Meech Lake Accord Case Study

2008 Words 9 Pages
The Canadian Constitution, also known as the supreme law, describe Canada’s process of both codified and uncodified traditions as well as convention. It allows for the division of powers between federal and provincial powers and encompasses the rights and freedoms of all Canadians. The Meech Lake Accord was the first attempt to amend the newly patriated Constitution in order to facilitate changes depicted by the Constitution Act, 1982. The Meech Lake Accord was a set of constitutional amendments designed to persuade Quebec to accept the Canada Act. The accord was proposed by both Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and premier of Quebec, Robert Bourassa. The failures of Meech Lake have had vast impacts on conduct of current day politics,
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On June 14th, Harper as part of the Oral Question Period asked numerous question calling into question various concerns such as: “the process of negotiations of the Meech Lake Accord; the lack of inclusion of Aboriginal people; the lack of a Parliamentary Committee to review the Constitutional Amendment; the shutting out of aboriginals from future constitutional discussion; the lack of public hearing on this legislation; the absence of the Premier at an Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs meeting that he was requested to attend; the Role of the Minister of Native Affairs in the process the role of the Minister of Justice in the process; and lastly, the vital need for inclusion of aboriginal consultation.” On the 22nd of June the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba adjourned without voting on the accord, Elijah Harper raised an eagle feather to signal his defiance. Due to Manitoba’s inability to successfully vote in the Meech Lake Accord, the premier of Newfoundland refused to take a vote, ultimately ensuring the degradation of the accord. Elijah Harper’s courage to protest the lack of consultation and consent has had rippling affects that continue to foster resilience and social movements on behalf of aboriginal …show more content…
The Constitutions when formulated in private cannot function to protect the interests and needs off all citizens. The lack of consultation from all outside parties caused the premiers to remain out of touch with their citizens. They were unable to proceed to protect the interests of minorities and majorities alike as they were voted in to do. By placing a distinct emphasis on reconciling Quebec with the rest of Canada, the Meech Lake Accord excluded Canada’s First Nations from all Constitution consultation. While the accord empowered Quebec’s distinct society clause and placed added emphasis on French and English as the founding nations, it further alienated the aboriginal population and further limited their inherent rights to self-governance. The Meech Lake Accord also remains a powerful reminder in the power of one man. Elijah Harper was simply one man who used his voice to empower those without. While aboriginal issues are and will unfortunately continue to be on the subjected to systemic oppression, the defeat of the Meech Lake Accord is a historic event that began a movement of change. It created a dynamic change between the conduct of the relationship of the Crown and aboriginal people. Canada had learned its lesson, the exclusion of Aboriginal people from any constitutional discussion or changes without proper consultation was effectively diminished from

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