Canada, House of Commons Debates, “Recognition of Women’s Rights”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (18 November 1981)

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Date: 1981-11-18
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 12890-12891.
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[Page 12890]



Hon. Flora MacDonald (Kingston and the Islands): Madam Speaker, I have a straightforward question that is directed to the Prime Minister, regarding the constitutional proposals. Will the Prime Minister confirm that ail of the provinces, except Saskatchewan, have now agreed to the inclusion intact of the equality clause, Section 28, as it was introduced to the House of Commons earlier this year with unanimous approval by all parties of this House?

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister): Madam Speaker, the negotiations on this particular subject have been going on for several days because it was a matter of clarifying what the premiers intended when they signed the accord. There has been, effectively, disagreement between them as to

[Page 12891]

what particular interpretation should be given to a particular section. I can only say that to this moment it has been impossible to get all nine premiers who signed the accord, on the same wavelength, and to agree to the same text.

Mr. Blackburn: You do not have to worry about Sterling Lyon any more.

Mr. Trudeau: Since we told the provinces that we would be tabling the resolution in its final form today, as a direct answer to the hon. lady’s question I must say that there is more than one province which disagrees with the complete restoration of the section as it was. Therefore, in the spirit of the accord, I think we will have to go with a modified version of the text that we had originally proposed, not only in the resolution which has been before the House for a year, but also in the drafting sessions. I do not think it is appropriate to point out any particular province. There has been a great deal of negotiations going on, but obviously there is some lack of unanimity among the provinces as to what was intended in the accord.

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