Unity, Diversity and Justice

a virtual exhibition from the Diefenbaker Center Canada

Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

In 1987 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney decided to address Québec’s concerns about the Charter by suggesting constitutional reforms through two separate accords. However, Mulroney was caught in the controversies generated by these documents.

The Meech Lake Constitutional Accord was a set of amendments meant to address Québec’s concerns that the Constitution Act, 1982 did not reflect their needs. “Meech Lake” as it came to be called, attempted to define Québec’s position in Canada and recognised the province as a “distinct society.” However, because of opposition to the Accord in several other provinces, the document did not pass.

After the Meech Lake Accord failed to be ratified in 1990, another series of negotiations took place that resulted in the Charlottetown Accord. This Accord debated Québec’s position within Confederation, but this too was rejected because Canadians were unable to reach a national consensus.

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