An Act respecting democratic constitutional change -

An Act respecting democratic constitutional change

The NDP takes on the Clarity Act


The full text of Craig Scott’s bill on the Clarity Act and Quebec secession, as referenced by Thomas Mulcair this morning, can be viewed here.

CP’s Joan Bryden explains.

By contrast, the NDP’s unity bill specifies that Parliament must be satisfied the referendum question was clear and that there were no “determinative irregularities” in the vote, including in the balloting, counting of votes, transmission of results and spending limits. Provided those conditions were met, the bill says a vote of 50 per cent plus one would enough to trigger negotiations.

The NDP bill goes further than the Clarity Act in spelling out what would constitute a clear question, offering two examples: “Should Quebec become a sovereign country” or “Should Quebec separate from Canada and become a sovereign country.” Wording agreed upon by both the federal and provincial government would also be acceptable. Should the question be deemed insufficiently clear, the bill would require the federal government to refer the matter immediately to the Quebec Court of Appeal, which would have the final say.

As noted earlier today, Mr. Scott is presently last in the order of precedence for the tabling of private members’ bills. Barring maneuvering to advance it up the list, it will be quite awhile before it gets debated in the House.

That said, even if, in the worst case, it isn’t debated before the next election, it likely now stands as an indication of what an NDP government would seek to legislate.