The Meech Lake Accord was a set of failed amendments to the Constitution of Canada negotiated in 1987 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the provincial premiers, including Robert Bourassa, premier of Quebec. The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's Constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions The Prime Minister of Canada ( French: Premier ministre du Canada) is the primary Minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus Martin Brian Mulroney PC CC GOQ (predominantly known as Brian Mulroney) (born March 20, 1939) was the eighteenth Robert Bourassa GOQ ( July 14, 1933 &ndash October 2, 1996) was a politician in Quebec, Canada Wikipedia_talkFeatured_lists#Proposed_change_to_all_featured_lists for an explanation of this and other inclusion tags below -->This is a list of the premiers It was designed to persuade Quebec to endorse the Canada Act. Quebec (kwɨˈbɛk The Canada Act 1982 (1982 c 11 is an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament that severed all remaining legislative dependence of Canada
In 1981, a round of negotiations led by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to patriate the constitution reached an agreement that formed the basis of the Constitution Act, 1982. Patriation is a non-legal term particularly used in Canada, to describe a process of Constitutional change also known as "bringing home" the constitution The Constitution Act 1982 (Schedule B of the Canada Act 1982 (UK is a part of the Constitution of Canada. Although this agreement passed into law, amending the British North America Acts as the constitution of the land, it was reached over the objections of Quebec Premier René Lévesque, and the Quebec National Assembly refused to ratify the amendment. The British North America Acts 1867&ndash1975 are the original names of a series of Acts at the core of the Constitution of Canada. The Premier of Quebec (in French Premier ministre du Québec, sometimes literally translated as Prime Minister of Quebec) is the First minister for the The National Assembly of Quebec (Assemblée nationale du Québec is the name for the legislative body of the province of Quebec, Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada had previously ruled in the Quebec Veto Reference that the federal government could petition the British Parliament to pass the Canada Act 1982 as long as it had a substantial measure of provincial consent, and that the new constitution applied to all provinces notwithstanding their disagreement. The Supreme Court of Canada ( French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian Quebec Veto Reference (Reference re Amendment to the Canadian Constitution 2 S In the end Quebec was the only province that did not favour patriation.
Brian Mulroney's election as Prime Minister and Robert Bourassa's re-election as Premier of Quebec created a new climate, one that was different from the bitter opposition between Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque. Robert Bourassa GOQ ( July 14, 1933 &ndash October 2, 1996) was a politician in Quebec, Canada Bourassa gave five key demands for Quebec to "sign on" to the Constitution.
The accord was negotiated at a meeting between Mulroney and provincial premiers at Willson House at Meech Lake in the Gatineau Hills in 1987. Meech Lake is located within Gatineau Park in the Municipality of Chelsea, Quebec, Canada (about 20 km NW of Gatineau) The Gatineau Hills are a geological formation in Canada that makes up part of the southern tip of the Canadian Shield, and acts as the northern shoulder of the Ottawa 
It identified five main modifications to the Canadian constitution:
Because the accord would have changed the constitution's amending formula and modified the Supreme Court, it needed to obtain the consent of all provincial and federal legislatures within three years. The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second largest country in total area. Distinct society (in French la société distincte) is a political expression especially used during a Constitutional debate in Canada, in the second half Immigration refers to the movement of people among countries While the movement of people has existed throughout human history at various levels modern immigration implies long-term Opting out is a political expression that was formulated in Canada to describe the intention of a province to remove itself from a program administered by the The Supreme Court of Canada ( French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian Amendments to the Constitution of Canada are changes to the Constitution of Canada initiated by the government Mulroney termed this the "Quebec round" of constitutional talks and promised future reforms after the Accord had been approved.
Opposition leaders generally agreed to the Accord. Liberal Party leader John Turner was put into a tough position, considering the popularity of the agreement in Quebec (a traditional Liberal stronghold) and the Trudeau ideal of federal power. The Liberal Party of Canada ( Parti libéral du Canada) colloquially known as the Grits (originally " Clear Grits " is a major Canadian political John Napier Wyndham Turner PC CC QC (born June 7, 1929) is a retired Canadian Lawyer and Politician He soon agreed to the Accord, causing a rift in his party.  New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent also agreed with the Accord. Principles policies and electoral achievement The NDP grew from populist, agrarian and democratic socialist roots John Edward "Ed" Broadbent PC, CC (born March 21, 1936 in Oshawa, Ontario) is a Canadian Social . Preston Manning of the upstart Reform Party opposed it, saying it gave Quebec unequal status among provinces. Ernest Preston Manning, CC (born June 10, 1942, in Edmonton Alberta) is a Right-wing populist Canadian politician The Reform Party of Canada ( Parti réformiste du Canada) was a Canadian federal Political party that existed from 1987 to 2000 
When the Meech Lake accord was debated in the Quebec National Assembly, it was opposed by the Parti Québécois. The National Assembly of Quebec (Assemblée nationale du Québec is the name for the legislative body of the province of Quebec, Canada. The Parti Québécois ' is a Sovereignist Political party that advocates national sovereignty for the Canadian province of Quebec and After the ten provincial premiers agreed to the Accord, national public opinion polls initially showed that a majority of Canadians supported the proposed agreement . However, by June 1990, the same polls showed that a majority now rejected the accord. . Much of this decline in support was attributed to the "distinct society" clause, which some in English Canada saw as granting Quebec "special" status.  Bourassa's use of the "notwithstanding clause" of the Canadian constitution to set aside the Supreme Court's decision to strike down parts of Quebec's Charter of the French Language (which toughened the requirements for French predominance on signs) played into this; while an entirely constitutional move, it became a flashpoint for many federalist Canadians, particularly in English Canada. Section Thirty-three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Constitution of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada ( French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian The Charter of the French Language ( La charte de la langue française, in French) also known as Bill 101 and Loi 101,
Arguments against the Accord also focused on the devolution of federal powers and control to the provincial governments. Former Canadian Prime Minister and arch-federalist Pierre Trudeau spoke out against the Accord, claiming Mulroney "sold out" to the provinces. Trudeau argued that Quebec, while distinct, was no more distinct than many other places in the nation. He also stated his belief that the federal government should oppose many provincial initiatives to keep the balance of powers within Confederation. In a newspaper opinion piece, Trudeau wrote: "[T]he federation was set to last a thousand years. Alas, only one eventuality hadn't been foreseen: that one day the government of Canada would fall into the hands of a weakling. It has now happened. " Some Liberal MPs called on Trudeau to be their "spiritual leader" against the Accord, further undermining John Turner's already fragile leadership.
Criticism was directed at the way the Accord was reached. They believed it lacked public sanction. The ten premiers and the prime minister came to be seen as "11 men in suits", dealing the future of the country behind closed doors.  Of course, historically that always had been the case, but in the post-Charter of Rights age this came to be seen as undemocratic. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (also known as The Charter of Rights and Freedoms or simply the Charter) is a Bill of rights entrenched in the
As the deadline approached, however, the consensus began to unravel. Pressure from voters at home brought many premiers, especially those in the Western provinces, under fire. The Accord became an issue in some provincial elections, as New Brunswick elected the Liberal government of Frank McKenna, which revoked the previous government's approval of the Accord. New Brunswick ( French: Nouveau-Brunswick /nuvobʁɔnzwik/ is one of Canada 's three Maritime provinces and is the only constitutionally Francis Joseph "Frank" McKenna PC OC QC ONB (born January 19, 1948, in Apohaqui, Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells would soon do likewise. Newfoundland and Labrador (ˈnuːfɨn(dlənd ən(d ˈlæbrəˌdɔr (Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador is a province of Canada, the tenth and latest to join the Confederation Clyde Kirby Wells (born November 9, 1937) is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal
With a matter of months before the Accord deadline, a commission led by prominent Tory Jean Charest recommended some changes to the Accord. John James Charest PC MNA (known as Jean Charest) ʒɑ̃ ʃɑʀe (born June 24, 1958) is a Canadian This prompted Lucien Bouchard, environment minister, and also chief Quebec lieutenant, under Mulroney, and others to leave the Progressive Conservatives. Lucien Bouchard PC GOQ (born December 22, 1938) is a Quebec lawyer diplomat and Politician. Eventually, they, and several disenchanted Liberals formed the federal Bloc Québécois party. The Bloc Québécois ( BQ) is a federal political party in Canada that defines itself as devoted to both the protection of Quebec's interests on a federal
Arguably, the most pressure was on Quebec Premier, Robert Bourassa. To many Quebecers, the Accord was the bare minimum acceptable. Any weakening of the Accord would undermine Bourassa's position and possibly bring a large backlash from Quebec.
This prompted a first ministers conference on June 3, 1990 (20 days before the deadline of the Accord). Events 350 - Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaims himself Roman Emperor, entering Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) After a week of negotiations, an agreement for further rounds of constitutional negotiations was devised to follow ratification of Meech Lake. All 10 premiers again signed the "new" Accord, although Wells said that he would have to consult with the people of Newfoundland before committing to the Accord.
The agreement promised:
During the meeting, Wells echoed the feelings of many in the country:
|“||"We must never again implement this process for Constitutional reform. It is impossible for the eleven first ministers to do justice to the matters they have to consider, and it is grossly unfair to the 26 million people of this nation to have their first minister closeted and making decisions in a secret way without letting them know what was at stake, and the basis of the decisions were made. "||”|
New Brunswick soon accepted the Accord, and Frank McKenna toured the nation to drum up support.
In Manitoba, however, things did not go as planned. With many First Nations protesters outside, the Legislative assembly convened to approve the Accord. Unanimous support was needed to bypass the necessary public consultation, and MLA Elijah Harper raised an eagle feather to mark his dissension. The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and the lieutenant governor form the Legislature of Manitoba the legislative branch of government in the Elijah Harper (born March 3, 1949) is an Aboriginal Cree Canadian politician and band chief Harper opposed bypassing consultation because he did not believe First Nations had been adequately involved in the Accord's process.
Even though a legal route was found to give Manitoba more time (the deadline would be extended three months, with Quebec being able to re-approve the Accord), Clyde Wells and Opposition leader Thomas Rideout agreed to cancel the planned free vote in the Newfoundland House of Assembly, because the outcome would have most likely been a refusal. The Accord was officially dead.
The defeat of the Accord was felt most in Quebec. In a speech to the National Assembly of Quebec delivered moments after the death of the Accord, Bourassa captured the nationalist sentiment of the moment:
|“||". The National Assembly of Quebec (Assemblée nationale du Québec is the name for the legislative body of the province of Quebec, Canada. . . English Canada must clearly understand that, no matter what is said or done, Quebec is, today and forever, a distinct society, that is free and able to assume the control of its destiny and development. "||”|
The speech and other actions by Bourassa gave Quebecers the impression that the Liberals were open to all options, even the calling of a referendum on independence. Polls at this time showed a majority in favour of sovereignty-association. This would result in the Allaire Report and a promise to hold a referendum on sovereignty or a new Constitutional agreement by 1992.
Ontario Premier David Peterson had played a prominent role in creating the accord and continued to support it in the face of growing opposition. David Robert Peterson, PC (born December 28, 1943 in Toronto, Ontario) was the twentieth Premier of the Province This would eventually lead to a backlash in his own province. Though Peterson's association with the accord was not further highlighted by the media, the federal government was dealing with the fallout. Thus, the issue was still fresh in voters' minds as he called a snap election in 1990, and it was partially responsible for his party's defeat. The Ontario general election of 1990 was held on September 6, 1990, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario
Mulroney's popularity plummeted. The handling of the Accord was condemned by many people and the exhaustive and interminable debates over it caused a backlash against further constitutional negotiations.
In November 1990, Mulroney decided to seek the input of Canadians on the country's constitutional future by convening the Citizen's Forum on National Unity. The Citizen's Forum on National Unity was a commission established by the Government of Canada under former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in November 1990. The Forum was more commonly known as the Spicer Commission after its chair, Keith Spicer. Keith Spicer (born March 6 1934) is a Canadian academic public servant and writer
A variety of constitutional conferences and the efforts of former Prime Minister Joe Clark, resulted in the Charlottetown Accord, which contained many of the same proposals, along with concrete involvement of First Nations groups, a "Canada Clause", and an equal Senate. Charles Joseph "Joe" Clark PC CC AOE (born June 5 1939 is a Canadian Journalist, Politician, Statesman The Charlottetown Accord was a package of constitutional amendments proposed by the Canadian federal and provincial governments in 1992. The Charlottetown Accord, unlike Meech Lake, was put to referendums, but it was also defeated in most provinces including Quebec.
The attendees at the Meech Lake Accord were:
|Constitution Act, 1867|
|Division of powers | Peace, order and good government | Criminal law power | Trade and Commerce clause | Works and Undertakings (Declaratory Power) | Property and civil rights | Disallowance and reservation|
|Canada Act 1982|
|Constitution Act, 1982|
|Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms | Aboriginal Rights clause | Amending formula|
|List of Canadian constitutional documents|
|History of the Constitution|
|Royal Proclamation of 1763 | Quebec Act | Constitutional Act of 1791 | Act of Union 1840 | British North America Acts | Statute of Westminster 1931|
|Fulton-Favreau formula | Victoria Charter | Meech Lake Accord | Charlottetown Accord | Calgary Declaration | Other unsuccessful amendments|
|Interpretation of the Constitution|
|Pith and substance | Double aspect | Paramountcy | Living tree | Implied Bill of Rights | Dialogue principle | Interjurisdictional immunity|