The Pros And Cons Of The Canadian Constitution In Canada

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In 1982, after a long negotiation process with the provincial premiers, the Canadian Constitution was patriated by Pierre Trudeau’s federal government. Although Ontario and New Brunswick were supportive of patriating the Constitution, the other eight provinces decided to take a stand against Trudeau’s threat of unilateral action. The Premiers of those provinces formed the Gang of Eight and opposed Trudeau’s attempt to bring home the Constitution. On November 4, 1981 Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau met with seven of the eight Premiers to negotiate patriating the Constitution, the only Premier not to be included was Rene Levesque, the Premier of Quebec. After negotiations were successful, an agreement was made to patriate the Constitution, but …show more content…
The first attempt was in 1987 when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney proposed amendments to the Constitution with the Meech Lake Accord. After a long process of meetings and negotiation, the Accord died in 1990 after it did not pass the Manitoba legislature. Near the end of the Accord’s life, Robert Malcolm Campbell wrote about the process and why it was unlikely to pass. In his editorial he explained the opposition to the Accord across Canada, how the citizens were not part of the process and were ignored by the federal government. As he predicted, the Accord did not pass. Reflecting on the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, David Taras reviewed texts on the Accord and looked at who the authors blamed for the failure. Reading his article, it is clear that many different people were blamed for the Accord failing. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Newfoundland’s premier Clyde Wells, and Quebec premier Robert Bourassa were all blamed by some …show more content…
This was also brought up by the federal government of Brian Mulroney, and enjoyed the support of all ten provincial premiers and all of the major political parties. However, the separatist parties in Quebec were opposed to the Accord, as they thought that it did not give enough power to Quebec. Much of western Canada was also opposed to the Accord, as they thought that it would contribute to the domination of central Canada in politics. Eventually, like the Meech Lake Accord, the Charlottetown Accord was defeated. While reviewing the failure of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords McRoberts and Monahan claimed, “that on the basis of both the Meech and Charlottetown episodes, there are many grounds for pessimism about the potential for a constitutional agreement in the near future.” Their prediction in 1994 was correct, since then there has been no attempt to open the Constitution to Quebec, showing that politicians realize that getting Quebec to sign the Constitution is an unrealistic goal. The failure of the two accords in the late 1980s and the early 1990s illustrated the divide between English and French Canada. It was clearly shown that Quebec wants powers that the rest of Canada does not want to give them. Finding an agreement that everybody is able to agree on is not realistic. Yet, the failure of the two accords also showed how necessary it is that

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