly so are we). I’m sure the aboriginal nations would be appreciative of such a gesture as well.

      • Agree completely. Yes Quebec is special – great place, people history, language…but it isn’t anymore special than anyplace else in this country.

  3. ‘The Liberals pay lip service to the idea of recognizing Quebec, but when push comes to shove, they always vote against such recognition. ‘ Really?  Correct me if I am wrong but when it got to the votes on Meech and Charlottetown the liberal caucus voted in favour of both.  
    Those who were solidly against both Meech and Charlottetown were the Reform Party and the Parti Québécois. 

  4. What is a boldness lie is to say that the parliament of Canada doesn’t speak on behalf of Canada. It does.  It doesn’t speak on behalf of Ontario or Quebec or Alberta, but it does speak on behalf of Canada and it is Canada that made the request. Unless Mr. Mulcair is indicating that as PM of Canada he would need to get all the legislation and budgets tabled by his government vetted by all provincial legislatures before obtaining royal assent.

    •  That sounds pretty good actually, if impractical. ;)

  5. “In spite of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, which were negotiated in good faith, the government has never managed to accommodate Quebec to this day.”

    The writer of this deserves some kind of award for cramming so many layers of obfuscation, half-truth and error into one sentence.

    Quebec hasn’t been accommodated?!  You can only hold one end of the stick, Tom:   Quebec has operated within the framework of the Constitution and Charter for 100% of its existence.   Which is the same degree of accommodation enjoyed by the rest of the nation.  

    Accommodation is not synonymous with placation or indulgence, the latter two being closer to what you suggest Quebec has been denied for 30 years.

    If the NDP were serious about wanting to form government at some point in the future, you think they’d back off playing so blatantly to the sovereignists.  

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