Failed Constitutional Accord
Generally agreed Quebec should be granted “renewed federalism”
**to achieve an agreement, the PM gave away powers that were necessary to
maintain a strong federal government because too many different demands
were being made by the provinces.
Meech Lake: 7 areas of change
o Distinct society, Supreme Court, spending powers, veto power,
immigration, the Senate and the amending formula.
Required approval from all 10 provincial legislatures
o Benefit by winning Bourassa’s support – afraid of Quebec voters
endangering the agreement
Defeated because it required unanimity from the provinces which Manitoba
and Newfoundland failed to pass the necessary resolution before the
ratification deadline (June 23, 1990)
Joe Clark – federal government called several meetings with 9 provinces, 2
territories and 4 aboriginal groups
Allaire Proposals: cried out for asymmetry with different status for different
provinces or regions within the country depending on their special needs –
Canada already had some asymmetry. Unacceptable to most Canadians
because it would’ve weakened the country
Pearson Building Proposals
o July 7, 1992 – tentative agreement – given more provincial power and
weaken federal authority.
o Charlottetown Accord, agreed to on August 28, 1992, agreement on
principles, about what changes should be made to the Consitution,
further political accords to be negotiated.
Held the same as Meech Lake, but there were proposals to add
a definition for “distinct society” to ensure that Quebec
constitutes within Canada.
o Main difference between the two proposals: the constitutional veto.
Charlottetown would’ve given all provinces a vet over future
constitutional changes to the country’s major political insititutions.
Quebec wanted this veto to ensure it could prevent a Senate
reform of which it didn’t approve.
Also, a veto over the creation of new provinces through an
agreement with Ottawa.
The Canada Clause: to be included to express fundamental Canadian values –
important because it would have been justiciable so the courts would have
been able to use the Canada clause to guide ALL interpretations of the
o 8 fundamental values included – related to democracy, aboriginal
rights, distinct society of Quebec, linguistic duality, raocial and ethnic
o errors in consistency and fairness – hierarchy of fundamental values