Megaconstitution - Mega-Constitutional Politics Jackson -...

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Mega-Constitutional Politics Jackson - The failed 1987 Constitutional Accord (Meech Lake and Lavelin -In drafting the Meech Lake Accord, a lot of various party interests had to be accounted for -Quebec wanted nation status, a say on immigration, a say on Supreme Court appointments, a veto of constitutional amendments affecting the province and limits to federal spending power in areas of provincial jurisdiction -the nine other premiers also made demands and virtually all were acommodated -therein lay the problem: to achieve agreement, the PM gave away powers that were necessary to maintain a strong federal government -The Meech Lake agreement had seven main areas of change : 1. distinct society 2. the supreme court 3. spending powers 4. veto power 5. immigration 6. the senate 7. the amending formula -when the euphoria from reaching agreement subsided, serious flaws in the accord were revealed -none of the federal parties were willing to risk the consequences of voting against it, although the liberals submitted 8 amendments and the NDP, 2 -none of them were accepted -parliament passed the accord with little dissent -however, since it contained major constitutional revisions, it required provincial unanimity -Manitoba and Newfoundland failed to pass it before the ratification deadline -Life went on without the accord, however Bourassa announced he would not attend any future federal-provincial conferences and the Quebec National Assembly passed Bill 150, which required a referendum on sovereignty by 1992 A New Constitutional Approach -following the death of Meech Lake there was an appropriate period of govt mourning followed by a series of conferences, symposiums, federal-provincial meetings and even a royal commission -the Meech failure had not killed Canada, but it ended the PC party unity -Mulroney’s environment minister, Lucien Bouchard, left the PC and went and formed the Bloc Quebecois with a number of dissident Quebec nationalists who already held seats in the house -The Quebec National Assembly set up the Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of Quebec (campeau-belanger ) whose hearings led to two committees: 1 to examine the costs of sovereignty 1 to examine any offers of renewed federalism that might come from Canada -Quebec’s most divisive input into the constitutional debate was the 1991 Allaire report -relegated currency, customs and tariffs, debt management and transfer payments to federal government -EVERYTHING else was to be up to Quebec -decisions made in the Quebec high court would no longer be appealable to the Supreme Court -the report was unacceptable to most Canadians because of how much it weakened the country -its intent was to keep pressure on the fed and assure Quebec a good bargaining position
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The “Pearson Building” Proposals -By the spring of 1992 the fed and the rest of the provinces were under a lot of pressure to reach a new agreement before Quebec went to referendum -July 7, 1992 - the fed, the 9 provinces, 2 territories and four native groups reached a tentative
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course BUSINESS 101 taught by Professor All during the Spring '09 term at McGill.

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Megaconstitution - Mega-Constitutional Politics Jackson -...

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