Meech Lake

Vitamin C
#1
Sorry to be showing my age here, but I have no idea what happened in the Meech Lake Accords talks. All I know was that it was some sort of new or amended constituion, and that it failed....

Can anyone explain to me what the issues were?

Why were some people against it?

Why were some people for it?

i.e. what were the issues related to aboriginals and quebecois people....and others.....
 
SirKevin
#2
Well, I wasn't politically aware then either, but from what I have read:

-It would have recognized Quebec as a "distinct society"
-It would have given provinces more rights with accepting/rejecting immigrants
-It would have set a new way of appointing senators and judges (a way that would give the provinces more say)

For it to pass, it needed to clear the House of Commons and every provincial legislature by a certain time, don't remember when that was. It passed all the Houses except for the Manitoba provincial legislature, and the Newfoundland provincial legislature. In Manitoba, an aboriginial MPP filibustered the bill to prevent it from being brought to a vote within the necessary time. He was Elijah Harper, and he filibustered it because he felt that it didn't sufficiently protect native rights.

His filibuster wasn't actually of the legislation...to pass it in time, Manitoba needed to skip certain procedural stages (ie committes, inquiries etc that go with every bill) and what Harper filibustered was actually the motion that would allow those steps to be skipped, so he in effect killed the bill.

Newfoundland didn't pass it because there was a new premier in power that hadn't been part of the negocations, as I understand it. He was, however, willing to let the legislature vote on it if the rest of the country was waiting on Newfoundland. But, once the bill died in Manitoba and it was obvious it wouldn't clear all of the legislatures, Newfoundland gave up on the idea of voting on it.

People were in favour of it because it brought Quebec into the constitution, and because it gave more freedom to the provinces.

People opposed it because they thought that recognizining Quebec only as " distinct society" was detrimental to the cause of national unity. They also thought the freedoms given to provinces went so far that they would in effect dismantle federalism. The latter was more of an issue at the Charlottetown Accord than it was here, but I'm pretty sure it played some role.

Hope that helps!
 

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