Quebec and the constitution

Marc Garneau considers Quebec and the repatriation of the constitution.

In the best of all possible worlds, Quebec would have joined the nine other provinces in 1982 and agreed to the repatriation of the constitution. René Levesque should definitely have been invited to the midnight talks on the eve of a crucial, although not final, step. Having said that, I believe the outcome would have been the same because the PQ was in power at the time. This has more to do with politics than the content of the document. The final document was not so very different from what René Levesque had previously agreed to with seven other provincial premiers. He even confirmed this later when he stated that he could not sign without running the risk of creating a deep rift in his party. In short, he had neither the will nor the ability to act differently.

Thirty years later, whether or not it was endorsed by the Government of Quebec, Quebec avails itself of the Constitution, the Charter, the amending formula and the notwithstanding clause in order to achieve its political objectives. In other words, it applies the law. We must therefore take into consideration the practical results of the repatriation and not only the way in which it occurred. IN MY OPINION, the results were very positive for Canadians and Quebeckers.

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